Friday, October 07, 2005

Real Literature

I'm sure most of my readers know that the Grimm Fairy Tales were far more, well grim, than their Disney-ized, 20-21st Century versions. And I'm sure everyone has heard the stories of the kid with corn growing out of their ears because they didn't wash properly, or "If you make that face too much, it'll freeze like that." The morals of the stories that we got as kids pale in comparison to the lessons realized from the book "Struwwelpeter" - Slovenly Peter, by Heinrich Hoffman quite some time ago. I'll share this one with you, and let you look at the link above for some of the others:

The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb
One day, mamma said, "Conrad dear,"
I must go out and leave you here.
But mind now, Conrad, what I say,
Don't suck your thumb while I'm away.
The great tall tailor always comes
To little boys that suck their thumbs.
And ere they dream what he's about
He takes his great sharp scissors out
And cuts their thumbs clean off, - and then
You know, they never grow again."
Mamma had scarcely turned her back
The thumb was in, alack, alack!
The door flew open, in he ran
The great, long, red-legged scissorman.
Oh! Children, see! The tailor's come
And caught our little Suck-a-Thumb.

Snip! Snap! Snip! The scissors go;
And Conrad cries out - Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast;
That both his thumbs are off at last
Mamma comes home; there Conrad stands
And looks quite sad, and shows his hands; -
"Ah!" said Mamma, "I knew he'd come
To naughty little Suck-a-Thumb."


Bookworm said...

I'm glad to see the Hoffman stories deep-sixed. They're horribly anti-Semitic, not to mention gruesome without, say, Hillaire Belloc's wild sense of humor. I hated Hoffman as a child and my views have shown exceptional rigidity, 'cause I still hate Hoffman.

Michelle said...

Never exposed to Hoffman till now. My goodness, they'd scare the pants off any 6yold!
There is a half our show on here based upon the themes of Bros Grimm, it really is fabulous with contemporary backdrops. My daughter loves with permanent screwed up faces coz the wind changed! Of course by the end of the show, they've come up with a solution to change the faces back!