POETRY FRIDAY: A Fairy Tale Poem Featuring Rumpelstiltskin

RumpelstiltskinBy Elaine Magliaro

Over twenty years ago—while I was still teaching elementary school—I began working on a collection of humorous poems about familiar characters from fairy tales and folktales. Those characters included Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the Wolf of Three Little Pigs fame, the Three Billy Goats Gruff, Rapunzel, the Frog Prince, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel.


For Poetry Friday this week, I’m posting a poem written in the voice of the miller’s daughter for whom Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold.

By Elaine Magliaro

You’re back again?
I knew you’d be.
You want my baby?
Let me see:

Her dirty diapers
Are obscene
And changing them
Beneath a queen.

She spits up food
And likes to drool.
Too bad that she’s
Too young for school.

Every day is
Such a hassle.
We have no daycare
At the castle.

She cries all night.
I get no rest.
No wonder I
Don’t look my best!

I’m so exhausted
And frustrated.
Motherhood is

Although I love
My daughter Ann,
I’ll keep my promise,
Little man.

Now…here’s the cream
For diaper rash.
And here’s the baby.
Gotta dash!

My granddaughter Julia enjoys Paul Galdone’s version of the Rumplestiltskin tale. NOTE: Paul Galdone’s illustrated retellings of fairy tales and folktales make wonderful read-alouds for toddlers, preschoolers, and children in grades K-2.


Another of my favorite retellings of Rumpelstiltskin is Paul O. Zelinsky’s elegantly illustrated version. It received a Caldecott Honor Award for its illustrations.

RumpelstiltskinZelinskyClick here to view more illustrations from Zelinsky’s book.

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1 Response to POETRY FRIDAY: A Fairy Tale Poem Featuring Rumpelstiltskin

  1. bettykath says:

    Great poem. I’ll check on the books you recommend. I’m helping to homeschool a 3rd grader. I think she would get a kick out of reading these variations on a theme.

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