In this modern age and day, most of us spend our days running the rat race and getting worn down by work and school, which is probably why some of us fantasize about the happy endings of fairy tales to get away from real life for a while. But then reality slaps us in the face and reminds us that the birds and mice aren’t going to help you with your chores even if you can sing like Celine Dion, Prince Charming is not coming to whisk you away from your office desk, and your bills aren’t going to vanish even if you fall into a deep, deep sleep.

If the heroes and heroines in fairy tales existed in modern-day and had to work like the rest of us, would their stories still be filled with all that magical glitz and romance? Perhaps not. Japanese Twitter users have been re-interpreting some fairy tales from a corporate perspective, which was supposed to be a creative and entertaining activity, but the new tales were so close to home they couldn’t even laugh over them.

When we think of fairy tales, what often comes to mind are magical, whimsical tales with animals that sing and dance, and princesses and princes with “happily ever after” endings. Everything seems glamorous and beautiful because it’s usually the happy ending that leaves the most lasting impression in our minds, but if you think about it, many of the princesses we’re familiar with have had rather miserable life experiences. Cinderella was bullied by her step-sisters, Rapunzel was locked up in a tower, and Snow White was forced to hide in the forest because her step-mother was jealous of her beauty and wanted her dead.

We may feel a little sorry for them, but their hardships don’t stick in our minds so much because we don’t spend our days wandering the woods in poofy dresses, and not many of us have had evil witches and hunters hot on our heels. These modernized “corporate slave fairy tales” written and shared by Japanese Twitter users, however, are so relatable and real, they’re probably the most heart-wrenching “fairy tales” we’ve ever read.


“Would you like to buy a match?”
The little girl was selling matches. She had a monthly gross wage of 130,000 yen (US$1,088), was bound to 200 hours of obligatory overtime a month, and had to work in a harsh sub-zero environment. When the little girl gave in to the cold and struck a match, she was sued for unauthorized usage of the company’s goods.


“Grandma, why do you have such big ears?”
“All the better to listen to user complaints with, my dear.”
“Grandma, why do you have such big eyes?”
“All the better to stare at the computer with for 13 hours a day, my dear.”
“Grandma, why don’t you quit your job?”
“That’s because I can’t get my pension until I’m past 65, my dear…”


“Oh sea witch, I would love to become a full-time employee.”
“Well, you’re welcome to transfer to my company. But I ask for your voice in return.”

The little mermaid sealed the deal and became a full-time employee, but not only did she have her salary lowered, she wasn’t paid for overtime and didn’t have any days off either.

Without her voice, the little mermaid couldn’t even voice her case to her labor union, and she eventually lost hope and faded into bubbles, vanishing into the depths of society.

The woodcutter accidentally dropped his axe into the spring.
Boss: “Why did you drop your axe?”
Woodcutter: “Um, I-I’m sorry…”
Boss: “I don’t want to hear your ‘I’m sorry’, I want to hear your explanation for dropping the axe.”
Woodcutter: “I wasn’t careful with my perspiration and control of strength…”
Boss: “The axe belongs to the company, you know?”

The Prince saw Snow White lying motionless in the coffin, and bent down to whisper by her ear.
“The deadline is tomorrow.”
Snow White suddenly woke up. Seeing that, the Prince continued,
“And FYI, you’re not getting paid for the time you spent laying dead.”
Upon hearing that, Snow White really died.


The client came to the three little pigs, wanting them to build him a house.
First little pig: “Let’s build it with straw, it’s the fastest way.”
Second little pig: “Let’s build it with wood, it’s the most well-balanced way.”
Third little pig: “No, let’s build it with bricks, it’s the sturdiest.”
Client: “I want it sturdy like a brick house and built in the same time as a straw house.”

Goddess: “Did you lose a tough job with an annual income of 10 million, or an easy job with an annual income of 3 million?”
Employee: “I lost an easy job with an annual income of 3 million.”
Goddess: “You have been honest, I bestow you with both these jobs.”
Employee: “Both jobs?”
Goddess: “Put them together and you’ll get a tough job with an annual income of 3 million.”
Employee: “That’s a tough job…”

The hare ran as fast as he could.
The tortoise was moving slow and seemed to be a distance away.
Just before the hare crossed the goal line, his boss called out to him and handed him an extra pile of work.
He slogged through the endless work he was given because he was the more competent worker, and before he knew it, the tortoise had overtaken him and went home before him.


Cinderella: “The clock has struck 12, I have to go or I’ll miss the last train!”
Prince: “Wait, there are some last-minute changes to be made…”
Cinderella: “I can’t stay, I’ve already worked without a wink for the past three nights!”
Prince: “Ah, what’s this?”
Looking down, the Prince picked up Cinderella’s letter of resignation.

The End.

Will there ever be a happy ending to these “corporate slave fairy tales”? The conventional fairy tale lovers in us would like to believe that someday we’ll all get our happily ever afters. If you have any “corporate slave fairy tales” to share, feel free to get creative in the comments section!

Source: Zhaizhai News
Images: Wikimedia Commons (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)