Once upon a time there were two German brothers - Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm - who embarked on a journey of collecting the best European / German fairytales of their age.

Popularly called Grimm Brothers, they gathered stories about prince and princesses, evil stepmothers, castles and magic and some of the most popular folklore of their time.

They gave the world some of its best fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, among others.

Thus in 1812 was born a collection of 86 fairy tales that went on to become one of the best read stories of the world and redefined the childhood of several generation of kids.

Thursday marks the 200th anniversary of the first publication of the Grimm brothers' Die Kinder und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales), their collection of fairy tales.

And search engine major, Google, has featured an interactive doodle on its homepage to mark the anniversary of Grimm Fairy Tales.

The doodle on its part is the story of Little Red Riding Hood and it depicts elaborately the entire story of the little girl visiting her ailing grandmother, going into the woods, meeting the 'big bad wolf' who in turn eats up the girl's grandmother and then devours the kid. Red Riding Hood and her grandmother are subsequently saved by a woodcutter. And then they ' lived happily ever after'. Users need to click onto an arrow button to follow the story.

The Google logo appears first with Red Riding Hood as the first O in Google and again at the end of the story where it is made to appear as though it is being woven by Red Riding Hood's grandma.

The first volume of Grimm's Fairy Tales was published in 1812; the second volume of 70 stories followed in 1814. The seventh and final came out in 1857 and it contained 211 stories split across two volumes.

These editions were extensively illustrated by Philipp Grot Johann.

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 20, 2012)
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