The basic elements of the modern version of the story are:
At the christening of a baby princess, fairies offer gifts of beauty, good nature, intelligence, etc. However, a wicked fairy (or witch) places the princess under an enchantment, saying that, on reaching adulthood, she will prick her finger on a spindle and die.
A good fairy, though unable to reverse the spell, alters its effect so that the princess, instead of dying, will sleep until awakened by her true love's kiss. The witch's curse is fulfilled, and the princess and everyone in the castle goes to sleep.
Eventually, a prince arrives, and, hearing the story of the enchantment, enters the castle. In some versions, he has to overcome obstacles such as a thick forest or a dragon. He kisses the princess, everyone in the castle wakes, and they all live happily ever after.
The story has been brought to page, stage and screen in many different forms, most notably: