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saucy

Cautionary Tales

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As a novelist, I used the idea of these cautionary tales from the past and asked "what if they were real?" All the monsters like the big bad wolf and the Pied Piper. There were many tales written about creatures in the woods.

Is it possible, though, that there is something to the stories?

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You walk into the woods, you don't walk out. Nobody knows why. Your family grieves, and then warns other people to be careful in the woods. You could get lost, or there are wild animals, or maybe wild people, or if there are wild people, there could be magicians, and for that matter, does anyone know why crazy Mr. Smithe lives alone in the woods?

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Yeah, I think so. I think there is some truth to those tales, like little red riding hood. She was told not to go off the path, and in real life if you wander off the trail there is a good chance you'll run into wild animals and bad stuff and get lost, you could possibly die. So parents wanted to make up a story so kids wouldn't go wandering off the path if they went outside. Or even in a city environment, there's plenty of human predators there, and if a kid takes a wrong turn, suddenly they're in the bad part of town, right?

I think they did have something to them.

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Posted (edited)

Yep. I do. There where a lot more creatures like wolves and bears back when these fairytales where written. Almost everyone lived near the woods long ago and more people where killed by wild animals back then. Today, with encroachment, it's not near as dangerous in the wild as it used to be when concerned with wild animals. There's just not as many of them.

As for stories like the Pied Piper, it could have been written to keep children from strangers who seem fun but actually had sinister motives. That could also work with Little Red Riding Hood.

As far as monsters in fairy tails go, there might me a grain of truth to them. People back then had just as much imagination as we do today and could take a supposed "sighting" and write a scary story out of it, embellishing it further.

But I don't believe that there really where any trolls, vampires, giants or unicorns. They were all made up stories for children's books, just like stories written for children today. Of course there are laws today that prohibit stories from being too scary for children. Back then, they seemed to relish in scaring kids onto the straight an narrow!

Edited by SpiritTraveler
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Yeah, I think so. I think there is some truth to those tales, like little red riding hood. She was told not to go off the path, and in real life if you wander off the trail there is a good chance you'll run into wild animals and bad stuff and get lost, you could possibly die. So parents wanted to make up a story so kids wouldn't go wandering off the path if they went outside. Or even in a city environment, there's plenty of human predators there, and if a kid takes a wrong turn, suddenly they're in the bad part of town, right?

I think they did have something to them.

Not with the path

"Her red hood could represent the bright sun which is ultimately swallowed by the terrible night (the wolf), and the variations in which she is cut out of the wolf's belly represent by it the dawn.[22] In this interpretation, there is a connection between the wolf of this tale and Sköll, the wolf in Norse myth that will swallow the personified Sun at Ragnarök, orFenrir.[23] Alternatively, the tale could be about the season of spring, or the month of May, escaping the winter.

The poem Þrymskviða from the Poetic Edda mirrors some elements of Red Riding Hood. Loki's explanations for "Freyja's" (actually Thordisguised as Freya) strange behavior mirror the wolf's explanations for his strange appearance.

The red hood has often been given great importance in many interpretations, with a significance from the dawn to blood"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Red_Riding_Hood

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Yep. I do. There where a lot more creatures like wolves and bears back when these fairytales where written.

Here in Oregon we still have bears and cougars and wolves. Barely a week goes by without someone reporting a cougar, or a bear in someone's backyard around here. Leaving kids out in the deep woods alone is almost a guarantee that they will eventually be killed (or just die) and chewed up.

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Posted (edited)

Here in Oregon we still have bears and cougars and wolves. Barely a week goes by without someone reporting a cougar, or a bear in someone's backyard around here. Leaving kids out in the deep woods alone is almost a guarantee that they will eventually be killed (or just die) and chewed up.

Yes, I do believe you DC. The same is true where I grew up in northern Ontario. Lots of wilderness around us, and there are still places like that everywhere. But not as much as there used to be. Maybe I wasn't too clear in my explanation. What I meant to say was that back when these stories were created, hundreds of years ago, we didn't have cities (that take up forest space) like today. There were more forests around the villages and farms. Without the same amount of forest we had back then means that today there is less wildlife in the world. Not necessarily less wildlife per forest although that could also be true.

Edited by SpiritTraveler
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Yes, I do believe you DC. The same is true where I grew up in northern Ontario. Lots of wilderness around us, and there are still places like that everywhere. But not as much as there used to be. Maybe I wasn't too clear in my explanation. What I meant to say was that back when these stories were created, hundreds of years ago, we didn't have cities (that take up forest space) like today. There were more forests around the villages and farms. Without the same amount of forest we had back then means that today there is less wildlife in the world. Not necessarily less wildlife per forest although that could also be true.

So the stories don't apply to everyone, but do apply still to many?

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So the stories don't apply to everyone, but do apply still to many?

I'm not quite sure what you're asking DC. I don't know what you mean by "apply". They are fairy tales. They are for everyone. I was just trying to figure out how fairy tales began, where the grain of truth fits in. What the OP asked.

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I'm not quite sure what you're asking DC. I don't know what you mean by "apply". They are fairy tales. They are for everyone. I was just trying to figure out how fairy tales began, where the grain of truth fits in. What the OP asked.

I meant as "cautionary tales", like the thread title, to keep kids in line. Many kids would not have the reference that would allow the fairy tale to also be a lesson.

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