What do kids wandering alone in a forest, starving witches, and magical cottages have in common with today? Nothing. That’s why we’ve tweaked some beloved fairy tales to better reflect our modern times.
Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel are walking through the woods when they are spotted by a strange old woman sitting in a gaudy house she bought for a loaf of bread 50 years ago which is now worth 3.2 million euros. She’d like to lure the kids inside, fatten them up, and eat them, but she only stares at them through her window because for one it’s raining, and secondly she’s got enough money to buy 100 plump kids if she wanted to.
Cinderella is a cleaning lady at a Big Four company. When she overhears everyone talking about the big office Christmas party, Cinderella wishes she could go but, as she’s an actually employed by an external company, she’s not invited. Taking pity on the young woman, Cinderella’s fairy godmother offers her a designer dress, a fully equipped BMW X5, and a plausible story about being a new consultant in the tax department. Cinderella goes to the party but gets bored after having to listen to speeches from five partners about how great the company is. She’s home by 10:15 p.m.
Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood wants to take some cake to her grandma who lives on the other side of Luxembourg City, but sadly her grandma has been eaten by a wolf. However, the little girl never discovers this because she’s unable to navigate the mess of roadworks in the city, so she turns around and walks home.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack is a young lawyer who moves to Luxembourg when he’s hired by a large firm, and he soon dreams of becoming a partner. Late one night while he’s preparing for a closing, he finds a magic bean from which a tall stalk grows, one that will allow him to skip the usual 10 to 20 years of 14-hour days. When he arrives at the top of the beanstalk, he’s named partner and gets his own office on the highest floor, but surrounding him are a bunch of giants speaking an incomprehensible language. Confused, he climbs back down and looks for a job back in London.
Rapunzel is a wealthy expat who can’t find her way out of her seven-bedroom home, so she goes to Facebook to ask people how to find her front door. While some fellow expats mock her, others try in earnest to help, but the task proves more difficult when Rapunzel confesses that she doesn’t know her own address. Following one person’s suggestion, Rapunzel tries to attract attention by opening a window and letting her long hair flow down. A man casing the neighborhood sees her beautiful locks so he uses them to climb into her house and rob her.
Illustration by Alexander Zick