Sunday, July 20, 2008
LET'S TERRIFY LITTLE KIDS
Apparently this was the approach taken by many writers of children's literature. I know big kids enjoy a good scare now and then. But babies and toddlers?
"When the bough breaks the cradle will fall and down will come baby cradle and all." Why so harsh? Couldn't they have softened it with, "In the unlikely event that the bough breaks ..."
And how about those 3 Blind Mice? It was bad enough they were blind. But then the bleeping farmer's wife had to go cut off their tails with a carving knife. "3 Blind Mice, See How They Run." Well, of course they ran. Their damn tails were chopped off.
Growing up I can remember reading a lot of scary kid stories and poetry. But to me, the most chilling poem of all was the one about the ladybug. Near as I can recall, it went something like this.
FLY AWAY HOME
YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE
YOUR CHILDREN ARE BURNED
YOUR GOOSE IS COOKED
YOUR BROTHER'S BEEN DRINKING
YOUR SISTER'S ON CRACK
YOUR BEST FRIEND WENT CRAZY
YOUR LIFE IS A SHAMBLES
AND YOU HAVE NO FREAKING INSURANCE.
SO RATHER THAN FLY AWAY HOME,
YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER
FLYING INTO A WHIRLING FAN INSTEAD.
My feeling is that if you're going to write a story for little kids, try not to scare the crap out of them.