Card Design 2004

Card Design 2004

The theme for 2004 is monkeys (obviously) and fairy tales.

Chinese New Year
Based on the classical Chinese story "Journey to the West"

The Brave Little Tailor
A German fairy tale about a brave and clever tailor by Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. One day this young tailor killed seven flies which were on his bread. Feeling very pleased with himself, he embroidered ďSeven at one strokeĒ on his girdle and wore it to town. Thus started his adventures where he used his wit and courage to trick and defeat giants, a unicorn and a wild boar. Having fulfilled many quests set by the king, he was given the princessí hand in marriage and half the kingdom. From a lowly tailor, he became a king.

There are many versions of Cinderella and the earliest recorded version is from China in the 9th century. Even in this version, the writing implied that readers are already well-acquainted with the story. There is no fairy godmother that helped Cinderella. It is a magical fish instead. Also, it is a golden shoe instead of a glass shoe which identified Cinderella. The fairy godmother and glass shoe came from a 1697 French version Contes de ma Mere L'Oye by Charles Perrault. In the Grimm Brothers' German version, known as Aschenputtel, or Ash Girl, the heroine planted a tree on her motherís grave and magical help appeared in the form of a white dove and gifts.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon
This is a story about a poor farmerís daughter who married a white bear which promised to make her family rich. The white bear was a prince put under a curse by his stepmother so he could only take human form at night. Due to her curiosity to see her husbandís face, she ruined a cure which would have broken the curse. Thus she needed to seek and save her husband by going to his stepmotherís castle which lies east of the sun and west of the moon.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears
There were once three bears Ė the Great Bear, the Middle Bear and the Little Bear who lived in a forest peacefully. One day when they were not home they had an unexpected visitor, Goldilocks, who ate their porridge, sat in their chairs, and slept in their beds. They were certainly very displeased when they got home and found out their porridge has been eaten, their chairs sat in and their beds slept in.

The Goose Girl
A princess was married to a faraway land. On the journey, she was bullied by her waiting-maid and in the end was forced to switch places with her. When they reached their destination, the waiting-maid was married to the prince while the real princess became a goose girl. However the king was wise and discovered the truth. The real princess was married to the prince and the waiting-maid was punished.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack was sent by his mother to sell their cow at the market. On the way, he was persuaded by a butcher and exchanged the cow for some beans. When he planted those beans, they grew into a huge beanstalk that reached towards the sky. Jack climbed up the beanstalk and reached a castle where a wicked giant lived. He stole a magical hen which lays golden eggs from the giant. On his second adventure, he stole the giantís money bags. On this third trip, when he tried to steal the giantís magical harp, the harp screamed and woke the sleeping giant. Jack quickly climbed down the beanstalk and chopped it. The giant, who was climbing down the beanstalk, fell to his death.

Princess and the Pea
There was once a prince who wished to marry a princess, but although having met many princesses, he was never sure whether they were real princesses. One stormy night there was a visitor Ė a princess soaked to the skin. The queen mother had an idea to test whether the princess was a real princess. When preparing the bed for the princess, she secretly put three peas on the bedstead, and then put twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds over it. The next day the queen asked the princess whether she has slept well. The princess said she slept badly because there was something in her bed. Thus the queen knew she was a real princess because only a real princess could feel three peas under twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds.

Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood was sent by her mother to bring some cakes to her grandmother. On her way she met a wolf, who wanted to eat her up but did not dare to do so because there were some woodcutters nearby. He asked her where she was going and she told him that she was visiting her grandmother. She also told him where her grandmother lived. After that the wolf went to her grandmotherís house, ate her, and then lay in her bed disguised as her. When Little Red Riding Hood arrived, the wolf persuaded her to come close, and then ate her up too. Moral of the story? Donít talk to strangers.

Sleeping Beauty
The king and queen had a baby girl and invited all the fairies in the kingdom to the christening. However, they forgot to invite one fairy. She was angry and came to put a curse on the princess so that she will injure herself on a spindle when she was sixteen and die. A good fairy changed the spell so that she will fall asleep instead of dying. When the princess reached sixteen, she indeed hurt herself on a spindle and fell into a deep sleep. The good fairy said that the curse can only be broken if a man of pure heart falls in love with the princess. The king and queen asked the fairy to put everyone in the castle asleep, so that when one day the curse was broken and their daughter awoke, life in the castle would continue from there. One hundred years later, a prince from a neighbouring kingdom found the castle by accident, and fell in love with the princess upon casting his eyes on her. Thus the curse was broken and the princess awoke.

Toads and Diamonds
A tale of two sisters, the elder proud and bad-tempered but the younger kind and courteous. The elder sister was spoilt by their mother but the younger was treated badly. One day when fetching water for her mother, the younger sister met a poor woman begging for a drink. Being kind she gave the poor woman a drink. The poor woman was a fairy in disguise, who repaid her kindness by giving her a gift so that every time she speaks, a flower or jewel will come out of her mouth. Seeing this amazing gift, the elder sister visited the water fountain. This time the fairy appeared as a princess. The elder sister was proud and rude, and the fairy put on her a curse that every time she speaks, snakes and toads will come out of her mouth.

Monkeys climb trees, so I guess that includes Christmas trees as well.