And They Lived Happily Ever After

“If I’m Honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.”
–Audrey Hepburn

I love that quote. I, too, grew up loving fairy tales. Maybe that’s why I had my main character love them too. As the series continues, she becomes cynical and decides the stories are a young girl’s dream. Will she ever believe again?

We all want to believe in fairy tales and the “happily ever after” ending. Most Disney movies have show us that. Books I had when I was younger did, too. If Ms. Hepburn referred to those stories then I’m right with her. If she’s talking about the real Grimm’s Fairy Tales—maybe not.

I read an article recently that told the true stories behind fairy tales. It said people might be quite surprised by the real endings. Some were gruesome in their tellings. For example, Cinderella’s step-sisters chopped off their toes to make the glass slipper fit. I’ll spare you from the rest.

I think these stories were originally written to scare children into behaving. If you’re bad, look what happens. If you’re good, you’re rewarded. Don’t wander too far from home. The big bad wolf is in the forest. I’m sure children of the past took those stories to heart for different reasons than the children of today.

I’m glad fairy tales have been changed to sugar-coat the endings. Sure we still have the villains, and they get their due in the end. Kids need to still believe in something. I think fairy tales will do nicely. It encourages them to read and stimulates the imagination. In recent years the message has also changed. Not all princesses need to be rescued and not all have to fall in love. But the happily ever after message is still there.

Fairy tales. Whether you love them or not, they are steeped in history. Audrey Hepburn loved them as adult. So I guess it’s okay if I still love them, too.

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Squirrel Mania

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What’s up with squirrels in the fall? What’s going on in their little minds? I swear they have a death wish. They dart out in front of a car at a moment’s notice.

I could write a story about them. It couldn’t be a  cute little children’s book because there might be a lot of blood and gore like a horror story. Spy novel? Mystery story? Possession? There are endless possibilities. These squirrels aren’t for the fainthearted.  They are little daredevils.

My husband thinks the squirrels are doing performance moves, like in the Olympics. They get scored on how well they did. He’s positive there’s a row of judging squirrels set up along the side of the road holding up scorecards.

The strange thing is that squirrels only do this in the fall. They also sit in the middle of the road and when they see a car coming, they don’t budge. They’re like deer in the headlights. Then, suddenly they dart to the edge of the street as if they figured it out. But wait, they turn on a dime and are right back in front of you. Some enjoy the “go, left, no go right, oh, I mean left again” routine. I feel they’re taunting you to hit them. Sometimes they sprint out from the side of the road at the last minute. That move I call the death wish.

In reality, there is an explanation. I just read an article in the paper about this phenomenon. Squirrels travel farther from home in autumn, looking for acorns and water supplies. They are not familiar with their surroundings. When they reach pavement or asphalt they become disoriented. So there’s the truth.

Still, I’d like to think there’s something more going on. When fall arrives, a brain cell ignites, giving the squirrel the ability to harass the humans of the world. They play with your mind, teasing you to hit them and feel guilty for the rest of your life. Maybe they’re hoping for a squirrel sanctuary to be built in their honor. Who knows what goes on in their little minds?

Whatever you think of the squirrel phenomenon, please keep your eye out for the little critters. And maybe next time you see a squirrel in the road,  you’ll want to create your own story, your own explanation of Why the Squirrel Crossed the Road.