“Sleeping beauty” (Dornröschen) is a well known tale. The polish writer Stanislaw Lem made a funny variant of it part of his “Robot Fairy Tales” (Robotermärchen). Imagine the evolution of machines has left mankind behind and the robots are telling their “children” fairy tales, sometimes about men, those wet and wobbly people, who had made the machines their slaves long time ago.
I had fun making some prints to one of these stories, working in black and white. This is the fairy tale in a short version:
A robot king has a stuffed man in his treasure house and he decides to have a living one in a cage. He doesn´t listen to the warnings of his wise machines. The little princess is curios and talks to the man: Give me one of your teeth!
Ok, but give me the key to wind up your mind! answers the man.
He doesn´t give it back and so the princess falls asleep without the key.
Nobody can find the key and the man promises to tell the king, where the key is, when he gets his freedom.
So he escapes, but he doesn´t hold his promise and takes the key with him.
All the heroes of the robot-planet try to find the man and the key to wake up the princess and marry her. But they all die, except Erg. He waits until all the heroes are dead, then he comes back telling fantastic stories about his search, but in reality he only picks the lock without the key.
(S. Lem: Erg Selbsterreg überwindet den Bleichling
in: Robotermärchen, Suhrkampverlag 1. Aufl. 1982 )