Fairy tales can come true?
It could happen to you. . .
Please don’t let it be true!
Beauty and the Beast
In spite of learning so much more about Beauty and the Beast, I still suspect that Beauty and many other females in fairy tales suffer from Stockholm syndrome. I would prefer this story:
A close review of old stories for children, even nursery rhymes, and songs, contain thinly veiled topics that few would find healthy for young children. Some subject matter that comes to mind includes poverty, patriarchy, arranged marriages, cannibalism, incest, and beastiality. (I sure wish I had not used Google to find the correct spelling of that last word!)
The country of origin seems to have little influence on whether the tale is age appropriate. Beauty and the Beast was written in France as we learned in the last post, Aesop’s Fables are from Greece, Hans Christian Andersen was Danish and the Brothers Grimm were German.
Again I am guilty of jumping to conclusions without complete information because when I started reading full versions of many nursery rhymes I found that I was only familiar with part of the story. For instance, I had only heard the first verse of Baa Baa Black Sheep. Did you know that the last verse is about a zebra? There are workable theories that this rhyme is based on slavery or unfair taxing, but we won’t go there today.
Again I had not read or heard all of Little Bow Peep. Did you know that when she found her sheep it “made her heart bleed” because of the loss of their tails? I’m not sure what it is about tails but The Three Blind Mice had theirs surgically removed by the farmer’s wife!
Poor Humpty Dumpty is mortally crushed in a fall. Everyone knows I suppose that Peter held his wife captive in a pumpkin shell and Jack sustained a skull fracture which Jill tried to replicate as she came tumbling after.
Maybe it is the nurse in me, but I see emergency departments filled with these casualties. Perhaps you’re seeing it reported on cable news or from the viewpoint of law enforcement.
I would be willing to bet that you have either sung “Rock-a-bye Baby” or had it sung to you. Did you, like me, picture that sweet fragile baby crashing to the ground when the windstorm breaks the limb upon which its cradle was hung? Could it be that the words really do not matter at all? Is it conceivable that the only thing that matters is that someone is lovingly singing a lullaby?
You may wonder what these four posts entitled Beauty are about and if so my job here is done. I want you to wonder, to question. I am interested in thoughts this series might have prompted. I would like to know your opinions, your favorite or least favorite children’s story, whether you reached any conclusions. Please share in the comments. Thank you.
Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes is brilliant. It seems much more like an adult tale than a child’s, but regardless there is such a valuable lesson contained in this story. It isn’t sing-song verse nor does it rhyme. It does not frighten but manages to carry a profound message.
Part 4 of 4
Theme photo in title by Pixabay
4 thoughts on “Beauty 4”
Definitely food for thought. This made me think of some other somber Nursery Rhymes, too, like Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. Was Simple Simon selfish or was he asking for fair wages? Little Miss Muffett is frightened by a spider, Tom Tom the Piper’s Son… Clearly we were taught them to enhance language skills, rhythms etc, with little thought to the subliminal messages….You have given me things to think about.. I may ask my own what ones they remember and how it made them feel…
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Thought: Imagine Story content that will be written from the present Era.
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I referenced the book “Women Who Run With The wolves” by Clarissa, Pinkola Estes in a former post. The author is a storyteller from a long line of story tellers and is also a Jungian psychologist. One of the chapters in the book is the story about the ugly duckling. As you are familiar with this story, we know the short version goes something like this: there is one duckling among many other ducklings who doesn’t look the same as the rest. The other ducklings make fun of him/her. He/she feels badly until he/she grows up into a beautiful swan and then finds others that look like him/her. Ms Estes admonishes all “wild women” to find their tribe, not suffer with those who under appreciate you.
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Good point! Recently I heard the term “affinity tribe” (John Pavlovitz) and I really like that, too.
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