Thursday, March 4, 2010

Warning: Disturbing Vintage Themes.

With my mother in law down scaling her possessions to move into a smaller place I was recently the lucky recipient of some vintage children's books. This one of the Pied Piper (1961 I think) particularly appealed. As a child I would have spent hours poring over these illustrations, the black and white more graphic ones appealling the most.

Knowing my youngest had never heard this story before I  grabbed him aside so we could enjoy the book together. I few moments in I remembered the upsetting ending (warning: themes of child abduction and disabled children  being labelled with politically incorrect terms coming up). But we soldiered on and when it came to the Pied Piper luring the town's children away to ensconse them inside a mountain - and then a "lame" boy being left behind - he didn't bat an eyelid. I personally remember finding it  more than just a little unsettling.
But which message to leave him with? Always pay the piper (and keep your promise)? Or never go off with strangers? (Particularly ones with pipes. Especially if it's a pan pipe -they're a bit creepy. And if he's wearing a half red half yellow suit with a crazy cape and hat run and tell a teacher..........

1 comment:

Colwyn said...

So...that explains his ready weeping