Monday, September 22, 2008

Once upon a time. . .

I came across this article today. It makes me very sad.

I know quite a few parents are annoyed by the princess phenomenon sweeping over their daughters like a contagious disease. I tend to agree with some of the underlying points of this article. Once the princess are removed from their harrowing stories they become nothing more than a pretty face. The role model becomes just a model.

Some say that fairy tales are too scary for kids. Grandma getting eaten by a wolf will give them nightmares. They might, I'm sure at some point the wolf gave me nightmares. It also gave me a non-sugar-coated view of death. And when it was told to me it had already been watered down from the original. I still remember being freaked out by the old Fairy Tale theater episodes (which are funny today).

The point of these stories was to warn children of some horrible things. Little Red Riding Hood warned of strangers, Cinderella told the story of how step families could be cruel, the Golden Goose warned of the error of greed. Most were not as neat and tidy as the fables of Aesop, but they had lessons to teach about some rough subjects. I think we need them now just as much as before.

So to copy off Cara Mama I'm going to ask a question of the week.

What was your favorite Fairy Tale or bedtime story that scared you as a kid?

Mine was probably Rumplestiltskin. Creepy little dude who tried to steal babies before they were born. Be careful what you offer someone, you may just have to pay them.

For anyone who would like some fantastic audio versions of some great stories I'd recommend these. I'm saving them so I can play them for our little guy once he's old enough to understand most of the words. I highly recommend Jack and the Bean Stalk and Rumplestiltskin. Both of the actors who read them are great.


Becoming Mommy said...

My favorite fairy tale?
I'm torn between The Wonderful Sheep (although, I didn't realize how horridly racist it was when I was 3) and the Enchanted Forest of Lilacs. I loved both so much.
I didn't get the watered down fairy tailes as a kid. I distinctly remember seeing those and wondering why Cinderella's sisters werent' cutting off their toes, why Ariel didn't stab herself, etc.

Sarah said...

I read alot of the original fairy tales when I was little. I don't remember ever being scared of them. However my sister was terrified of the troll in the 3 Billy Goats Gruff.

caramama said...

I loved the Faerie Tale theater videos!!! They were way better than Disney movies to me when I was little!

My favorite fairy tale was The Little Mermaid--the original, not the Disney version. Like Becoming Mommy said, she stabs herself in the end. She does not get the man and live happily ever after. I wonder what that says about me. I'll have to think about this.