Already Albert Einstein said: “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Recently, I’ve been writing a fairy tale that I’ve told to the two children I have been babysitting They liked it a lot. We’ll see how the others like it. The story started as we finished reading the Grimm brothers’ stories and there was no other book left that I could read to the two 7 and one 8-years-old boys. Without any computer or mobile device, and therefore without internet connection to the world-wide sources of tales, I started telling my own story. We were busy for almost four weeks in a row, but not on a daily basis. The good thing about telling your own story is that you can involve the children into the story and you can speak about themes that really catch their attention. In fairy tales there is always something bad happening to your characters, but there is as well a good, happy ending.
As we developed the story, based on our ideas and wishes, we had two very important conversations. The first one was about THE kiss. I was even ready to maroon the kissing scene, but the little one insisted on having it. I wondered why and he answered with the wisdom of a seven years old:
-If there is no kiss, there is no love. They have to kiss, because they love each other. How can’t you know it?
Seriously, I often admired the the little one’s spirit of fight. A similar thought flew through my mind as the story was already finished. The little one asked for an alternative ending. He was horribly disappointed and totally surprised that there was no dragon and that we agreed on “The End” – line. Let me introduce the approximate exchange of opinions that we had then:
-A dragon? – I wondered, because we had never spoken about a dragon. – What dragon?
-Yes, every proper (the little one really used the word “proper”) fairy tale has a dragon in it. It means that you’re not the youngest child anymore, when you listen to the stories with dragons.
-But the story is finished. – I said. – We can rethink how to incorporate the dragon into the story, but it won’t be easy now. Why do you wish to have a dragon anyway?
-Dragons can fly. The wolves are just fast and brave. – the little one answered. (Of course dragons can fly! How could I just forget! – I thought.)
-Is it OK, when we think about another story, where we will have at least one dragon?
-No, we need a dragon here.
Therefore, we incorporated griffins, because we needed some kind of dragon for a proper fairy tale. It was a win-win-situation for both of us. A real, huge dragon will probably appear next time.