A Do-Over (or Two)
By Jeff Salter
What fairy tale would I like to re-imagine… and which genre would I select?
Well, before I respond to the actual question, let me say a word or two about fairy tales.
I’ve always enjoyed them… since I was a kid. And, as we’ve already discussed here this week, I’m glad I accessed the “sanitized” versions of most of them — since quite a few are grisly.
Among the valuable lessons I’ve found satisfying about fairy tales are these:
*** It takes the unvarnished honesty of a child to cut through the haze — as in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
*** When you’re overburdened with work, be very careful who you accept help from — as in “Rumplestiltskin.”
*** While you’re going through that awkward stage with pimples and hormones, just know that you’ll probably end up looking and feeling better in a few years — as in “The Ugly Duckling.”
*** Even if you live in the remote woods, lock your doors when you leave your cottage — as in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”
*** If you cannot even recognize your own grandmother, you have no business traipsing through the woods alone — as in “Little Red Riding Hood.”
There are many others, but I’ll cut my list short for now.
As far as re-imagining fairy tales, I’ve actually already written one. A couple of years ago, I re-did the saga of Red Riding Hood, with a few dark twists.
One of the ones I’d like to tackle – if I could find the time and concentration – is Jack and the Beanstalk. Not sure about the genre, because I’ve already seen comedic versions (a la Abbott and Costello) and special effects versions (a la Jack Black). Maybe I’d write it as a detective story.
Another fairy tale I’d like to tackle would be The Elves and the Shoemaker — possibly from the POV of one of the low-ranking elves.
And possibly a new take on the Pied Piper tale, in which the POV is an off-duty cop who gets “word” from the street that somebody’s coming to town to steal all the kiddos.
But, as I said, all those will have to wait. I still haven’t completed my paperwork for the CPA to file my 2019 income taxes!
Which fairy tale is YOUR favorite? Which one would you like to re-configure?
[JLS # 495]