Saturday, May 28, 2011
This lengthy post will attempt to explain why I'm the way I am. Some of you may have noticed I'm a bit... odd. I only have my parents to blame for this and my bizarre half-German upbringing. Case in point: these charming illustrations in a popular German children's book, Der Struwwelpeter. It amuses me that this sort of thing was once sanctioned for children as cautionary tales about the consequences of misbehaving. Let's just say that the Germans are big on making sure children obey their parents.
In the first panel, we see Struwwelpeter himself, shunned by society because of his poor grooming habits. That outfit probably didn't help either. You can see his unruly, unkempt hair and his unsightly overgrown fingernails. Do you want to wind up like icky Struwwelpeter, kids?
The second panel illustrates the consequence of playing with matches after little Polly's parents expressly forbade her to do so. Even her poor cats begged her to stop but to no avail. The ensuing conflagration results in Polly "burnt all up from tip to toe" with her poor cats crying over the pile of ashes left behind. The good news is her beautiful shoes survived intact.
The third panel is a simple but enjoyable story of a hunter whose prey decides to take revenge upon him by stealing the hunter's own gun and turning the hunter into the hunted. Perfectly normal.
I saved the best for last. The fourth panel is my absolute favorite of the stories included in the book. You see, young Conrad has the unsanitary habit of sucking his thumbs. As always in these stories, his parents have told him to cease his nasty ways so as to mold him into a respectable human being. Of course, not only does Conrad disobey his parents but he also continues with his horrid habit as soon as his mother leaves the room. The natural consequence of this is that a tailor runs into the room brandishing sharp, pointy scissors and chops off both of Conrad's thumbs. There. Problem solved. The boy will never disobey like that again. Such is the German way of solving problems. :)