The Kids Like the Macabre

Say what you will about the horror and gore of fairy tales. I notice that most parents now shield their kids from the more gruesome “The Three Little Pigs”, not telling them that the first two pigs get eaten, or that the third pig cooks the wolf in a pot and eats him. I also notice that most parents tell a version of “Little Red Riding Hood” where the wolf doesn’t eat the grandmother or Little Red Riding Hood and the woodsmen doesn’t have to hack the wolf apart to save them.

It’s not like I want to encourage violence within my kids. It’s just that I feel like these tales get at something elemental within the psyche of kids. Children are evolutionarily programmed to be in flight mode from predators. They have dreams of monsters and love to play tag.

I loved most macabre Grimm’s tales as a kid, as well as a book of heartbreaking Dutch fairy tales. I grew up a bit to devour all Roald Dahl. And I’m a peaceful, functioning anti-gun voting adult.

Here’s Violet’s favorite “new” film, Tim Burton’s 1982 adaptation of Hansel and Gretel.

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