27 May 2009

The Woodcutter's Good Deed

I finished this and was told I actually looked like a fish, my mouth opening and shutting with no words coming out. I tried in vain to school my expression to one of polite disinterest- my amused disgust winning in the end.

This is a DREADFUL children's book. It tells the story of a woodcutter who is coming home one day when he comes across a snake he thinks is dead in the middle of the road. On closer inspection he realises it is just almost frozen from the cold, so he wraps it in his jacket and takes the critter home, hoping to revive it. His children and wife help him to warm the snake up, although they are scared of it.

This is where I was thinking that the snake would prove very grateful to the family who showed him kindness, even though his kind are normally feared and reviled. 

Ummm... not so much.

The snake sees the family, rears up suddenly and goes to bite one of the children. The woodcutter runs across the room and, with his axe, strikes off the snake's head. 

The End.

This is all illustrated with graphic pictures of the action. Apparently this is based on one of Aesop's fables, but I have no recollection of it... besides which aren't the fables supposed to teach us something? What does the story teach us? Don't bring snakes home? Always keep an axe handy?


Rating: 2/10. 
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