The Tortoise and the Hare, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Ugly Duckling…how long has it been since you thought about these classic stories?
These gems from childhood bring back so many fond memories for me. For instance, I remember how in 1st grade I played the troll under the bridge in our school’s production of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Unfortunately, what I remember the most from that experience is being pushed off the bridge and almost getting a concussion.
Sometimes fairy tales left some psychological damage as well. When I was little we had a collection of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, but they were the original stories, not the watered down Disney versions. I’m not really sure who decided that these stories were appropriate for children, but between all the gruesome deaths and the abuse to animals and children, this stuff became fodder for nightmares during my childhood.
So why did I say that fairy tales bring back so many fond memories? I guess because I like being twisted and appreciate the quality in others as well. So why am I writing about all this stuff (besides the simple fact that I was bored and couldn’t think of anything better to discuss)? I guess because some of these fairy tales seem to have fallen by the wayside, and children don’t even know the stories anymore. When was the last time you heard any of the following stories told or saw a book about them?
- The Bremen Town Musicians
- Tom Thumb
- The Golden Goose
- The Goose Girl
- The Snow Queen
- The Little Match Girl (my favorite fairy tale of all time)
- The Nightingale
It seems that with the loss of once-beloved folk tales, we are also losing a bit of our history…a loss that truly strikes my heart with sadness.