Life is not worth living unless you are beautiful. Sound a little off-base? I think so too. But that is one of the lessons I learned from the book that Staley and I read tonight.
We read to Staley a lot. A few nights ago, I noticed that we had some children's books from Zach's childhood days on a shelf in the office. I moved them into Staley's room and we have been adding them to her story-time repertoire. One of Zach's old books was "The Ugly Duckling" that I read to Staley tonight. Although I know I'd heard this story as a child, I was appalled at this version of the story. It was so horrible that I found myself laughing out loud, in a I-can't-believe-they-wrote-that-in-a-children's-book kind of way. And since it made me laugh out loud, I thought I'd share a little of the book with you. And I quote:
"The little duckling was so unhappy. He had no friends. Everyone laughed at him, EVEN HIS MOTHER."
(REALLY? The story I remember at least had a loving duck mother.)
"He decided to run away. 'Nobody will miss me,' he said. And nobody did."
(We can assume this includes his evil duck mother who is probably still laughing at him. Uplifting so far, isn't it?)
"Winter came. The days were cold, the nights were even colder, and food was very hard to find. Now the little duckling was not only lonely, he was cold and hungry too."
(So now we have an unloved, unwanted, cold, hungry, lonely, and depressed swan whose mother doesn't even love him or miss him. Great children's book, right? But the kicker came next...)
"He called to the swans. 'Please, come and kill me. I am so ugly, and I am so lonely I do not want to live.'"
Seriously. This was directly quoted from the book. So now our unloved, unwanted, cold, hungry, lonely, depressed, ugly little duckling is also SUICIDAL. What kind of book is this???? But don't worry. Luckily our little duckling realizes that "he had changed into a beautiful swan and would never be lonely again." Apparently as long as you are beautiful, you won't be lonely and you don't have to kill yourself.
So there you have it. I think this was one of those books that is supposed to teach children a moral lesson. Well, the lesson I learned tonight is never to read this book to my child again.
So if anyone wants to borrow a book....