Rewrite of Rumpelstiltskin

Rewrite of Rumpelstiltskin - student project

After considering several fairy tales, including Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, The Red Shoes, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin and Rapunzel, I finally decided on Rumpelstiltskin.  I wasn't happy with Rumpelstiltskin dying at the end of the story  I decided to do a twist and make him the hero instead of a selfish, uncaring manikin(little man).


                                                          Original Story Breakdown

Story Beats:

Setup - The miller tells the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold.  The king tells him to bring his daughter to the palace and forces her to spin straw into gold.

  • Daughter goes to the palace
  • King orders her to spin straw into gold
  • Daughter doesn’t know how to spin straw into gold
  • Manikin(little man) offers to do it for her in exchange for a reward
  • For his last reward he wants the girl to give him her first child if she becomes queen
  • King is delighted with the gold and marries the girl
  • The child is born and the manikin returns to claim the child
  • The girl cries and begs the little man not to take her child
  • He feels sorry for her and tells her he won’t take her child if she can guess his name
  • The messenger finds out the little man’s name and tells the queen

Ending - The little man gets angry when she guesses his name.  He stomps the floor so hard that he makes a big hole in the floor.  His foot gets caught and he dies trying to remove himself from the floor.


Geography – the king’s palace

Time Period – unspecified

Character Profiles:

  • The miller – proud father
  • Miller’s daughter – victim
  • King – evil, greedy ruler
  • Manikin – little man that comes to the girl’s rescue

Writing Style:

  • Repetition of king demanding straw be turned into gold

Key Question:

How can we keep greed out of our hearts?




                                                                     Retelling Breakdown 

Key Question:

What would happen if the king died instead of Rumpelstiltskin?


Kings palace

Writing Style:

  • Showing the king’s greed
  • Everything is not always as it seems

Character Profiles:

  • Miller – proud and boastful father
  • Miller’s daughter – beautiful, kind and having a pure heart
  • King – evil and greedy ruler
  • Rumpelstiltskin – A manikin(little man) that helps the girl

Story Beats:

Setup:  Miller boasts to king that his daughter can spin straw into gold

  • Miller’s daughter goes to the palace as ordered by the king
  • Girl is commanded to spin straw into gold
  • Girl cannot spin straw into gold
  • Manikin spins the straw for her on three different occasions in return for a reward
  • He refuses to help her on her fourth request
  • King gets angry when there is no more gold
  • He stomps the floor so hard he falls through, catches his leg and dies trying to get remove his leg from the floor


                                                                  Retelling Road map 

Section 1: Beginning

  • Establish setting
  • Introduce the king and the miller’s daughter
  • Show the reason for her being at the palace

Section 2: Middle

  • Follow the original story of spinning the straw into gold
  • As a twist have the little man eventually refuse to help her
  • King gets mad when there is no more gold
  • He gets mad and stomps the floor so hard it breaks through and the king is trapped
  • He tries to pull his leg out and pulls so hard that he splits in two

Section 3: End

  • Rumpelstiltskin is revealed as the prince
  • He becomes king
  • Marries the miller’s daughter and has a child


                                                       Rewrite of Rumpelstiltskin


Once there was a poor miller who had a beautiful daughter.  Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the king, and in order to make himself appear important he said to him, “I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold.”

The king said to the miller, “That is an art which pleases me well, if your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her tomorrow to my palace, and I will put her to the test."

And when the girl was brought to him he took her into a room which was quite full of straw, gave her a spinning wheel and a reel, and said, “Now set to work, and if you have not spun this straw into gold by tomorrow morning early, you must die.”

Thereupon he himself locked up the room, and left her in it alone.  So there sat the poor miller’s daughter, and for the life of her could not tell what to do, she had no idea how straw could be spun into gold.  She grew more and more frightened and began to weep.

But all at once the door opened, and in came a little man, and said, “Good evening, mistress miller, why are you crying so?”

The girl answered, “I have to spin this straw into gold, and I do not know how to do it.”

“What will you give me,” asked the manikin, “if I do it for you?”

“My necklace,” said the girl.

The little man took the necklace, seated himself in front of the wheel, and spun all of the straw into gold.

By daybreak, the king was already there, and when he saw the gold he was astonished and delighted, but his heart became very greedy.  He had the miller’s daughter taken into a much larger room full of straw and commanded her to spin that also in one night if she valued her life.  The girl did not know how to help herself, and was crying, when the door opened again, and the little man appeared.   “What will you give me if I spin that straw into gold for you?”

“The ring on my finger,” answered the girl.

The little man took the ring, again began to turn the wheel, and by morning had spun all the straw into glittering gold.

The king rejoiced beyond measure at the sight, but still did not have enough gold, and he had the miller’s daughter taken into a still larger room full of straw, and said. “You must spin this, too, in the course of this night.”

When the girl was alone the manikin came again for the third time, and said, “What will you give me if I spin the straw for you this time also?”

“I have nothing left to give,” answered the girl.

“Then promise, if you should ever marry, to give me your first child.”

The miller’s daughter, not knowing how else to help herself in this strait, promised the manikin what he wanted, and for that he once more spun the straw into gold.

When the king came in the morning, and found all as he had wished, his heart was again filled with greed.  Not wanting to lose his new found source of wealth, he had the girl locked away within the palace.

As time went by, the king squandered away most of his wealth and once again sent for the miller’s daughter.  “You must once again spin the straw into gold before I return in the morning,” he commanded, “for my riches are almost gone”.

The girl began to lament and cry for she could not spin the straw into gold.

Once again the little man returned.  He pitied her but refused to spin the straw into gold.  “The king will never leave you in peace and I cannot continue to help you.”   “I will stay the night with you and confront the king when he returns.”

At daybreak the king returned, expecting to see more gold in place of the straw.  When the king saw there was no gold he became so angry that he stomped and stomped and plunged his right foot so deep into the earth that his whole leg went in.  Then in rage he pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two.

The miller’s daughter was so happy to be free of the king that she fell into the little man’s arms and cried great tears of joy. 

When her tears fell on the little man a startling change began to occur.  There where the manikin had been now stood a tall, handsome young man. 

The girl was so shocked that she fainted and fell to the floor.  The young man bent down and kissed her face, awakening the girl. 

“Who are you?” she asked.

“My name is Rumpelstiltskin,” he said. “I am the son of the queen and stepson of the evil king who imprisoned you.  When my mother died, my stepfather had a sorceress put a spell on me to keep me from becoming king.”   The girl gasped.  “The spell which transformed me into a manikin could only be broken by the tears of a girl with a pure heart.” 

The prince claimed the throne as the rightful king and married the miller’s daughter.  A year later they had a beautiful daughter.  The new king and queen reigned over the land for many happy years.


Linda Smith
Writer and Avid Crafter