Tuesday, 19 October 2010

What's Your Favourite Fairy Story?

The Gingerbread Man from Shrek
I've been thinking about Fairy Stories a lot recently and why they stick with us. Obviously I've just finished Grimms tales, but even today so many children are read fairy stories at bed time. Some of my first memories are my parents reading me The Gingerbread Man or Chicken Licken complete with voices and expressive features. As a result these stories remain very personal to me and hold a piece of my heart - just the phrase, "You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!" takes me back to being three years old and snuggled up safe and sound.

But these stories stay with us our whole life. Everyone knows the plots, the twist and the endings - even the beginning is familiar...once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away... Usually the hero gets the girl, the girl escapes from her poor family to marry a prince and everyone lives happily ever after. Sometimes there's a moral with the story, but a surprising number don't. Take the Gingerbread Man for example (my favourite!). Once baked, he decides he doesn't want to be eaten so he jumps up and runs away. He passes the farmer's wife, the farmer, the children down the road, the cow, the horse - none of them can catch him (cos he's the Gingerbread Man!). It's not until he hits a river on his cross-country run and decides to trust a fox to get him across the water, that the Gingerbread Man ends up being gobbled up. And that's my favourite fairy story. There doesn't really seem to be a moral - apart from don't trust foxes! So why do these stories have such enduring appeal?

So what's your favourite fairy story and why?

1 comment:

  1. i never really got fairy stories as such - I did love peter pan lots (I wanted to fly you see) but that isn't really a fairy story, I don't think I ever really read any!