Friday, November 16, 2007

Even the Devil is Afraid of a Shrew

Even the Devil Is Afraid of a Shrew ~ retold by Valerie Stalder, adapted by Ray Broekel and illustrated by Richard Brown/ published 1972 by Addison-Wesley

Hands down, this is the freakiest book I have ever bought my son. I'm not gonna lie and say it is one of his favorites, because I've actually never shown it to him. As it is the retelling of an old Scandinavian folktale, I assume there is a moral, but what that would be is any one's guess. Basically, it is about a guy who gets nagged by his wife nonstop.

He had a wife who was very bad-tempered
and unpleasant -- a real shrew.
She was always scolding and grumbling at him.
Nothing he ever did was right, poor man!
But everything his wife did was right,
according to her.

And then one day he comes across a deep hole in the ground that he promptly pushes her into. Eventually, he gets around to rescuing her, and when (three years later) he finally drops a line down, who should crawl up but the devil -- climbing up the rope in hopes of escaping the tormenting vocal cords of the man's wife himself. The story goes on from there, but basically it must have been told to young Lapish girls to keep them from nagging their future husbands. The illustrations are very vivid and lively, and I suppose the story it isn't any worse for the self-esteem of our nation's little girls than the ever-kowtowing stories of princesses old.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...