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.

LADYBUG LADYBUG
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.

@#$%*@

3 comments:

Maryann Karinch said...

Reminds me of how confused I was when the first book I wrote--a children's book--was rejected because it was "too sad." I grew up with tales that were sad and scary! Mine was the story of the last an endangered species who couldn't find a mate so he, and the species, died. Heck, I thought it was uplifting becuase he died in the company of friends. No one chopped off his tail or burned his house: They gave him a parade.

Bernie Most said...

I'm still disturbed by the fact that poor Humpty Dumpty could never be put back together again!

kristy said...

I used to think the old lady across the street was going to eat me whenever she gave me a cookie....ugh i still get nightmares from Hansel and Grettel.