25 November 2013

A very dark moral tale for children: The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb

This story was written in 1844 by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman. It's a very dark moral tale told in form of a poem.
I came across it on the internet and was so eager to share it here with you 'coz I'd love to know what you think about the way children are being brought up like this.

The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb

One day Mamma said: "Conrad dear,
I must go out and leave you here.

But mind now, Conrad, what I say,
Don't suck your thumb while I'm away.
The great tall tailor always comes
To little boys that suck their thumbs,
And ere they dream what he's about,
He takes his great sharp scissors out,
And cuts their thumbs clean off, - and then,
You know, they never grow again."

Mamma had scarcely turn'd her back,
The thumb was in, Alack! Alack!

The door flew open, in he ran,
The great, long, red-legg'd scissor-man.
Oh! children, see! the tailor's come
And caught out little Suck-a-Thumb.
Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out - Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast
That both his thumbs are off at last.

Mamma comes home; there Conrad stands,
And looks quite sad, and shows his hands, -
"Ah!" said Mamma, "I knew he'd come
To naughty little Suck-a-Thumb."

Gruesome, don't you think?
If an author were to write morality tales like this one these days he/she might probably end up in jail.

Did you grow up with stories like these? Was was it like for you?
I know my parents used to scare me with their tales back in the 90's. It wasn't nice for me as a child to have to learn out of fear.

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