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November 29, 2016 at 10:47 AM UTC

But…but we still don’t know why the princess was kneading with ring on or why the prince wanted her to bake for him!!! Loved it, but…questions! (I really did love it. One of my favorite leading men in all your books, actually.)


December 07, 2016 at 09:58 PM UTC

Actually if you read through the part where Rainer eats the bread (SPOILERS!!) you’ll see Clever Collie never wore her ring! (Rainer basically admits to swiping it–which he did so in the scene when she fell on top him while watching the sheep.) I really loved Rainer and Collie as well, but their story would have been very hard to flesh out into a full length novel. 🙁


November 08, 2016 at 03:54 PM UTC

This has been my favourite fairy tale since I was 11. I simply loved your version of it. thanks so much.


November 14, 2016 at 11:18 PM UTC

Wow, hats off to you, Greta! 🙂 I think you might be the first person who doesn’t only know of the story of The Dirty Shepherdess, but loved it! That’s so fun that you found it at such a young age!


November 03, 2016 at 05:25 AM UTC

Wow! Once Upon a Happy Ending definitely sounds interesting. 🙂 I have been so busy, but I will read as soon as possible. “The Princess Who Chased Sheep”/ “The Dirty Shepherdess” reminds me of Shakespeare’s play King Lear. , However, much more hilarious than Shakespeare! (I thought the princess was pretty smart at the end with the salt thing though.)


November 14, 2016 at 11:05 PM UTC

Yes, that’s true that the princess did show her cleverness at the end of the story with holding back the salt. Also, I have to give her credit for playing that prank on her dad. In most fairy tales the main characters never interact with their parents again after they initially set out on their quest/journey/whatever. (That might be because 70% of them are orphans, but still!)


November 02, 2016 at 11:40 PM UTC

I just finished reading the Princess who chased sheep and i LOVED it soooo much, it was so cute. I think you should definitely do more short stories they work for you so well. by the way what is your favorite brothers grim story?


November 03, 2016 at 01:54 AM UTC

I’m glad you liked it! I do love writing short stories as they really let me throw up the amp on my humor, but the romance is much more tricky because I have a short amount of time to present it. As for my favorite Grimm story…I don’t know what it’s officially called, but there’s a story about a boy (the youngest of three) and his name is “idiot.” It also involves an evil gnome who kicks people, three trapped princesses, and a quest to save them. It’s so ridiculous you can’t help but laugh the entire time you read it!

Es Irene

November 02, 2016 at 11:17 PM UTC

I absolutely loved your retelling of the Dirty Shepherdess! (For some reason I was able to read it last night…or really, really, really early this morning). I was hoping you’d write a post about the original fairytale, and was ecstatic to see that you had!
Although the other fairytale retellings in the anthology were wonderful, The Princess Who Chased Sheep was definitely my favorite. (I loved the father/daughter love storyline).

Another GREAT job!


November 03, 2016 at 01:57 AM UTC

I’m so glad you liked it! 😀 I really enjoyed writing the story, but I was a little buggered that I had to make the romance blossom in such a short time. (That’s usually not my style.) Most of all, though, I’m so glad you liked the father/daughter aspect. Most often people just love the romance, but as I mentioned in the post I really wanted to write this story because of the the father/daughter subplot!


November 02, 2016 at 09:55 PM UTC

First off, I love the way you destroy centuries-old fairytales by using common sense, I just about snort from laughing every time I read it. Maybe the Grimm Bros, thought that by repetedly specifing that the princess was smart they could brainwash the readers to believe it. Anyway, just to chitchat, I wanted to tell that in my country this tale is just the same nearly to the dot, but it’s called “Pelle d’Asino” (which means “donkey skin”) and the princess is not chased away by her father, but is forced to escape from her country to avoid marrying an old-as-Noah king. She has some excuses from her idiotness, though. For once, she doesn’t strip naked in front her pigs (not sheep) to dress up, but only when she’s alone in her room during rest hours (I suppose it is a form of escapism from her bad situation). The donkey skin who gives the tale its name comes from a poor donkey which really did nothing wrong but having the power to sneeze money. Since it was so precious, logically the princess asked the decrepit king to kill and skin it as wedding gift in order to discourage him from marrying her (fairy godmother suggestion), which in turn ended up as a very expensive dead donkey, a runaway spouse, a bankrupt coutry and a king that, for some unfathomable reasons, at the end of the story congratulates the not-so-smart princess for her wedding and asks her forgiveness for trying to make her a queen. Go try to understand them. By the way, the prince is equally dumb, whatever the version. I really look forward to your retelling of the story, and I can’t wait to hear a sensible explanation for why someone should knead bread with jewellry on, which I did by mistake and have never done again. Have a nice day, for I suppose, considering that here in Italy it’s nearly evening/night, it should be morning there where you are. Bye!


November 03, 2016 at 02:02 AM UTC

AHAHAHAAH Thank you for that readers digest version of Donkey Skin! It totally made my day! (Although I feel really bad for that poor donkey!) One of these days I’m going to write a fairy tale from a side character’s perspective who witnesses the princess and prince’s stupidity through the eyes of logic. That would be hysterical!

Anyway, don’t feel bad about kneading bread with jewelry. The only reason I know it’s a dumb idea is because I did the same thing once. 😉


November 02, 2016 at 07:16 PM UTC

Are we just posting to the Facebook page to “talk” to you Friday?


November 03, 2016 at 01:59 AM UTC

Yep! I’ll be posting on there as well, holding polls, asking questions and such so you can always just leave comments. (I’m planning to start off the fun with a video too, because I bought a webcam for work, dang it, and I’m going to use it!!)

The Princess Who Chased Sheep

Today marks the release day of Once Upon a Happy Ending! I was given an advanced copy, and I haven’t finished it yet, but I particularly loved the Rumpelstiltskin, Goose Girl, and Rapunzel retellings. The stories do contain varying levels of violence and romance, but they all have that promised happy ending.

Just as a reminder, this Friday the other authors and I are hosting a Facebook Live Event! There will be authors on there from morning until evening, but I’ll be on there from 9 am to 11 am Eastern time. (You don’t have to be on the whole time, just check in when you like. And PLEASE check in. I get awkward when I have no one to talk to.)

Now, as many of you know, I absolutely adore taking the original fairytales my stories are based on, and ripping them apart summarizing them in a post. In celebration of the anthology’s release, today we’re going to take a look at the Dirty Shepherdess–which is the original Grimm Brothers fairy tale I based my story, The Princess Who Chased Sheep, on.

Our story revolves around a clever princess. We know she is clever, even though all evidence points to the contrary, because the Grimm brothers tell us so no less than six times.

One day her father, the king, approaches her and her older sister and asks how much they love him. Her older sister tells the king that he is the apple of her eye. The king is very pleased. When the clever princess tells him she loves him as she loves the salt that seasons her food, the father unexpectedly has a very poor reaction. (I say unexpected because the first daughter also compared him to a food item, but apparently he’d rather be an apple than salt.) The king is so enraged, that he orders the clever princess to leave the palace. He specifies that she is not allowed to take any method of transportation, and she may only take what she can carry.

So the princess dresses in a maid’s uniform, packs a small satchel with a fancy dress and a king’s ransom in jewelry—this is the only time in which I do really think she is clever—and makes her way through her father’s kingdom, searching for work.

Eventually the princess is hired as a shepherdess, and is there for several months before she gets homesick and is struck with the

Yes, that looks like a really great dress to wear when one is responsible for a flock of animals. +5 Intelligence.

Yes, that looks like a really great dress to wear when one is responsible for a flock of animals. +5 Intelligence.

sudden desire for her old life. Naturally she decides to strip in front of the sheep and dress in her fancy gown with all her jewelry.  (Because who wouldn’t think that’s a great idea?) Not long after she changes a prince waltzes through the meadow where the sheep are grazing, and instantly falls in love with her.

The clever princess runs off, and the lovestruck prince is unable to track her down. He goes to the village and asks everybody about the beautiful maiden in the meadow. The villagers laugh at him, and tell him the only female up there is the dirty shepherdess.

The lovestruck prince, thinking some kind of witchcraft is at work, returns home. However, he has fallen so deeply in love with our clever princess, though he has never spoken to her and knows nothing about her, that he begins wasting away and is unable to eat. Eventually he makes a request to have the shepherdess bake a loaf of bread for him. (How he jumped from thinking there was witchcraft at work, to wanting the dirty shepherdess who he has never set eyes on to make him bread, I still don’t know.)

The so-called clever princess decides that when she bakes the bread and kneads it, it would be a splendid idea to wear all of her royal rings. (For anyone who hasn’t ever kneaded bread, it is an incredibly sticky process, and the dough gets all over your hands.)

The lovestruck prince bites into the loaf of bread and almost swallows one of the clever princess’s rings, which came off when she was kneading the dough. (How did she miss that?) The prince, proving to be as equally clever/dim as the princess, declares that he will marry the maiden whose finger fits the ring. (No, he didn’t figure out whose ring it was, as you will see in a moment.)

Maidens come far and wide, but none are able to put the ring on their finger. Eventually the clever princess/dirty shepherdess is called for, and is naturally able to slip the ring on. Mr. Lovestruck-the-Idiot still doesn’t recognize her, but he declares he will fulfill his promise. The clever princess asks for water and a nice dress, and gets all cleaned up. When she appears before the prince and his family, she once again looks like a princess, so the prince flings himself at her feet and begs her to marry him.

She agrees, and after getting permission from her father–who to his credit never ceased to regret his harshness since exiling her–they hold the wedding. The clever princess’s father and sister attend, and during the banquet the clever princess instructs the kitchen servants to serve her father unseasoned food that contains no salt.

When the king makes faces, the clever princess asks him what is wrong, and he explains how tasteless the dishes are. The princess wastes no time in pointing out how delightful salt makes food taste, and yet he grewn angry with her for comparing him to salt. The king repents, embraces his passive-aggressive daughter, and is then given seasoned food which he proclaims to be the best he has ever had.

The end.

I really enjoyed this fairy tale as the main component of the story is not the love the prince and princess share, but the love the princess has for her father. I also enjoyed the absolute ridiculousness–like wearing rings when making bread–and I had a really fun time trying to shore up those aspects of the story. It was also quite refreshing because generally any fairy tale that includes cleverness as a component stars a male character. Or a cat as we saw in Puss in Boots.

I hope you check out the anthology—it is available in Kindle Unlimited—and enjoy my retelling! As you probably expect, my lovestruck prince is much smarter than the dunce presented here. Thanks for reading, Champions, and have a great day!

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