Yesterday I pulled up my essay of the Swan Maiden narratives -- which presents a rather dour view of marriage, when coercion rather than love creates the bonds of matrimony. So today, I offer The Monkey Girl, an essay first published in Kate Bernheimer's anthology Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Authors Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tale. This essay is about the transformative power that occurs when the hero rightly understands and respects his beastly bride. And it is about my own journey from a teenager to now with my own husband.
"Hearing the Prince's heavy sighs, the monkey makes him an offer: “Return me to the desert and I promise there will be another woman, more beautiful than you can imagine, waiting for you on your return. ” “And you? ” the prince inquires, “what will happen to you? ” “I will die," she answers simply."