I have been an avid reader all my life and it is safe to assume that as a child, I would have heard a lot of stories. However, I dont remember even questioning them. One could say I was too lazy or uncritical, or in a more positive light, I just accepted the story as someone’s worldview and did not think to question it.
In my thirties, and with a growing child now, I am now revisiting these stories, not as a listener but as a speaker and I am constantly questioned about them. My daughter is very unlike me. Every think I say in the story has to confirm to whatever she has been told or has observed and inferred for herself before. THis is how the rendering of the popular tortoise and hare story went.
Me reading the story from the aesop fable book : The hare would come near the lake and tease the tortoise.
Migu (my daughter) : Looking at the pictures, Where is the lake? I dont see any?
Me : They forgot to put it, but it was there.
Migu : BUt the tortoise I used to see in Aunty’s house (our neighbor had a tortoise) was always in water. WHy is this one not in water.
Me : It will go back to water soon.
Migu : But if it is in water, why should it do a running race?
Me : Good question, but somehow it did do running race.
We move on with the story till we reach the point of the hare sleeping
Migu : Why did hare sleep in running race?
Me : He was confident he will win, so he slept.
Migu : Did the tortoise not see him sleep?
Me: Yes he did
Migu : Why did he not wake him up then?
I dont want to overanalyze her thought processes while making these observations, but I do sometimes thin, Hey, that is a fairly nuanced understanding of equity (how is it even fair for a tortoise and hare to have a race) and fairplay (tortoise should wake up the hare) for a four year old.