Glen’s away at the moment, so I’m seeking solace in the arms of another man. He’s called Mr Hesse and I picked him up in the library. Herman’s not here in person, but he wrote some stonking fairy stories. Proper ones: with giants and goblins and elves and all the rest. I can hardly put ’em down.
All of life is here.
Unrequited love. Family feuds. Friendships and quarrels. Anger and malice and grief and greed.
The beauty who can’t get out of bed. (Depression? Or just too many late nights?)
Fashion victims with crystal slippers and red Prada hoods.
Jack and his magic ‘beans’. Snow White and the apple detox. Ugly ducklings. Wolves in (Granny’s) clothing. Little boys who won’t grow up. Rapunzel and her dodgy hair extensions.
However, according to a recent survey, one in five parents have scrapped telling fairy tales on the grounds that they are unrealistic and unsuitable.
Here’s a few comments;
1. Hansel and Gretel – ‘ likely to scare young children’
2. Jack and the Beanstalk – ‘unrealistic’.
3. Gingerbread Man – gingerbread man ‘gets eaten by a fox’ … the Horror
4. Cinderella – anti-feminist story about young girl doing all the housework.
7. Rapunzel – terrifying kidnap saga
8. Goldilocks and the Three Bears – sends the wrong messages about stealing
I’m not convinced.
Pick up any magazine and it’s selling you some version of the fairy tale. The royal wedding. X-Factor redemption. The love rivals, vying for glory. The ‘monsters’: be they footballers or bankers. Quests: for youth and fame and wealth. The princess rescued by her plastic surgeon.
How many of us are waiting for our prince? The ball dress that’ll transform our fortunes? The decor to make our home a castle?
Who hasn’t moaned about an ugly sibling? Or dreamt of vanquishing an evil boss?
What heart doesn’t harbour dragons?
Sorry guys, but the Big Bad Wolf’s not confined to the library.