Sunday, November 23, 2014

J'Accuse! (Or, The Big Bad Wolf Strikes Back)

He's never been given a fair hearing. Until now.

J'ACCUSE!

I am the Big Bad Wolf, and I have some things to say.

I accuse you, Brothers Grimm, and possibly Madame Perrault, and, who knows, even gloomy old Hans Christian, for getting a shitload of things wrong in translation.

(1) The Three Little Pigs were contravening building regulations. Someone had to stop them, or the whole forest would have burnt down. (FYI, the third little pig’s brick house didn’t cut the municipal by-laws either, the electrical wiring was dangerous and wasn't forwarded to me for inspection. Since Pinocchio retired I have to approve all electrical plans, too.)

(2) Reynard the Fox: You’re a trickster and I’m sick of being your fall guy. Wait until I tell all about your dealings with the mob and your affair with Goldilocks. Rumplestiltskin wants his Porsche back. I’ll deal with you later.

(3) Little Red. Oh, how you broke my heart. You told me you loved me, but then you fell for the huntsman, because he was cooler than me apparently. You know he just wanted you as a trophy wife. Before you knew it, you had five children and he dumped you for Cinderella.

(4) Werewolves? Well, it’s not a curse that I can pass on my gift. That first human asked for it. He was dying, you kno, wounded. So I bit him. I would have liked him to control his hunger. Sadly he couldn’t. I was younger then; I didn’t think he’d start a bloodthirsty epidemic. But my kind does keep the vampire population under control.

(5) Oh, yes, the Woodcutter again. Do you know what it feels like having your stomach hacked open and filled with stones? Why bother with the stones in the first place anyway? The abdominal wound would be fatal enough. Anyway, being a magical creature, I didn’t die. Instead I lay for a long time at the bottom of the lake and I did a lot of thinking. After the pain had gone away I realised they were magic stones - your fault for not checking. It took a while to get them out (it’s pretty gross, too, digging around in your guts) but eventually I healed. By that time I had become quite used to lying on the floor of the lake and taught myself to walk under water to the ocean. The dolphins and crabs didn’t judge me which was refreshing; they’d never seen a wolf before. I even met the Little Mermaid and we bonded for a while over Bellinis on her private island, lamenting how fickle humans are. I really admire her, because it takes years to rematerialise from the foam.

(6) But, in all fairness, there are some happy stories. I can’t just be angry. So I’d also like to thank Mr Rudyard Kipling and Mr Jack London for their more positive portrayals of my kin (and, now that I think of it, even Mr Prokofiev, because in his story he at least doesn’t kill me, but takes me to the zoo.)

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’d like to go howl at the moon and possibly hunt a bunny rabbit. You know, since I have big teeth, all the better to bite with and all that clap-trap. In the meantime, please forward any correspondence to my secretary, Old Mother Hubbard.

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