Thursday, May 1, 2008

One for the Scary!

I think I need to clarify something after yesterday's post. That story? The one about Little Dog Turpy? Was one of my favorites. I used to ask for it all the time. Also? I was probably 7 or so when I heard it the first time. And really? Is it any worse than, say, Hansel and Gretel? I mean, that witch was going to EAT two children. She was fattening them up just for that purpose. So, in the grand scheme of children's fairy tales, I don't think Little Dog Turpy is all that bad. Also, I left out the part about the wife getting rescued after Little Dog Turpy is put back together, so it did have a happy ending.

But maybe I'm weird. 'Cause see, I've always liked to be scared, a little. That little frisson of fear that you feel when you're listening to a suspenseful story -- that's the best! Those types of stories were always the most requested at my sleepover birthday parties. "The Almond Tree" was the most requested story, year after year. In this story, a young boy is secretly murdered by his stepmother and comes back to life as dove that sits in a tree and sings

My mother killed me.
My father grieved for me.
My little sister Marley,
wept under the almond tree.

His stepmother's crime is eventually discovered and she's punished and if my memory serves me the little boy comes back to life? Can't remember for sure because it's been many, many years since I heard the story.

I've already seen this love of "the scary" in my own children, particularly Bubba. A couple of months back he got very into the Spiderwick Chronicles books that were included in the General Mills cereal boxes. There was a scene in one of them with a troll rising out of the creek that, when I read it, I wondered if it was too scary for Bubba. I looked at him and his eyes were indeed as wide as saucers, but when I finished the book he asked me to go back and read that passage again! And he made me read just that passage again the next night.

So maybe we're weird. Maybe it's genetic. But it sure is fun.


AndreAnna said...

It has to be embedded somewhere. Mike was watching Hellraiser last night - which one, I have no idea - and I watched it for like 40 seconds before announcing that it was the dumbest thing I had ever seen and I was going to watch Little People, Big World, because that was much more riveting to me.

He loves horror movies. Our cable even has a horror movie station that I swear he could watch all day long. Me? I find them disturbing.

And yes, there are some seriously effed up children's stories!

Laurel said...

You are a hoot! But I will agree with you. The old time stories were way, WAY scarier than those of today, and people thought nothing of it. I've noticed that now when moms sing even 5 little monkey jumping on the bed, they say "bumped their head" instead of "broke his head" the way I learned it as a kid. Are we just becoming a little soft? I don't know.

Esme said...

I was rereading some Hans Christien Andersen stories the other day when it occurred to me that they're mostly really, really creepy like that. Even Disney used to be way creepier than it is now...

I was singing "Little Bunny Frou Frou" to Five this morning and sang, "scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head" and Four was furious! "Mama! He was KISSING them on the head!" Oops.

Sass E-mum said...

I love reading The Brothers Grimm stories, but I'm rubbish at watching scarey movies. 'I am Legend' scared the life out of me. Most people wouldn't think that was scarey at all.

I get so tense my legs are all shaky by the end of the film. And then I can't sleep. And then I start thinking about how I couldn't watch to the end of 'The pursuit of happyness' either.

Maybe I'm just scared of Will Smith...

ImpostorMom said...

Oh I just can't take the scary. Still don't like it. I like suspenseful sometimes but sometimes it just makes my heart hurt and I have to leave. Oh and I'm easily startled. :)

Karen said...

You know, I was gonna comment on how morbid the book was, but thought of most of the fairy tales and wonder why we read them to kids. And why people haven't banned them in today's day and age. Even Little Red Riding Hood isn't all sunshine and roses.

Colleen said...

I'm a big baby...don't like scary stuff...even in a tv show. ;)
But I will get on any roller-coaster you point me towards!! :D