Friday, June 5, 2009

Article #58 Discovering Fairy Tales

Interestingly enough after moving over 650 miles from Eureka, Utah to Lawndale in Southern California, my first teacher at my elementary school was from Minersville, Utah. There were many who were moving to California from all over the USA. The economy was booming with the aircraft industry and recovery after WWII. Job openings, orange trees, and Hollywood stars all made the golden state an attractive place to move, not to mention the climate and their wonderful beaches.

            Living in California opened up a new world for me. As a young girl ten years old, I‘d never been to a public library before. Everyday, after my fifth grade class ended, I walked across the street to explore the world of books. Proudly receiving my first library card, in no time at all I started devouring fairy tales. Wow––what an escape…beautiful princesses being rescued by handsome princes then carried away to a castle to live happily ever after. That was my kind of world and helped me envision what my future life as a grownup could be.

Checking out as many books as I could at one time, I carefully carried them home to read each night. Tales of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel filled my waking thoughts and blissful dreams. I could hardly wait to grow up and meet my prince but in the meantime I was just a shy skinny new girl living in a suburb of Los Angeles far away from my small mining hometown in the rocky mountains of Utah. Besides, I had little interest in boys at school. Why did fairy tales intrigue me?

Children throughout the centuries have loved fairy tales and folklore with their magical qualities and fascinating characters that include: fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and talking animals. What was there not to like about fairy tales? Evil was always overcome and everyone lived happily ever after or so it claimed. Walt Disney was popularizing many of the more familiar fairy tales with full-length films in color that featured memorable songs and lots of action to captivate even the youngest child.

As I think back, children are naturally naïve––unaccustomed to the real world, high on expectations and low on experience––that comes in time. Anything is possible to a child. Thoroughly believing in the reality of the lives of Sleeping Beauty and The Princess and the Frog, I loved happy endings.


  1. As I think back, children are naturally naïve––unaccustomed to the real world, high on expectations and low on experience––that comes in time.

    I like this sentence best--so very true and how sad we lose alot of that as we grow up. I loved reading all the fairytales too. And I still prefer happy endings!

  2. When I was teaching, I realized that many children didn't read (or have read to them) fairy tales. Some of the ones I remember from my childhood have pretty much disappeared. It was the same with Nursery Rhymes, lots of kids had never heard any of them.

    TOO MUCH TELEVISION. They are missing a lot of wonderful stories.

  3. Guess we all love happy endings, sometimes those endings are up to us to create and I think the fairy tales sometimes open our minds to look for the magic that is in real life -- it's there, just have to look a little harder sometimes.

  4. I think it's important to hold on to that sense of magic as long as we can. As we become realistic adults, it's still fun to pretend.

  5. I used to love the library so...I hope that people will pass this on down to their is so important..great post...
    Michelle From Rambling Woods

  6. A friend once remarked that she didn't like Disney's movies because a parent is always getting killed off or found badly wanting. It always seemed to me that these stories were actually preparing children for the adult world of decision-making and value-forming.

    I love the way fairy tales invite the imagination to stand tall and act.

  7. Very interesting, Lin. You and I read and love the same books and stories (another thing in common). I still prefer happy endings in stories, books, movies, etc. There is enough "reality" (tragedy and such)in real life.

    I hope your weekend is good.

  8. I'll take a happy ending every time, thank you! The only thing I hate is that we, as children, start out high on expectations...and as the experience comes, we lose much of the expectations part...becoming jaded. I wish we always remained high on expectations - there is much MAGIC in expectations. Hope is a legal drug that everyone should dare to be addicted to. Just my two or three cents. Cher