Have I been living out a fairy tale all these years? It’s possible. There’s more to these old stories than you might imagine. You think you’re just reading an innocent, traditional tale to your youngsters? Think again. You might be inadvertently setting them on their life’s path.
The fairy tale that made me angry
I wasn’t interested in the princess in the tower, or the downtrodden kitchen girl who went to the ball.
I wasn’t motivated by the one with seven little people or three bears or three pigs or magic porridge pots.
Not for me the fairy tale about a brother and a sister and a nasty witch in the woods, or the one about the sky falling down, or a gingerbread man, a girl only as big as your thumb or magic shoes or spinning straw into gold.
I had no hankering to be a princess. Wasn’t interested in hanging around for some prince to turn up and save me from a life of . . .whatever. Come on, I was a working class girl who had about as much chance of meeting a prince as a Yorkshire heatwave in January. (Yorkshire girls tell it like it is. January girls know it before it happens. I’m both.)
So, the fairy tale that made me angry was Red Riding Hood.
A lesson in life kind of fairy tale
I mean, what a dirty trick! There she is, with her little basket of goodies for grandma setting off on her own through the wood. This is a good lesson in life, I suppose. After all, when it comes down to it we’re all on our own following our paths. The journey can be a bit dark and scary in places.
There doesn’t seem to be a father present in this story. It’s just the girl and her mother and mother obviously sees nothing wrong in sending the child off to grandma’s house. I can’t remember whether there’s a warning about not going into the woods, but, anyway, little Red Riding Hood is a good girl. She’s doing grandma a good turn by bringing the things in the basket. What a caring little soul she is.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing
Well, actually in this fairy tale, it’s grandma’s clothing. Now, see, this is a great lesson in life. And don’t I know it. This stuff really happens. The person you are doing your best to help isn’t the person you thought they were.
You get that?
The person you are doing your best to help is a FAKE.
Pretending to be sweet and charming. FAKE. Pretending to be needy and helpless. FAKE. Pretending to be harmless. FAKE.
Pretending to be human.
The wolf has only one thing on his mind and doesn’t care what happens to anybody else in the story. So what is little Red Hiding Hood going to do? She’s in danger. She notices that things are not quite right about grandma and tries to find out. She asks questions. The wolf deflects the child’s doubts by a stream of psychopathic word salad, all the while drawing the victim closer and closer, until . .
shows up. OH NO!
Not a prince this time. But still, a reliable, strong male figure.
And now I’m really angry. I wanted Little Red Hiding Hood to outwit the wolf herself. Couldn’t she have choked it with the ribbons on grandma’s bonnet? Couldn’t she have smothered it with grandma’s pillow?
No. Because she is a good girl and good girls don’t do things like that. Anyway, she’s a small female and wouldn’t be strong enough. And the wolf knows this. He knows he has an easy target. Little Red Hiding Hood has to be rescued.
Applying the fairy tale to real life
Fake people exist. There are more of them than you know. Empathetic people care about other’s feelings. Fakes don’t. I believe we need these lessons in life but where do we teach them? Unless you’ve come across one of these people yourself how would you know how to recognise one? Should we have to wait until it happens before we learn what to do about it?
The sad truth is there isn’t a woodcutter out there waiting to rescue you. You have to be your own saviour.
Hand me my axe!
(This post is in response to the WordPress daily challenge)
Which fairy tale is your life story? Don’t be shy. Leave a comment.
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