Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I've mentioned Strewwelpeter before, but I just found a humorous article highlighting some of the most gruesome stories found in it. Strewwelpeter is a German collection of cautionary tales for children. I think it's important to understand Victorian fairy tales within context-if the tales of the brothers Grimm seem outrageously inapproriate for kids or extremely didactic, they were actually something like a breath of fresh air compared to some of what was in circulation at the time.

From the article:
"The Story Of The Man That Went Out Shooting" teaches us the paramount lesson of firearm safety. Namely, that sentient rabbits will steal your guns if you're negligent...

...whereas "The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb" informs tots that A.) a vengeful tailor will lop off your appendages with hedge trimmers; and B.) your parents will shrug nonchalantly when it happens.

And finally there's "The Story of Augustus, Who Would Not Have Any Soup." This story imparts the subtle lesson, "If you don't eat, you will die immediately.""

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