For the Grimm brothers the raw, inevitable, injustice of life keeps coming back and forth is. This may be weird for some of us because after the Second World War, the US and Europe have insisted in promoting an idea of the world where injustice and unfairness are bad, are not correct, are a deviation from the norm.
In Grimms’ stories of the early nineteenth-century —derived mostly from Medieval tales— justice was not the norm or the point to be made. Moreover, unfairness in life didn’t have to be explained or justified, as it’s today, in Grimms’ tales shit simply happens.
When we read their tales we wonder about the reasons of the characters: Why is this cat/man/step-mother so mean? Why is this disgrace happening to this so cute little animal? Why is there no good ending for the main character? The tales transcribed by the Grimms didn’t want to explain why the world is not just, they only let us know that irrespectively of what we do, things can go wrong, that life’s unfair.
Nobody has the duty to help an inferior being. In “The Death of the Hen” the hen doesn’t share a nut with her rooster partner and starts choking. Two persons that could have help denied the aid to the rooster, and so the poor hen dies. Six mice, a lion (what he’s doing in the forest is not explained), a deer, a wolf and a fox helped the rooster hauling the hen (don’t ask me why). When they were about to cross a brook they all fell, drown, and died (what a massacre!) The rooster remains alone with the hen’s body, digs a grave, and also dies. Inferior beings are not worth a rescue, this is the lesson. Don’t expect help from somebody on a better position.
Men are crap, and you should never trust them. In “Cat and Mouse Partnership“ we see an uneven relationship –an allegory to wife and husband(?) The mouse (female) and the cat (male) are partners and live together. They keep a pot of fat as provision for winter hidden in the church. The cat lies three times to the mouse and eats the fat. At the end she (the mouse) complains to the cat about the betrayal, but he threatens with eating her if she keeps grumbling. Men are so mean and hold to much power in a relationship that you cannot even protest, if you do then it gets worst.
And the Grimms were right, we need to remember from time to time that “that is the way of the world”.