Monday, 19 January 2009

Maybe it’s the way I tell ‘em

I love fairytales. Good old fashioned fairytales. Fairies, bad witches, evil stepmothers, dwarves, a princess or two and a handsome prince thrown in for good measure.

I’ve been collecting the Ladybird series and the 4 year old is showing willing. Last week we read Snow White & The Seven Dwarves. She enjoyed it, and asked for it three nights in a row. For days she kept harping on about Snow White laying dead in a glass coffin. This opened up a full death discussion over breakfast.

I started thinking about what questions would be raised after the next few titles on the shelf.

We have …

… Goldilocks – A burglar, with a porridge habit
… Hansel & Gretel – Kidnapped by a cannibal witch
… Puss in Boots – Fraudulent and murderous talking cat
… Jack & the Beanstalk – Bone crushing cannibal giant
… The Emperor’s new Clothes – The emperor is a flasher

The one that I know will ignite some curiosity is Rapunzel.

Rapunzel’s father was a thief, of lettuces no less. The wicked witch kidnaps baby Rapunzel, locks her in a tower and makes her grow her hair into a golden ladder. There’s all that “Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair” business followed by the Prince falling and suffering a serious head trauma which makes him blind.

The witch chops Rapunzels hair off and once the Prince has wandered blindly through ‘many lands and lonely deserts’ they are reunited. Rapunzel’s tears heal his blindness and although Rapunzel looks like someone has hacked at her hair with a butter knife they marry with ‘great rejoicing’.

Maybe it’s the way I tell ‘em. Thank god for happily ever after eh?

9 comments:

Caren Kennedy said...

Laughs! Try explaining The Three Little Pigs!

The Grocer said...

It's taken me 43 years to work out that Rip Van Winkle was an alcoholic.

Robert said...

What my children understand least about fairy stories is that the boy and the girl go off together to live happily ever after. Everyone (< age 11) knows that boys don't want anything to do with girls and vice versa...

Tawny said...

My daughter used to love them when she was little, now she says, 'but mum that is daft!'

Adventure Mother said...

What about The Magic Porridge Pot? Surely that could give nightmares!

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

That's so funny.
We watched The Wizard of Oz recently and my son was asking constant questions about the Wicked Witch of the East (who the house landed on).
"so is she dead? Well how did she die? Did it chop her legs off? Did it squash her heart? Well where is the body then? Is the body . . . "

Just watch the bloody film son, it's supposed to be fun!

Mud in the City said...

My favourite was "Littel Black Sambo" - I didn't have the most politically correct childhood...

Daisy said...

Can I be honest and say fairytales frighten the life out of me! All of that evil and false expectations... we're into Jeremy Strong at the mo x

Mum's the word said...

I love that my daughter still loves her fairy tales and believes in them. The tooth fairy is still real in her world. But I do wonder when that will change and hope that it isn't for a very long time.