Most fairy tales tell the same story: A beautiful princess faces some sort of obstacle, whether it’s getting cursed by a witch or being treated terribly by an evil stepmother. However, the early draft of an ancient fairy tale has been discovered that tells the story of a very different princess. This princess didn’t fall under any type of spell – she simply took an edible and didn’t wake up until 100 years later when a prince was kissing her.
“We realized midway through reading that the story was an original draft of Sleeping Beauty,” says fairy tale expert Annie Myrvang. “In this version, a princess falls asleep after eating an edible so strong it knocks her unconscious for a century. When she wakes up, a prince is trying to kiss her and she’s like, ‘What? No! Ugh why do I feel like shit.’”
The fairy tale begins with the princess, Briar Rose, being offered a marshmallow edible by three fairies. Per their instructions she eats only a fourth of the edible. However, after 45 minutes pass and she still feels nothing, Briar Rose consumes the rest.
“She makes the classic mistake a lot of people make when following directives from magical beings or when they just want to be high right away,” says Myrvang. “The edible was so strong. She never really stood a chance.”
By the second chapter of the manuscript, the edible has hit Briar Rose so hard she quietly sits by a tree for several minutes that feel more like hours, then falls into a deep slumber from which nothing can awaken her – not the fairies, their magic spells or the dozens of forest animals Briar Rose would talk to after smoking a J to just decompress from a long day of picking wildflowers and sweeping the hearth.
“Apparently the fairies who gave Briar Rose the edible thought she may have died, and they were like, ‘Shit,’ and moved her to a remote tower where she could sleep off the drugs and they wouldn’t have to take the heat for this chick’s innability to follow dosage directions,” says historian Claire Tatar. “She stayed in the tower for 100 years, completely zonked until she woke up sober. Her waking up actually had nothing to do with a prince’s kiss it was just that her incredible hunger finally started to outweigh how fricken stoned she was.”
In the original version, the prince just sort of shows up and tries kissing the sleeping princess, who screams and screams when she awakes to find his mouth hovering mere inches above her own. She had been sleeping so deeply and having such crazy ass dreams, she thought she was dead.
This fairy tale breaks from convention, but it’s certainly one worth reading and one that speaks to certain truths of the human condition. Who knew that princesses, just like modern-day people, also enjoyed getting so faded they slumber for centuries?