Normally we read Disney stuff, or something from Dr. Seuss, but tonight we went with a classic: Rumpelstiltskin.
(The boy is the one that picked it out - I was glad that he wanted to read something that's been around for a while and not some contrived, modern, wish-washy politically correct book that is so boring it's putting me to sleep as well.)
What a fucked up story.
I haven't read this thing since I was a kid; I know the generalities like everyone else - straw into gold, guess the guy's name - pretty standard stuff. But to read this thing again out loud just makes me realize how messed up it is.
- The Miller has a beautiful daughter. He loves her so much. What does he do? Gives her to the King. He doesn't sell her - he gives her away. Like a piece of meat. (Or bag of flour. He is a miller after all.) Oh- as an incentive he makes up a lie that she can turn straw into gold. If that was true, do you think he'd be giving her away?
- The King takes her, locks her in a room and tells her to make gold out of straw or die. (I bet she's soooo glad her Dad put her in that situation.) In order to escape death, she makes a deal with a mean little troll-man. (Haven't we all made a deal with a mean little troll-man at sometime in our life?) She offers him her first born. She really sucks at negotiating.
- When the King finds out she was able to do it, he marries her. (Two traits you want in a wife: Straw into gold and Swallowing.) She accepts. This guy was going to KILL her, and now she's going to marry him? What if he asks her to drink milk and piss a chocolate shake?
- The new Queen is already breaking deals. When Rumpelstiltskin comes for the first born, she cries and complains and asks for another chance. He tells her if she can guess his name she can keep her child. Who goes from first born to "guess my name"? I thought the chick was a shitty negotiator, but this guy is retarded.
- Proof of retardation: Not only does he give her three days to guess his name, but during those three days he goes around singing his name out loud. Turning straw into gold must be his only talent, because it sure isn't common sense.
- In the end, after she guesses his name, he stamps his feet and falls through the floor never to return. Death by tantrum? I appreciate the lesson we are trying to teach the kids here, but couldn't the author have come up with something a little more spectacular?
I'll have to start re-reading some of these old "classics".
Someone has to think of the children.