So recently I was asked to write a couple scripts for Radio Heyday. (If you like old timey radio shows, definitely check it out a.k.a click that link!) They are doing a series of children’s’ stories and I was asked to write scrips for The Adventures Of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Hansel & Gretel. Simple enough, right? The Billy Goats Gruff was one of my favorite stories as a child, so that script was written pretty quickly.
Then it was time to work on Hansel and Gretel. I remembered the basics from my childhood story times, but had forgotten many details, so I decided to re-read the story before working on the script. Good idea right?
A quick read of the original Grimm’s story and I was heartbroken. Devastated.
Did you know the children had a step-mother? The father wasn’t just a widower!
Did you know she wanted the children dead and convinced the father to leave them in the woods for the wolves? SAY WHAT?
Did you know Gretel was forced to cook food and bring it to her caged brother to fatten him up? HUH!?!?
Then at the Springfield Writer’s Guild meeting this month, we read a re-telling of the Little Red Riding Hood story. Did you know the original story was a warning to girls about protecting their virginity? Remember Little Red “wandered farther and farther off the path”? Seriously? I never got that when I was reading it as a child! WHAT CHILD WOULD!??!
Let me know if you already knew how dark these stories really where. I promise my son will only be hearing the happy kid-friendly sanitized version of these stories. And if you’ve never read the real versions, here’s your spoiler alert: they still turn out OK.