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Wed Apr 27, 2016, 07:41 PM

6 Cautionary Tales That Terrified Kids of Yesteryear

http://mentalfloss.com/article/33492/6-cautionary-tales-terrified-kids-yesteryear



Der Struwwelpeter, penned by German psychiatrist Heinrich Hoffmann and released in Germany in 1845, is full of tales of children misbehaving—and the awful, bizarre fates they suffered for doing so. Augustus doesn’t eat his soup, and so he wastes away and dies. Harriet plays with matches and sets herself on fire. But none is stranger or more terrifying than the tale of poor Conrad, also known as 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."


When Conrad sucks his thumb again, he is visited by the tailor, who chases the boy with a giant pair of scissors and cuts off both of his thumbs. Gruesome—and, if Der Struwwelpeter’s sales are any indication, perhaps an effective teaching tool for parents: By 1876, over 100 editions had been printed.


Was everyone in days of yore a freakin’ psychopath? Probably not, but yeesh!

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply 6 Cautionary Tales That Terrified Kids of Yesteryear (Original post)
frogmarch Apr 2016 OP
Wounded Bear Apr 2016 #1
frogmarch Apr 2016 #3
Yavin4 Apr 2016 #2
frogmarch Apr 2016 #4
frogmarch Apr 2016 #5
Wolf Frankula Apr 2016 #6
frogmarch Apr 2016 #7
Warren DeMontague May 2016 #8
frogmarch May 2016 #9

Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 08:58 PM

1. Most of the 'classic' fairy tales that we know today...

were drastically cleaned up before being printed. If you read the original Grimm's Tales, they were, well, pretty grim.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 11:06 AM

3. They sure were.

When I was a little kid in the 40s, some of the Grimm’s Tales were still pretty raw. I wonder if some of the originals can be read online. It’s morning, so I think I could read them without freaking out. Maybe.

In the article I posted, the link pertaining to Edward Gorey took me to his book The Gashley Tinies http://www.amazon.com/Gashlycrumb-Tinies-Edward-Gorey/dp/0151003084 . He lived nowadays, dying in 2011 or thereabouts. I think the book was a satirical poke at some of the awful children’s stories of yesteryear. If it wasn’t, his last name (it was his real last name) certainly fit him!

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 09:43 PM

2. Good thing Conrad couldn't suck his own penis n/t

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 11:08 AM

4. Yep!

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 01:38 PM

5. original Grimm's tales online

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Sat Apr 30, 2016, 08:17 PM

6. Naughty Little Suckathumb

Last edited Sun May 1, 2016, 01:41 AM - Edit history (2)

The long red legged scissor man
Ah, said Mom, I'd knew he'd come,
To Naughty Little Suckathumb..

The Long Red Legged Scissor Man ran into Suckathumb's bedroom. There he saw Naughty Little Suckathumb lying on his bed with Rags the Dog.

"Stick out your thumbs!" cried the Scissor Man.
"No!" shouted Naughty Little Suckathumb.
'Snip Snip went the scissors.

The Long Red Legged Scissor Man waved the scissors. Naughty Little Suckathumb reached beside his bed and replied.
"This is an AK-47 select fire riffle firing a 7.62x39 full metal jacketed round from a 30 round magazine. I have locked and loaded."

"Stick out your thumbs!" cried the Scissor Man.
"No!" shouted Naughty Little Suckathumb.
'Snip, Snip!' went the scissors.

"Stick out your thumbs!" cried the Scissor Man.
"No!" shouted Naughty Little Suckathumb.
'Snip, Snip!' went the scissors.
'Brrrrp' went the AK-47 blowing the Long Red Legged Scissor Man Base over apex. Then Suckathumb leaped up from the bed, took his K-bar and cut off the Long Red Legged Scissor Man's left ear, to verify the kill. Then he and Rags the Dog dragged the carcass to the sitting room. Naughty Little Suckathumb said.

"Here's the last shithead who criticized my habits. Does anybody else have an objection?"

He scratched Rags the Dog, sucked his thumb and went back to his bedroom.

Wolf

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Response to Wolf Frankula (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 30, 2016, 09:01 PM

7. +1000

Well done, Little Suckathumb!

Well done, Wolf!

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Sun May 1, 2016, 06:11 AM

8. I look at that and go

"Shit, no wonder my grandparents were so fucked up"

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #8)

Sun May 1, 2016, 08:21 AM

9. I never knew

mine, but I think back on some of the old people I knew as a kid and think I get why they were too!

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