Sleeping Persun of Better-Than-Average Attractiveness

Garner, James Finn. "Sleeping Persun of Better-Than-Average Attractiveness." Once Upon a More Enlightened Time: More Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. New York: MacMillan, 1995.

Having at this point read A LOT of Sleeping Beauty tales, I can honestly say that this short story was a welcome change! As in other versions, a frog predicts the conception, (the king and queen have been having difficulty conceiving a child) adding “Get some regular exercise, eat more greens and grains, and eliminate animal fat from your diet. Later, if you need one, I can recommend a good lactation consultant” (66). Amusing and up-to-date twists on the tale are found throughout the story. The first fairy blesses Rosamond with a good body image, another with good math skills, and so on. Finally, the thirteenth and uninvited fairy curses the baby: “May you grow up thinking you can’t be complete without a man, put unrealistic hopes of perfect and total happiness on your marriage, and become a bored, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled housewife” (68). The twelfth fairy softens the curse with the traditional spindle prick and hundred year sleep, adding, “By that time, perhaps men will be more evolved and your pain in finding a progressive, affirming lifemate will not be so great” (69). One hundred years later, a prince discovers the castle, believing he has stumbled upon a “top-notch meditation center” (72). He is very impressed with everyone’s ability to maintain their meditative state, particularly, Rosamond, who he wants for a teacher. She wakes up, but she does not want to be his teacher, she wants to be his princess. The story ends, “And so, with this standoff, the prophesies of the 12th sister of sorcery, as well as those of the 13th, were fulfilled” (75).

I think anyone with some background knowledge of traditional fairy tales and a sense of humor will be entertained by this little book. I included a review from someone who wasn’t as impressed with the book as me, however, to show varying viewpoints.

Click here to read a review of this book.

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