My daughter once asked me if all fairy tales begin with “Once Upon A Time”? I said, “No, Cupcake, a lot of them begin with ‘If elected, I promise …'”
So many fairy tales are violent. “London bridges falling down, my fair lady”. The story entails the collapse of bridges, which is scary enough, but what about the fair lady? When the really old bridges were first built, a virgin was sacrificed and buried at the base of the bridges for good luck.
How about “Rockabye Baby”? Let’s see, the baby is up high on a tree top”. Ok, scary enough, right? Oh, but we all know there’s more. Much more. “When the wind blows the cradle will rock”. Ok, pretty soothing. But then, “When the bough breaks the cradle will fall. Down will come baby, cradle and all”! Nice.
“Little Miss Muffet”? Ok, she sits down, enjoying some curds and whey, and then a spider comes along and frightens Miss Muffet away”. Seriously? We should say these things to children just before they go to sleep? It’s no wonder they wake up in the middle of the night, afraid.
I decided to take the fear or of the nursery rhymes for my kids. My rendition of Little Miss Muffet went like this, “Little miss muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey. Along came a spider who say down beside her and said, “Push over, toots”.
Nothing dangerous about this one, but I just thought it would be funny. It went liked this, “Little Jack Horner sat in a corner, eating a Christmas pie. He stuck in his thumb, pulled out a plumb and said, “What I wouldn’t give for a lousy fork”.
“Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor doggy a bone. But when she got there, the cupboard was bare and so her poor doggy had none”. Seriously? A starving dog in a nursery rhyme? So this is the version I used. “Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor daughter a dress. But when she got there, the cupboard was bare and so was her daughter, I guess”.
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