“Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman!” Holy crap, no wonder I was traumatized as a youngster. The bedtime stories read to me by Grandma would scare the devil himself. I would never sleep with my hands or feet hanging over the bed to become food for the monster living underneath. As a matter of fact – I still won’t sleep with any part of my body hanging over the bed.
What about Little Red Riding Hood? The big, nasty bad wolf eats Grandma, then gets in her clothes, jumps in bed and waits for Little Red Riding Hood to show up with a food basket so she too can become a gourmet dinner. This story surely made young girls feel warm and fuzzy.
Let’s not forget Hansel and Gretel. This little ditty has a wicked witch enticing a young girl and boy into a gingerbread house so she can pop them into a boiling pot of water for a tasty human stew. Swell, now we are into cannibalism. I know I wouldn’t eat gingerbread for many years after this story.
Oh, yes, and The Three Little Pigs come to mind. To this day I am not comfortable in any house unless it is made of brick. No way am I becoming pig meat to a gnarly wolf!
Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider, who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
Is it any wonder spiders scare the crap out of us?
Alice in Wonderland, now this is a wonderful book Mum used to read to us when we were little tykes. The only problem was that it reminded me of our house and life. All the characters Alice met resembled aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and neighbors who visited us. What a nutty family. I bet they too were read fairy tales when they were young.
Last, but not least are the ghost stories our parents used to tell us on Halloween. The one I will never forget not only scarred me emotionally, but physically too. As Mom came to the end of the very scary story, she swung her arms and hands out and down as she screamed, thus scaring the crap out of us and hitting me in the family jewels all in one fell swoop. Not hard to imagine my shriek of horror and pain. While my two brothers and sisters thought it hilarious, I found the vomiting disgusting and demeaning.