Last weekend, Robby, Ryan and I decided to see the new "Red Riding Hood" movie that had just been released. When the previews were finished and the movie was about to begin, Robby leaned over and mumbled, "I don't even remember what "Red Riding Hood" was about." UGH!!! How could that be? EVERYBODY should remember the tale of "Red Riding Hood". I didn't have much time, so I took a deep breath and said in one, quick, run-on sentence..."She was on her way to her grandmother's house to take her some goodies because her grandmother wasn't feeling well and when she got there the wolf had eaten her grandmother and was posing as her in bed and Red Riding Hood said, 'Grandmother, what BIG eyes you have'...grandmother replied, 'The better to see you with, my dear'...'Grandmother, what BIG ears you have'...'The better to hear you with, my dear'...'Grandmother, what BIG teeth you have'...'The better to EAT you with, my dear'...then he jumps up to eat her, the woodcutter comes in, kills the wolf and saves her AND in some happier versions, cuts the wolf's belly open and the grandmother pops out, perfectly OK...although I don't believe that will be happening in THIS movie (WHEW...all regaled before the credits were even finished).
I LOVE a fairy tale...always have and most likely always will. However, while viewing the movie I began to think that there really ARE some lessons to be learned from fairy tales. Since "Red Riding Hood" is the one I just saw, let's begin there...
1. I like that fairy tales are generally set in the medieval times. I LOVE everything about those times; castles,
knights, princes. And although Red Riding Hood was not from royalty and no prince comes to her aid, it
still has all of those same elements. There is the little town that is closed off from the forest by a fenced in
wall, the people all know one another and it is what I like to refer to as a "community". There is some-
thing to be said about small communities. Oh, sure, folks all know each other's business but they also all
work together for the good of all. THIS IS A LESSON WE CAN TAKE FROM FAIRY TALES...
"LIFE IS NOT JUST ALL ABOUT SELF"!
2. Fairy tales revolve around something happening in the "dark, scary forest". The forest is NOT a place
anyone would want to go...which brings me to the question, "Why would a parent EVER let a child travel
by foot, ALONE anywhere through that forest? There is danger lurking out there; not in human form, per
se in the fairy tale, but wild animals!! Simply staying on the path still might just not be very safe in my
opinion. THIS IS ANOTHER LESSON WE CAN TAKE FROM FAIRY TALES..."SIMPLY
STAYING ON THE PATH MIGHT NOT BE ENOUGH. STAY OUT OF THE FOREST; DON'T
3. In fairy tales, there is usually evil lurking right around the corner. Often times evil can be in human form
in fairy tales; in Red Riding Hood, it is the "Wolf". The people of the village KNOW that the wolf is
lurking right around the corner...well, actually right there IN THE VILLAGE...AMONG THEM.
Suddenly people don't know who they can trust; who their REAL friends are...they turn on other people
to save themselves. ANOTHER LESSON WE CAN TAKE FROM FAIRY TALES..."YOU
SHOULD BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE YOUR TRUE FRIENDS...THEY ARE THE ONES THAT
HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TRUE TO YOU NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR LIFE."
4. Generally, in fairy tales, "ordinary" people do "extraordinary" things. In Red Riding Hood, no one
really gives the woodcutter much respect. Red Riding Hood's parents don't even want her marrying
him because he is really in their social class. Well, GUESS WHAT?...He's the one at the end of the
day...who SAVES THE DAY! He is just a very nice, conscientious guy who does the right things in
life. ANOTHER LESSON WE CAN TAKE FROM FAIRY TALES..."THERE ARE NICE
PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO DO THE RIGHT THINGS FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN
DOING THE RIGHT THINGS...BE CAREFUL WHO YOU JUDGE AND WHY YOU JUDGE
5. All fairy tale endings are happy; why do you think we all like them so much?! Although the main
character goes through troubles and trials, in the end good always prevails. Well, I know that you are
most likely wondering HOW I can possibly say that this "happy ending" is a lesson that can be taken
away from a fairy tale. THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED HERE IS "THINGS WILL NOT ALWAYS
GO YOUR WAY OR THE WAY YOU HAVE PLANNED, BUT AS LIFE CHANGES BE OPEN
AND WILLING TO ACCEPT THOSE CHANGES AND MAKE THE BEST OF THEM...THIS
WILL ENABLE YOU TO POSSIBLY EXPERIENCE YOUR OWN HAPPILY EVER AFTER..."
Well, I hope that you agree with me on my theory about fairy tales. They are a lovely and memorable part of childhood for many of us. The very thought of reading those stories brings a feeling of happiness to our lives. It was a time when innocence reigned our little worlds. THEN "real life" began (strangely right around the time we started our school careers...) and we didn't know how these stories were even relevant any more; why did our parents even read them to us? THEY KNEW TOO..."THERE ARE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM FAIRY TALES". Life is all about living; not regretting! So go ahead...don't tempt trouble...know who your true friends are...be careful who you judge...find the "extraordinary" within the "ordinary"...and remember: "Life is not just all about self". So, put on that red shirt (or at least polish your nails RED...) and skip on out there into the world and make a difference and you just MIGHT stumble upon a "Happily Ever After" ending too!