A reenactment of the story of the Tortoise and The Hare for a children’s party ended in tears yesterday, when the hare beat the tortoise to the finish line.
“I don’t understand it,” said Mary Gilcroft, whose daughter’s party this was. “It was nothing like the book. Not only was the hare fast, but he had a really good work ethic and didn’t stop once. He was even really friendly for a hare. Didn’t bite or anything, loved being stroked. Unlike the tortoise, who made at least two of the children cry.”
Mary’s husband John added: “Turns out the hare’s natural ability for bounding across the lawn at high speed didn’t mean he was also a prick. Apparently, reality doesn’t necessarily make the underdog the hero by virtue of convenient character flaws in the alpha hare. And that tortoise really was a bit of a shit.”
The Gilcrofts say that the race’s outcome has made them question the literature that they buy for their children.
“We question everything now,” said John. “Christmas is coming soon. Our son, Jack, is meant to be playing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the school play. Have you ever properly read it? All the reindeers bully Rudolph and make his life a misery, until they realise he can be useful for them, and then suddenly they want to be his friend. So, apparently bullying is ok as long as the victim isn’t of any use to you. It’s ridiculous.”
“It’s not just a couple of stories either,” said Mary. “It’s all of them: Jack and Jill, Hansel and Gretel, they’re all deeply fucked on a moral level. What the hell is supposed to be their message anyway? Falling down hills is funny? Don’t trust women who live alone and are really into gingerbread? Don’t get me started on the huge volume of prince and princess literature. They’re basically the patriarchy’s manifesto with a side order of pro-rape adverts.”
“I can’t believe we never noticed,” John said with a big sigh. “We’ve basically limited the kids’ reading to cereal packet ingredients lists now. Unfortunately, it’s Jack’s birthday in a couple of weeks and we promised we’d reenact his favourite book for him aswell.”
“What’s his favourite book?” we asked John.
“Where The Wild Things Are. We’ve contacted the RSPCA in advance, and stockpiled medicine in case of bites, but we’re still shitting ourselves.”