Jennifer Schmitt Concord Massachusetts USA

Jennifer Schmitt

'Straw Into Gold'

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Jennifer Schmitt Concord, Massachusetts USA

Straw Into Gold

Based on the fairy tale, "Rumplestiltskin".

Once upon a time, a poor farmer bragged to the king that his daughter could spin straw into gold. He hoped the king would want to take her as his wife. So the king locked her in a tower with a pile of straw and a spinning wheel and told her it had better be finished by morning or she'd be put to death. She began to cry since she had no idea how to spin straw into gold.
Suddenly a little man appeared in the locked room and asked her what was wrong. When she told him, he said "if I do it for you, what will you give me?" She promised him her necklace, so he sat down and in a whir and a trice the straw had been spun into gold. With that the little man took the necklace and disapappeared.

The king was so surprised that he made the farmer's daughter do it again on the following night. -And again the little man appeared this time doing the task
for the golden ring on the girl's finger.
The third night came and the farmer's daughter had nothing left to give to the little man who could spin straw into gold. So he said to her "Promise me your first born child if you become the Queen." So between certain death and an uncertain possibility, she agreed.
When the king came and found the piles of gold, he promptly married the farmer's daughter and made her Queen. A year later, after their first child had been born, the little man appeared to the Queen. "Give me what you promised."
Horrified, the Queen refused promising all the riches of the kingdom if only she could keep her baby.
"I'll give you three days to learn my name. If you succeed, you can keep the child."
So the queen gathered her messengers around and sent them out across the land to search for the name of the little man.
The first day the little man returned, but she had no answer for him.
The second day the little man returned and she guessed frantically, "Mr. Punnet?" No. "Mr. Ramekin?" " Mr. Softnoodles?" No. No.
The third day dawned and a messenger returned with a tale to tell. He had gone as far as the River that Borders the Southland. In a tiny house the size of a fox's den he had heard a tiny man dancing and singing around his fire.
"The babe is mine, the babe is mine, For Rumplestiltskin is my name-O."
So when the little man returned on the third day, the Queen smiled and asked "Is your name Tom?" No. "Charlie?" No. "Could it be... Rumplestiltskin?"
With that the little man turned an ugly shade of purple and stamped his feet so hard that he buried himself alive, never to be seen again.

Linoleum cut printed on an etching press. Daniel Smith oil-based relief ink and Stonehenge paper.