Retell Classical Children’s Stories with Happy Endings.
During the holiday season, Ed, my neighbor next door, had a week of reading bedtime stories to a very young, visiting grandchild. Ed was pretty disappointed with the classic stories of the Gingerbread Man, and Chicken Little. “Do you realize how lame those stories sound today?” Ed asked me. Before I could answer his question, Ed continued, “Run, run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the Gingerbread Man, what nonsense,” Ed said. “That Gingerbread Man didn’t have any super powers for running with extraordinary speed,” Ed complained. “He didn’t even come with batteries,” Ed scoffed.
Ed also became belligerent about silly names in Chicken Little. “All the names were so foolish that I could hardly spit them out; Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Goosey Loosy, Ducky Lucky, and Foxy Loxy – no wonder the sky was falling,” Ed said. The final criticism Ed had for both stories, was that, each had a violent ending. A fox in both stories ate the Gingerbread Man and all the silly sounding fowl. “Those old stories need to be rewritten with happy endings, where the cunning and hungry foxes are tasered by a super hero or a friendly robot,” Ed concluded.
I tried to suggest to Ed that maybe you have to be a child to enjoy children’s stories, but he wasn’t convinced. Ed feels if you don’t like a story you should be able to change it to suit your liking. When I expressed the idea that only the author should have the right to revise or rewrite his or her story, Ed said that was just plain silly. I decided that the sky would need to be falling before, Ed and I would agree.
It seems that many folks like the idea of rewriting stories, songs, and even events from the past into a modern and more individualistic and self-satisfying version. A newer or modern twist on the past may not be an improvement. In 2013, there were folks who actually named their baby boys Panda, Phone and Cheese. Newer is not always better.
In 1816, Joseph Mohr wrote the words to Silent Night, and in 1818 Franz Gruber wrote the music to go with the words. Since then Silent Night has been translated into 140 languages. In 2011, UNESCO, declared the carol to be, “an intangible cultural heritage.” Today for reasons of political correctness the words to Silent Night have been changed completely in some American public schools. Why rewrite the original? If it isn’t suitable, don’t use it, just leave alone what has been given.
The Bible is clear about what name Jesus was to have. An angel appeared to Joseph and said, “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She shall give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” An angel of the Lord appeared to Shepherds and said, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” It’s the original good news, Christ Jesus, came into the world to save sinners, because none of us is without sin. Whoever believes in Him will have eternal life, and that will never change.