The Princess and Her Tale

When Charles Lang decided to include Charles Perrault’s “Donkey-Skin” in The Grey Fairy Book, he sanitized several elements: the princess was no longer fleeing from her father, but her adopted father; gold came from the donkey’s ears, rather than more objectionable body parts, and so on.  Even Perrault’s version was softened from other versions: no cut fingers, no blood.

Even softened, the story remains troubling.  And since it contains elements of other, more popular stories — East o’the Sun and West o’the Moon, Goose Girl, and Cinderella — it was easy enough to leave in obscurity.

I’ve chosen to take another look at it in The Princess and Her Tale, just published by Daily Science Fiction.