The Story of Nutcracker known as “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” is a Christmas story written by E. T. A. Hoffmann in 1816. The nutcracker story revolves around Marie Stahlbaum and her favorite doll toy – Nutcracker.
Christmas Story for Kids:
“The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”
Marie and Fritz, her brother, are sitting outside their parlor, on Christmas Eve, waiting to see what their god-father Drosselmeyer has made in his workshop. Their highly imaginative minds conjure up ample ideas considering that Drosselmeyer is a clock maker and wonderful inventor. Finally, he allows the family into the room where everyone is given many gifts including the newly crafted clockwork castle which has moveable people and parts inside.
The children play with the castle for a while and soon get bored because the people and part keep repeating the same movements. As they are moving on to other toys, Marie noticed a gift – the nutcracker doll. She was told by his father that the doll belongs to every one of them and the children begin to use it to crack their nuts. Fritz breaks the nutcracker’s jaw as he tries to break a big hard nut. This upsets Marie who takes the doll and tries to fix his jaw by tying a bandage around it with a ribbon she got on her dress.
When Louise and Fritz go to bed, Marie asks to spend a little more time with the doll. She makes a bed for him in the toy cupboard and promises him that her godfather will fix him the next day and he’ll be back to his original self. She sees his face twitch and chalks it up to being her imagination working over-time. Then she looks up at the huge grandfather clock as it starts to create a ding-dong sound and is startled to see Drosselmeyer sitting atop of the clock doing all he can to stop it from chiming. Then, out come mice pouring out of the floor planks with their seven-headed King Mouse. As she jumps back in shock, Marie breaks the window pane of her toy cabinet.
To her amazement, the toys started to move and take arms as a battle rages between the toys and the mice. The toys, led by the Nutcracker doll with his ribbon bandage, lose the battle against the mice. The Nutcracker is taken captive and Marie tries to save him by throwing her shoe at the King Mouse. She passes out as the Nutcracker is about to be led away.
The following morning she tries to explain how she hurt her arm and the clash involving the dolls and mice. Her parents dismiss her tale saying that it was a fever-induced dream which Marie had as a result of her injury. Drosselmeyer, together with the Nutcracker, appears all fixed up and ready for work. He then proceeds to tell Marie how and why Nutcracker dolls were invented. Thus begins the tale of Princes Pirlipat and the Queen of mice- Madam Mouserink.
One day Madam Mouserink charmed Pirlipat’s mother into giving her and her brood free access to the lard in the kitchen which they promptly polished off. This made the King angry and those around him upset as the lard was to be used in the sausage for the evening meal. The King ordered Drosselmeyer, the inventor, to make traps for Madam Moserink and her offspring. The traps were very efficient, so much so that all Madam’s children were killed.
Mouserink promised to avenge her children’s death by doing something nasty to Pirlipat, who was an infant at the time. Her mother brought many cats into the house and minders to keep them awake by stroking them. This worked for a little while but eventually both the cats and minders got tired and they all fell asleep. Mouserink took advantage of the sleeping foe and used magic upon little Pirlipat making her ugly by giving her a mouth with wide grin, a cotton-like beard all on a big head. The furious King planted all the blame squarely at the feet of Droselmeyer and sent him away to look for a cure within four weeks. How fast the time passed and Drosselmeyer was unsuccessful. He went to see the quad psychic who told him that the magic curse could only be reversed if the baby ate the Crackertook nut.
The condition was astounding as her need to find a man that never been worn boots or shaved for his entire life whose she will need to give the cracked Crackertook. He was to give her the nut with his eyes shut then have to take seven backward steps while avoiding any stumble. The King immediately ordered the inventor and astrologer to go out and find the man and the special nut. Lo, they traveled for many a year and finally decided to return home resigning themselves to having failed at the mission. Surprise, surprise there was the Crackertook nut in a little nondescript shop and the unique man was Drosselmeyer’s own nephew. Oh what joy resounded in the kingdom when the Crackertook nut was discovered and the King promised that his daughter would marry the man who could break the Crackertook nut for his precious child.
Men came from far and wide, injured themselves trying to crack this special nut. Finally, Drosselmeyer’s nephew came and cracked the special nut with ease and handed the contents to Pirlipat. When she ate and swallowed the nut she instantly became beautiful. The nephew began to walk backwards as required and tripped over the Queen Mouse, Madam Mouserink. As he fell, the curse changed him into an ugly, wide mouthed grinning man with a cottony beard. The Princess was horrified at the change of the features, declined to marry the man and threw out him from the palace in disgust.
Marie is confined to her bed until her elbow heals. While she is sleeping, Marie hears the Mouse King tell her that she is to give him her sweets or else he will chew up the Nutcracker doll. Marie gives the mouse her sweets. The next night he demands another item. This trend continues until Marie is overwhelmed. Then, one night she hears the Nutcraker doll tell her to give him sword to kill the King Mouse. Her brother Fritz gives her a toy sword from his toy collection which she hands over to the Nutcracker. The following night, the Nutcracker brings Marie the seven crowns from the King Mouse. She is overjoyed and the Nutcracker takes her on a tour to the doll world. When she tires, Marie fell asleep in the Nutcracker’s castle and is transported back to her bed. When she wakes up, she recounts her adventures to her parents and shows them the 7 crowns. They think she is telling lies and maybe going mad and is banned form recounting her dreams.
One day as Marie is sitting by the toy cupboard looking at the Nutcracker doll she begins to talk out loud saying that if she had the chance she would not be mean and nasty like the Princess. She will love, marry and live with the Nutcracker even if he was ugly. Marie hears a loud bang and finds herself on the floor and sees her mother at the door of the playroom. She tells Marie to go and meet Drosselmeyer’s nephew. The nephew tells Marie that she broke the magic spell when she declared her undying love for the Nutcracker thus making him handsome once again. He proposed to her and she gladly accepted. The following year he came and took Marie away to Doll kingdom and was later crowned as the Queen of the land.