Friday, July 23, 2010
Write the Dragon. Read the Beast.
"Fairy tales don't tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." Author unknown.
She draws with candy sticks of color. Stick figures smiling back at her from the page. She looks in the mirror wondering where her smiles have gone. Who has seen them? Who would know?
Passion fruit eating fairies listen to the stories she tells in their garden. Little winged people all tucked up in her mother's forgotten garden. Weeds live here too. She thinks she might be one of them.
She reads. Like one would breathe, she reads. Mostly at night. As if darkness could gobble up her bedroom and torch light could free the words on her page. She hasn't yet worked out that she will one day grow up. When she does these stories will matter.
Wolves huff and puff. Piggies shake in houses that fall. Red Riding Hood isn't safe is stalked in the forest. Gingerbread men run away. Grandmother's morph into creatures with big eyes, and ears and child eating teeth. The sky is falling. And dragon's breathe fire.
Children live in world's you could never imagine.
If you write for them, tell the truth. Dragons can be slayed.
If you read to them, discuss the truth. Confront the villains. Cut the beasts to size. And give childhood back its freedom.
What about you? Do you write the dragon or read the beast?