Villain

Can you spot the villain in the forest?
Can you spot the villain in the forest?

Can you spot the real villain in this drawing?

Actually, the real villain here are the trees. They earn this honor because they are genetically-modified hybrids, which can not reproduce by seed. The trees have been developed to produce maximum yield timber, but once harvested, new seedlings are hand planted to insure a productive woodlot.

The Wolf, the Hunter and the Picnicker

The figures have both their good and points, but in general, these three are beneficial to the outdoor area. The hunter manages the wild game and the wolf, while avoiding the hunter, also helps control small animal populations, such as mice and rabbits. And finally the lady in red, through her picnicking activities adds small amounts of food to the food chain.

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The Modern Day Fairy Tale

Little Red Riding Hood, from wikipedia, im
Little Red Riding Hood, from wikipedia, photo by Krakin

Strange Inspiration

One might think that recent Hollywood feature productions would be the major inspiration for my latest short story, a take on Little Red Riding Hood. But a much more likely influence are the cartoons that I saw as a youth, especially the Fractured Fairy Tales segment occasionally aired on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. For some strange reason unbeknowst to me, fairy tales never seem to lose their timeless qualities.

Other Toons

Growing up in the sixties, I was a great fan of Saturday morning cartoons. In fact so popular was the medium that some animated programs, the Flintstones and the Jetsons come to mind, were shown during prime time hours. However, when dealing with the adaptions of fairy tales to the TV medium, Rocky and Bullwinkle were not the only culprits. Influences from the Grimm Brothers, Hans Chritian Andersen and other folklorists would occasionally appear in other venues as well, such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Betty Boop and  etc. And then there were the feature films that Walt Disney made, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which were really forerunners to recent releases like Snow White and The Huntsman and The Brothers Grimm.

Snow White, Then and Now

Snow White as portrayed by Ginnifer Goodwin in the ABC series, Once Upon a Time, from wikipedia
Snow White as portrayed by Ginnifer Goodwin in the ABC series, Once Upon a Time, from wikipedia

Snow White, the cartoon character

 

My Literary Effort

My literary effort is entitled A Forest Tale and it is free this week at Smashwords. I wrote it for an anthology at Bette Noire that was devoted to the modern retelling of old fairy tales. The story was rejected in the final round, but it did receive a nice letter from one of the reviewers, (a rarity in my literary experience). The story is set in royal China and characters include a lady in red, a big bad wolf, a pompous king, some hunters and a diplomat from a faraway land. So here it is for your own reading enjoyment.

Taking the Time To Say Thank You

Little_Red_Riding_Hood_WPA_poster
A 1939 WPA poster done by Kenneth Whitley, featuring the image of Little Red Riding Hood encountering the wolf

Almost

A while back I submitted a short story to the Bette Noire Anthology that was publishing a collection of short stories based on fairy tales from the Grimm Brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm. Though only a select few of the intriguing tales are widely read, this popular 19th century collection features over 200 fascinating fables, collected straight form the hinterlands of Old Germany.

For my submission, I chose one of the most popular, Little Red Riding Hood. My short story ran almost 2500 words and featured a grown-up heroine with a Chinese name living in a vast forest estate owned by a not-so-benevolent king. After many weeks of no response I finally received an e-mail stating that my story had made the final round, but alas it fell short of being included in the anthology.

Many Thanks

Though very disappointed, I was surprised and excited to finally hear from the publisher. Most unexpected was the detailed two paragraph letter that the editor wrote explaining what he did and  didn’t like about the story. Right away, I e-mailed a thank you note but unfortunately that was returned as spam. Since this was my first rejection for the story, I hope to find a place for it somewhere else. Modern take-offs of classic fairy tales are always a good bet, so maybe I can locate a home for it yet….if not it will probably end up on Kindle and/or Smashwords.

Not Fade Away

Does anybody remember the “Fractured Fairy Tales” from the old “Rocky and Bulwinkle Show“. I do because at the time it was one of favorite TV shows. Furthermore, I think that in a subliminal way I was trying to re-create my own fractured fairy tale when I re-wrote the Little Red Riding Hood story.

New Movies

Going back to old classics has always been a valid Hollywood tradition, but most recently, the guys and gals from Southern California seemed to have re-discovered some of the old Classics of European storytelling. This can be easily in such releases as The Brothers Grimm, Beowulf and Snow White and the Huntsman. Perhaps the Snow White story retold as an epic adventure was most successful at the box office and as a result I would expect some more of the same in the near future.

So long for now.

Henri

Charlize Theron as Snow White