This is the second draft of my more controversial and stronger feminist re-telling, i think its improving but the ending feels a bit rushed and requires some more development. By singling out the fates of the particular men it gives me the change to create illustrations representing these fates that could look quite interesing/ humorous compared the the darkness of the story:
There was once a King who had 12 Daughters, each girl was strong, intelligent and very adventurous. This worried the king so he locked them in the bedroom they shared each night, but each morning he was baffled as to why their shoes were worn out beyond repair. No one could explain how it happened, except the girls who he didn’t actually ask.
The king proclaimed that any man in the kingdom, who could solve the mystery, could marry a princess of his choice and one day become king. This was an awful idea, the girls were far too clever for them to allow their adventures in the night to end and none of them could see the point in marrying someone they didn’t know or necessarily like.
At night where the princesses were really going, was underground to a wonderful forest path that led to a dance hall on a lake. It was an exciting place where they danced into the early hours of the morning with their friends. It was also a very mysterious place that you could only find your way out of, if you knew it well. This did not bode well for their potential suitors.
Some men did not make it that far, some fell for the sleeping draught given to them at night by one of the girls in their tea. When they awoke it was either in the dungeon of the castle where the girls had hidden them, or in pig pen in the grounds covered in muck.
Other men did not drink the potion; these were the foolish ones who decided to follow the princesses into a tunnel behind their bedroom mirror which led to the mystical land below ground. Once there they were at the mercy of 12 clever and wildly independent princesses:
Some of the men were simply tied to a tree and left with no clue how to return to the world above
Some were pushed into the lake and soaked
Some even got as far as the dance hall, only to be forced to become jesters for the amusement of the princesses and their friends
Some were not so lucky to be released the following morning
One man did outwit the girls at first, by wearing a magical cloak of invisibility but he was soon discovered when he tried to steal from the dance hall to prove to the king its existence. He was thrown into the lake and forgotten about.
This was all very well, the girls could outwit the men the king hired easily but this consistent hassle needed to end, because the girls were getting fed up with their fun being interrupted by being followed or spied on. They considered that if they were to be in charge of the kingdom then they could enjoy their nights with no fuss.
The girls went to the king and explained how disappointed they were in him trying to control their actions and spoil their fun. The king feared his 12 daughters wrath, as he had heard from castle employees about the men they find in the dungeon and the pig pen. So instead of being locked up in his own dungeon, he opted for early retirement and went to the neighbouring kingdom of Spain and left the 12 princesses in charge of the kingdom.
Since being in charge, the girls have grown up a lot and now are more responsible and have less late nights and take better care of their shoes. But they still go dancing underground and have exciting adventures and the best part is nobody tries to stop them.