Jack and Abbey love to read books before bed, and although I won't lie to you all and claim to read to them every single night at bedtime, we do it most of the time. They each usually get to pick out one book, or one story, or lately 2 chapters of one of Jack's "now he's growing up and reading chapter books" books. Some nights Jack will even read to Abbey himself, letting me off the hook so to speak. One of their favorite books is this collection of Fairy Tales by Usborne Books (fabulous books by the way). It has 6 stories in it, and they can usually choose 1. Last night they chose Rumpelstiltskin. I have to tell you, I am starting to not be able to stand these stories, and they are getting harder and harder to read with a straight face. I had to wonder aloud why in the hell Rumpelstiltskin would trade his gold spinning abilities with the poor millers daughter for her measly necklace? I mean, if you can spin straw into gold, wouldn't you just buy your own necklace? Next he takes her ring, and then wants her first born baby. I can see wanting a baby, maybe. But if you have so much money from all that gold that was formerly straw, you would be able to buy pretty much anything, and I'm sure in this poor village that would include a baby. And this girl? First the King locks her into rooms with piles of straw, telling her "spin it into gold by morning or you'll die!" Die. Actually he will kill her. Then when she does it (supposedly) he decides to marry her. And she DOES! Would you really marry someone who threatened your life? She's a fool.
A lot of the time I just simply change parts of stories that I don't like. So many of these old fairy tales have such odd messages. Goldilocks commits breaking and entering in the 3 bears house, and comes off like a tormented little angel. Jack steals from the giant and then kills him by cutting down the beanstalk and he is a little hero living it up with riches. One of the only good ones is Hansel and Gretel. Two little kids get lost in the woods and go into a strangers house for "safety". Hello? So unsafe. Of course she ends up being evil and wanting to eat them. A good lesson about not talking to strangers, no matter how much they look like a nice old lady. Then there's the three little pigs, whose mother decides that they are what? Too big? Too old to live with her anymore? She proceeds to just kick them out to the street to make their own way while this wolf stalks them the whole time. When I read this particular story I always make the first 2 pigs boy pigs, and the third a girl. The first two, the boys, foolishly make their houses shoddily out of dumb sticks and straw. As if those materials are going to keep the wolf out. Then the very smart and clever girl sister pig makes her house sturdy and strong out of bricks and saves the day by letting her brothers hide out in there with her. Then she boils a pot of water and burns that wolf up. Hero pig girl!
Of course, these little changes of mine are getting harder and harder to pull off. Now that Jack can read.