The book contains folk, cautionary tales, myths and legends which inspired damsels to overcome challenges in their environment: predators, hunger, oppression, or aggression, and traditional male norms and standards.
I love stories. I told stories as a child: in the backyard digging holes in the sand pile my dad use for cement, playing at the creek, finding frogs or fishing, walking to and from school, sitting in the swing in the garden rocking back and forth on warm Colorado nights, hiking in the Alaska Mountains, sitting on the train going back and forth to Colorado, or having a coffee at a café in Oakland, CA or telling a story to my children before they fell asleep, now my grandchildren who are engrossed with tales.
As a child, drawing was my way of communicating. Today, I am a writer of words as well as a verbal storyteller, which blends skills of illustrating, speaking, and written words to create, enhance, reimage, embroidery, fabricate, and elaborate stories to fascinate those who view, hear, and read the tales!
--->I love stories which inform us about our worlds.
This story says accept, be patient, work diligently on your goal, and you will liberate your family and yourself.
I was not a princess needing to save eleven brothers. I interrupted the tale to break my curse, from the traditional social norm that stated to marry at 18. I wanted an education to expand my life.
The tale warned me to stick with my goals, finish that education, no matter the hindrances. As Elisa worked, during my time, I worked to break the curse of the struggling working class: “All life is a struggle.” A barrier, a norm from the male social classes.
An education brought me choices. Working for my purpose was worth all the obstacles encountered; I am now a writer, artist, and storyteller while loyal to my primary and secondary families.
Elisa ran from the castle. Longing for her mother, she ran until she reached a forest. Elisa decided to find her eleven brothers. While she sobbed, night fell into darkness; the woods became silent. Elisa sat against a tree waiting for morning and fell asleep. Then Elisa woke to the sounds of splashing water. Making her way to the spring, she dipped her hands into the spring. Elisa saw her ugly face; she rubbed off the stains; she washed her hair and dress. By the stream, an old crone sat with a basket of berries. She offered Elisa berries. "Kind lady, have you seen eleven princes with golden crowns?” "Yesterday, Eleven swans with gold crowns on their heads swam near the river by the ocean." The old crone led Elisa down the hill to the river, which she followed to the ocean. Scattered on the shore caught in the seaweed were eleven swan feathers. At sunset, Elisa saw eleven swans with golden crowns on their heads fly to the shore. Flapping their long white wings, the swans settled. As the light sank below the water, the swan's feathers disappeared; Elisa saw eleven handsome men. She ran, calling their names. Between laughter and tears, the story told of the wicked stepmother, who spun the horrid spell. "I shall free you, my brothers." “We fly away tomorrow and cannot return for a whole year." “Please take me with you." "Dear sister, we will."