ARE Grimm’s fairy tales too grim? Traditional fairy stories are being avoided by parents, according to a survey in America, because they are too scary for young children.
But the parents would be really shocked if they read the originals.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected folklore and published hundreds of fairy tales in the 18th century.
The stories upon which they were based, and which had been around for hundreds for years, were often bloodthirsty and distasteful.
The brothers were devout Christians and adapted and sanitised many to make them more acceptable.
Then along came Walt Disney who made them sugar coated with guaranteed happy endings.
Even so, in the survey a third of parents said children had been left in tears by Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks was out of favour because they said it condoned stealing, and Cinderella was a no-no because it portrayed a young woman doing housework all day.
The survey was done to promote the launch of the television drama Grimm, which features six gritty adult themed stories, based on traditional fairy tales.
But even they don’t come close to the originals.
The Pied Piper of Hamlyn was so annoyed that the townsfolk wouldn’t pay him for getting rid of the rats, that he lured the children to the river – where they all drowned.
Red Riding Hood was not saved by a woodsman at the last minute, but was eaten by the wolf.
The story of Snow White – who was seven, by the way – had a more gruesome ending, too.
The wicked queen was fitted with red hot iron shoes and forced to dance to death. They didn’t pull their punches back in medieval times.
Sleeping Beauty was even more shocking and she wasn't awakened with a kiss.
As for Goldilocks, her blonde haired beauty didn’t save her. The three bears were less than understanding when she was caught stealing: they ate her.
They don’t write fairy stories like that anymore. Thank goodness.