I have recently introduced Migu to popular fairy tales and now our bed time reading as well as meal time stories are generally Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.
As I have blogged in the past,here and here Migu does not like to consume stories in a docile way. She has to constantly comment or critique a story. So this is how our story telling session on Snow White went.
Snow White had a step mother who had a magic mirror.
Migu : Wow step mother and magic. Is she like the fairy godmother? Will she wave her want?
Me : Well, no step mother and fairy godmother are different, sort of very opposite to each other. Will you let me continue?
As I continue we come to the bit about the mirror.
Me : The step mother asked the mirror, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
Migu : Wait, wait, I am the mirror, you are step mother, now ask me.
Me: Ok, Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?
Migu : Goldilocks
Me : Not Goldilocks, Snow White.
Migu : But that day you told me Golilocks was also beautiful.
Me : Never minds, its another story. Can we continue.
After some time, as we come to the bit about Snow White falling after eating the apple
Me : How do you think she revived?
Migu : How? How?
Me : A handsome prince came and saw Beautiful Snow Whites Body. When he kissed her, she revived.
Migu : Thats not fair. Thats what happened to Sleeping Beauty. You are simply saying this.
Me : No that is the story.
Migu : Why is it always the prince?
Me : I dont know, can I continue?
Migu : Ok
Me : The prince and Snow White got married and lived in a castle
Migu : No, that is what happened to Rapunzel
Me : So its a different prince, and it was perfectly OK for him to marry Snow White.
Migu : Getting irritated, there is always a prince (She said it in Tamil, so all who follow Tamil can truly understand the impact of a line like Eppopathalum Prince, Eppopathalum Prince.
After some time,
Migu : I dont like these stories, I only like Red Riding Hood.
Me : Why
Migu : There is no prince, only a wolf.
The Feminist in Me : You go girl, yes you dont need a prince.
Like I have written before, I didnt really question any story while growing up. I dont not always fantasize about a life similar to the one which I was reading about, but I accepted it and never thought to challenge their choices. I am glad Migu is growing up, questioning stories, and maybe unconsiously breaking stereotypes and challenging possibilities and choices.