When I was a little girl I used to read fairy tales. In fairy tales you meet Prince Charming and he's everything you ever wanted. In fairy tales the bad guy is very easy to spot. The bad guy is always wearing a black cape so you always know who he is. Then you grow up and you realize that Prince Charming is not as easy to find as you thought. You realize the bad guy is not wearing a black cape and he's not easy to spot; he's really funny, and he makes you laugh, and he has perfect hair.
O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose needs are simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales.
Gaea? Leo shook his head. Isn’t that Mother Nature? She’s supposed to have, like, flowers in her hair and birds singing around her and dear and rabbits doing her laundry. Leo, that’s Snow White, Piper said.
Gaea?” Leo shook his head. “Isn’t that Mother Nature? She’s supposed to have, like, flowers in her hair and birds singing around her and dear and rabbits doing her laundry.” “Leo, that’s Snow White,” Piper said.
I really feel that we're not giving children enough credit for distinguishing what's right and what's wrong. I, for one, devoured fairy tales as a little girl. I certainly didn't believe that kissing frogs would lead me to a prince, or that eating a mysterious apple would poison me, or that with the magical "Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo" I would get a beautiful dress and a pumpkin carriage. I also don't believe that looking in a mirror and saying "Candyman, Candyman, Candyman" will make some awful serial killer come after me. I believe that many children recognize Harry Potter for what it is, fantasy literature. I'm sure there will always be some that take it too far, but that's the case with everything. I believe it's much better to engage in dialog with children to explain the difference between fantasy and reality. Then they are better equipped to deal with people who might have taken it too far.
Fear isn't so difficult to understand. After all, weren't we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It's just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.
The wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone." Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be on my way.
Fairy tales were not my escape from reality as a child; rather, they were my reality -- for mine was a world in which good and evil were not abstract concepts, and like fairy-tale heroines, no magic would save me unless I had the wit and heart and courage to use it widely.
If you happen to read fairy tales, you will observe that one idea runs from one end of them to the other--the idea that peace and happiness can only exist on some condition. This idea, which is the core of ethics, is the core of the nursery-tales.
Think of every fairy-tale villainess you've ever heard of. Think of the wicked witches, the evil queens, the mad enchantresses. Think of the alluring sirens, the hungry ogresses, the savage she-beasts. Think of them and remember that somewhere, sometime, they've all been real. Mab gave them lessons .
Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.
Please tell a story about a girl who gets away. I would, even if I had to adapt one, even if I had to make one up just for her. Gets away from what, though? From her fairy godmother. From the happy ending that isn’t really happy at all. Please have her get out and run off the page altogether, to somewhere secret where words like ‘happy’ and ‘good’ will never find her. You don’t want her to be happy and good? I’m not sure what’s really meant by happy and good. I would like her to be free. Now. Please begin.
Can you not see, […] that fairy tales in their essence are quite solid and straightforward; but that this everlasting fiction about modern life is in its nature essentially incredible? Folk-lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels. Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that the soul is sick and screaming. The problem of the fairy tale is-what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world? The problem of the modern novel is-what will a madman do with a dull world? In the fairy tales the cosmos goes mad; but the hero does not go mad. In the modern novels the hero is mad before the book begins, and suffers from the harsh steadiness and cruel sanity of the cosmos.
Did I ever tell you the difference between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern one?" she asked him, indulging herself and letting her head rest on his shoulder. God, he felt good. Her man. Where her head was meant to lie, right there, on him. "What's the difference?" "A Northern one starts 'once upon a time,' while a Southern one starts 'y'all ain't going to believe this shit.
Though it's fearful, Though it's deep, though it's dark And though you may lose the path, Though you may encounter wolves, You can't just act, You have to listen. you can't just act, You have to think. Though it's dark, There are always wolves, There are always spells, There are always beans, Or a giant dwells there. So into the woods you go again, You have to every now and then. Into the woods, no telling when, Be ready for the journey. Into the woods, but not too fast or what you wish, you lose at last. Into the woods, but mind the past. Into the woods, but mind the future. Into the woods, but not to stray, Or tempt the wolf, or steal from the giant-- The way is dark, The light is dim, But now there's you, me, her, and him. The chances look small, The choices look grim, But everything you learn there Will help when you return there. The light is getting dimmer.. I think I see a glimmer-- Into the woods--you have to grope, But that's the way you learn to cope. Into the woods to find there's hope Of getting through the journey. Into the woods, each time you go, There's more to learn of what you know. Into the woods, but not too slow-- Into the woods, it's nearing midnight-- Into the woods to mind the wolf, To heed the witch, to honor the giant, To mind, to heed, to find, to think, to teach, to join, to go to the Festival! Into the woods, Into the woods, Into the woods, Then out of the woods-- And happy ever after!
Once upon a time, there was a naïve and innocent girl who thought she could tame the beast and live happily ever after. But the beast did not want to be tamed, for he was a beast and beasts care not for such things, and the girl died along with her dreams. From childhood's grave sprang a young woman, jaded before her years, who knew that beasts could wear the skins of men, and that evil could exist in sunlight, as well as darkness. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
That's the thing about being the product of happily marries parents, You grow up thinking the fairy tale is real, and more than that, you think you're entitled to live it. So far, though, it wasn't working out as planned.
There's a flame of magic inside every stone & every flower, every bird that sings & every frog that croaks. There's magic in the trees & the hills & the river & the rocks, in the sea & the stars & the wind, a deep, wild magic that's as old as the world itself. It's in you too, my darling girl, and in me, and in every living creature, be it ever so small. Even the dirt I'm sweeping up now is stardust. In fact, all of us are made from the stuff of stars.
Once upon a time fairy tales were told to audiences of young and old alike. It is only in the last century that such tales were deemed fit only for small children, stripped of much of their original complexity, sensuality, and power to frighten and delight.