D was regularly seen at school with bruises all over his body.
'D is a tiny lad and just did not deserve these types of beatings1.'
Even though this particular missing child was small for his seven years, I wouldnt have thought any child deserved any type of beatings. Or 'maybe it's me'. If it was me being beaten, assuming I survived, at least there is a place on Hootoo I could go2.
The Home of Today seems to agree with me on this one:
'A child is a person with the right and privelege of personality which all must respect... fear injures children in spirit, mind and body, and the fears of childhood, if left unconquered by the child's will, persist into adult life, and pave the way for much nervous distress)3.'
No doubt The Home of Today is referring to this sort of thing:
'She used the poor fellow very harshly, and was always pushing him from one corner of the house to another, and thumping him one while and pinching him another, so that he was for ever in fear of her4.'
This is one of the less scary bits of a Grimms' Fairy tale, later on, the unfortunate child is tricked by mummy into opening a heavy chest:
'As the little boy stooped down to reach one of the apples out of the chest, bang! she let the lid fall, so hard that his head fell off amongst the apples.'
Ouch!!! However, The Home of Today has no truck with all this P.C
'One of the great English poets felt that the chief value of fairy tales was that they set the facts of life in a fantastic setting, so that the children could accept them without pain, and that they paved the way for the children to face the realities of life later on. One or two modern educationalists have questioned the value of fairy tales for young children, but it is not very convincing to read their arguments.'
I'm inclined to agree. Certainly for me, as a child, the fantasy world of books was a powerful means of escape and remains so today. My particular favourite, Enid Blyton5 has probably been debated more than any other children's author. You will be astonished to learn that I am firmly in favour of retaining them in their original form, golliwogs and all. I had a beautiful golliwog, far more beloved than the stupid dolls - although it must be said, I did have a black doll amongst them... but I also had a black friend in real life. And I saved the paper golliwogs from the jam-jars so I could get a golliiwog badge!
Oh, piddle and bosh! This is all becoming frightfully serious, old chap, let us be seriously frightful eh what? After all, even lessons can be fun, especially if you are trying to learn English in France. (The reverse process is not quite such a bundle of laughs...)
Let us see what the Cours d'Anglais6 has to say:
- 'The fat black man runs after the large bus.'
-er, maybe not, certainly on two counts, possibly three if the rights of mini-buses are taken into consideration.
- 'George falls off the horse.'
Blatant cruelty. 'Save the horse; sod George!' would be the official
advice given by elf> I am sure. If he can spare time from looking for his new pussy that is. Where is it?
- 'Lucy looks at Pussy on the roof and Pussy looks at the goose on the moon.'
Yeeees... this sort of surrealistic plot sounds rather like the sort of
bed-time story Eustace might have listened to long ago.
Let's get back to familiar territory.
Take this one from The Hon Wm (Cocktail) Boothby7.
'Stir a can of gasoline with a monkey wrench, add a few bolts and washers and decorate with nuts. If the patient wants it hot, touch a match to it'.
He's a nice boy really; I'm sure his mummy loves him.