Donkey Skin

Perrrault’s “Donkey Skin” is a great fairy tale, full of unwholesome passions, magic, trickery, and wonder. So of course fellow Frenchman Jacques Demy turned it into a film starring Catherine Deneuve in 1970.

Courtesy of We Love You So.

If that clip made you thirsty for more, you can read the whole thing over at SurLaLune:

THERE was once upon a time a king who was so much beloved by his subjects that he thought himself the happiest monarch in the whole world, and he had everything his heart could desire. His palace was filled with the rarest of curiosities, and his gardens with the sweetest flowers, while in the marble stalls of his stables stood a row of milk-white Arabs, with big brown eyes.

Strangers who had heard of the marvels which the king had collected, and made long journeys to see them, were, however, surprised to find the most splendid stall of all occupied by a donkey, with particularly large and drooping ears. It was a very fine donkey; but still, as far as they could tell, nothing so very remarkable as to account for the care with which it was lodged; and they went away wondering, for they could not know that every night, when it was asleep, bushels of gold pieces tumbled out of its ears, which were picked up each morning by the attendants.


2 thoughts on “Donkey Skin

  1. Heather

    One of my alltime favourite fairytales as a child, although even at that young age, I knew it was also sickly creepy and wrong. Maybe that’s what intrigued me. I’m sure it was. That and wondering what she must have smelled like, hanging out in a real donkey skin all day.

    I still have the book that contains this story. It’s sitting on Bobbin’s shelf now. I think I’ll wait until she’s in first grade before I read her that one (if she starts reading before that on her own, then she deserves to read it ;-)). I have no problems with evil witches, death, blood, black magic, sword battles, or deer hunters. But I do think I will have a tough time explaining the whole incest thing at this age :-)

  2. Heather

    Hmm… I just read the annotated version at the link above. I guess the version I read was pretty much the original, since it had the daughter being fully his and not adopted. I didn’t even know there was an alternate, less “inappropriate” version out there.

    If you’re gonna give it to them, give it to them straight! Don’t water it down, I say. That’s why I insisted on reading Bobbin the real version of “The Little Mermaid” before letting her watch the Disney movie version.

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