And now that this not-so-fun task is out of the way, I can spend some more time enjoying the Brothers Grimm and go ahead and write my story just to satisfy myself. For example, I really REALLY enjoyed myself telling my own version of the Robber Bridegroom! Meanwhile, I'm curious what this whole peer response thing will be like. These little essays are so short, I would actually be glad (and curious) to read more than just four of them! :-)
Proof: how do you prove who you are, or prove what you saw? In the world of Grimm, you might need a golden proof token, magical or realistic; both kinds of tokens are powerful. For a magical token, consider the golden slipper which allows the prince to recognize his Aschenputtel. The slipper is not just the right size (plenty of women could have the same shoe size as our heroine); instead, the shoe mysteriously bestows identity on Cinderella, making her recognizable to the prince. The prince did not know her at first, but after she puts on the slipper, "the prince looked in her face, he knew again the beautiful maiden that had danced with him, and he cried, 'This is the right bride!'" It makes sense that in a story filled with magic, the identity token would have a magical quality; this is not your usual shoe. In a more realistic story, "The Robber Bridegroom," we find instead a realistic (and gruesome) golden token. The nameless heroine can dramatically prove that the story she has told is not a dream at all but the real truth because she possesses the real finger of the murdered woman, a finger bearing a golden ring. This golden token allows the wedding party to recognize the robber bridegroom for what he truly is - a murderer: "The robber, who during the story had grown deadly white, sprang up, and would have escaped, but the folks held him fast, and delivered him up to justice." In both fairy tales, justice is done, thanks to the proof provided by the magical token of a golden shoe or the horrifying but realistic token of a golden ring on a dead woman's finger. So, the next time you show your driver's license to a TSA agent, just be glad you don't have to meet the Grimm gold standard to prove who you are!