Title: Revolting Rhymes.
Author: Roald Dahl.
Genre: Fiction, literature, poetry, fairy tales, folklore, parody, humour, children's lit, picture book.
Publication Date: 1982.
Summary: A collection of 6 poems, which are a re-telling of well-known fairy-tales, with a dark twist. In Cinderella, Prince Charming turns out to be far from charming, and Cindy learns an important lesson in what's important in a match. In Jack and the Beanstalk, when Jack trades the cow for magic beans and has a giant beanstalk spring up in his backyard, he and his abusive mother learn a valuable lesson in the merits of good personal hygiene. In Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs, when Snow-White takes refuge from her evil stepmother with seven dwarfs (all retired horse-jockeys) who have a gambling problem at the racetrack, she figures out a new use for her stepmother's magic mirror. In Goldilocks and the Three Bears, after breaking into, robbing and vandalizing the bear family's house, Goldilocks gets what's coming to her. In Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, the wolf waits for the girl at her grandmother's house, hoping to eat her like he's eaten the old woman, but this Little Red Riding Hood is no push-over. In The Three Little Pigs, when the third pig is horrified when the wolf decides to use dynamite to bring down his house of bricks, he decides to call infamous Red Riding Hood for help, but not everyone who kills big bad wolves is a hero.
My rating: 9/10.
♥ I guess you think you know this story.
You don't. The real one's much more gory.
The phoney one, the one you know,
Was cooked up years and years ago,
And made to sound all soft and sappy
Just to keep the children happy.
♥ "All right?" cried Cindy "Can't you see
"I feel as rotten as can be!"
She beat her fist against the wall,
And shouted, "Get me to the Ball!
"There is a Disco at the Palace!
"The rest have gone and I am jalous!
"I want a dress! I want a coach!
"And earrings and a diamond brooch!
"And silver slippers, two of those!
"And lovely nylon panty-hose!
"Done up like that I'll guarantee
"The handsome Prince will fall for me!"
♥ Ah-ha, you see, the plot grows thicker,
And Cindy's luck starts looking sicker.
♥ Now came the Ugly Sisters' go.
One tried it one. The Prince screamed, "No!"
But she screamed, "Yes! It fits! Whoopee!
"So now you've got to marry me!
The Prince went white from ear to ear.
He muttered, "Let me out of here."
"Oh no you don't! You made a vow!
"There's no way you can back out now!"
"Off with her head!" the Prince roared back.
They chopped it off with one big whack.
This pleased the Prince. He smiled and said,
"She's prettier without her head."
♥ Poor Cindy's heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince! She thought. He chops off heads!
How could I marry anyone
Who does that sort of thing for fun?
The Prince cried, "Who's this dirty slut?
"Off with her nut! Off with her nut!"
♥ Cindy answered, "Oh kind Fairy,
"This time I shall be more wary.
"No more Princes, no more money.
"I have had my taste of honey.
"I'm wishing for a decent man.
"They're hard to find. D'you think you can?"
Within a minute, Cinderella
Was married to a lovely feller,
A simply jam-maker by trade,
Who sold good home-made marmalade.
Their house was filled with smiles and laughter
And they were happy ever after.
♥ Jack was nimble, Jack was keen.
He scrambled up the mighty bean.
Up up he went without a stop,
But just as he was near the top,
A ghastly frightening thing occurred -
Nor far above his head he heard
A big deep voice, a rumbling thing
That made the very heavens ring.
It shouted loud, "FEE FI FO FUM
"I SMELL THE BLOOD OF AN ENGLISHMAN!"
♥ "He smelled me out, I swear it, mum!
"He said he smelled an Englishman!"
The mother said, "And well he might!
"I've told you every single night
"To take a bath because you smell,
"But would you do it? Would you hell!
"You even make your mother shrink
"Because of your unholy stink!"
Jack answered, "Well, if you're so clean
"Why don't you climb the crazy bean."
The mother cried, "By gad, I will!
"There's life within the old dog still!"
And disappeared right up the tree.
Now would the Giant smell his mum?
Jack listened for the fee-fo-fum.
He gazed aloft. He wondered when
The dreaded words would come... And then...
From somewhere high above the ground
There came a frightful crunching sound.
He heard the Giant mutter twice,
"By gosh, that tasted very nice.
"Although" (and this in grumpy tones)
"I wish there weren't so many bones."
"By Christopher!" Jack cried. "By gum!
"The Giant's eaten up my mum!
"He smelled her out! She's in his belly!
"I had a hunch that she was smelly."
♥ "A bath," he said, "does seem to pay.
"I'm going to have one every day."
~~from Jack and the Beanstalk.
♥ When little Snow-White's mother died,
The king, her father, up and cried,
"Oh, what a nuisance! What a life!
"Now I must find another wife!"
(It's never easy for a king
To find himself that sort of thing.)
He wrote to every magazine
And said, "I'm looking for a Queen."
♥ Now every day, week in week out,
The spoiled and stupid Queen would shout,
"Oh Mirror Mirror on the wall,
"Who is the fairest of them all?"
The Mirror answered every time,
"Oh Madam, you're the Queen sublime.
"You are the only one to charm us,
"Queen, you are the cat's pyjamas."
For ten whole years the silly Queen
Repeated this absurd routine.
Then suddenly, one awful day,
She heard the Magic Mirror say,
"From now on, Queen, you're Number Two.
"Snow-White is prettier than you!"
The Queen went absolutely wild.
She yelled, "I'm going to scrag that child!
"I'll cook her flaming goose! I'll skin'er!
"I'll have her rotten guts for dinner!"
♥ Fearing the worst, poor Snow-White spake.
She cried, "Oh please give me a break!"
The knife was poised, the arm was strong,
She cried again, "I've done no wrong!"
The Huntsman's heart began to flutter.
It melted like a pound of butter.
He murmured, "Okay, beat it, kid."
And you can bet your life she did.
♥ Later, the Huntsman made a stop
Within the local butcher's shop,
And there he bought, for safety's sake,
A bullock's heart and one nice steak.
"Oh Majesty! Oh Queen!" he cried,
"That rotten little girl has died!
"And just to prove I didn't cheat,
"I've brought along these bits of meat."
The Queen cried out, "Bravissimo!
"I trust you killed her nice and slow."
Then (this is the disgusting part)
The Queen sat down and ate the heart!
(I only hope she cooked it well.
Boiled heart can be as tough as hell.)
♥ She'd found it easy, being pretty,
To hitch a ride into the city,
And there she'd got a job, unpaid,
As general cook and parlour-maid
With seven funny little men,
Each one not more than three foot ten,
Ex horse-rack jockeys, all of them.
♥ They went to Ascot and of course
For once they backed the winning horse.
Thereafter, every single day,
The Mirror made the bookies pay.
Each Dwarf and Snow-White got a share,
And each was soon a millionaire,
Which shows that gambling's not a sin
Provided that you always win.
~~from Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs.
♥ This famous wicked little tale
Should never have been put on sale.
It's a mystery to me
Why loving parents cannot see
That this is actually a book
About a brazen little crook.
Had I the chance I wouldn't fail
♥ He adds, "An early morning stroll
"Is good for people on the whole.
"It makes your appetite improve
"It also helps your bowels to move."
No proper wife would dare to question
Such a sensible suggestion,
Above all not at breakfast-time
When men are seldom at their prime.
♥ I say again, how would you feel
If you had made this lovely meal
And some delinquent little tot
Broke in a gobbled up the lot?
♥ You are of course a houseproud wife,
And all your happy married life
You have collected lovely things
Like gilded cherubs wearing wings,
And furniture by Chippendale
Bought at some famous auction sale.
But your most special valued treasure,
The piece that gives you endless pleasure,
Is one small children's dining-chair,
Elizabethan, very rare.
It is in fact your joy and pride,
Passed down to you on grandma's side.
But Goldilocks, like many freaks,
Does not appreciate antiques.
She doesn't care, she doesn't mind,
And now she plonks her fat behind
Upon this dainty precious chair,
And crunch! It busts beyond repair.
♥ Most educated people choose
To rid themselves of socks and shoes
Before they clamber into bed,
But Goldie didn't give a shred.
Her filthy shoes were thick with grime,
And mud and mush and slush and slime.
Worse still, upon the heel of one
Was something that a dog had done.
I say once more, what would you think
If all this horrid dirt and stink
Was smeared upon your eiderdown
By this revolting little clown?
(The famous story has no clues
To show the girl removed her shoes.)
♥ Crime One, the prosecution's case:
She breaks and enters someone's place.
Crime two, the prosecutor notes:
She steals a bowl of porridge oats.
Crime three: She breaks a precious chair
Belonging to the Baby Bear.
Crime four: She smears each spotless sheet
With filthy messes from her feet.
A judge would say without a blink,
"Ten years hard labour in the clink!"
But in the book, as you will see,
The little beast gets off scot-free,
While tiny children near and far
Shout, "Goody-good! Hooray! Hurrah!"
"Poor darling Goldilocks!" they say,
"Thank goodness that she got away!"
Myself, I think I'd rather send
Young Goldie to a sticky end.
"Oh daddy!" cried the Baby Bear,
"My porridge gone! It isn't fair!"
"Then go upstairs," the Big Bear said,
"Your porridge is upon the bed.
"But as it's inside mademoiselle,
"You'll have to eat her up as well."
~~from Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
♥ When Grandma opened it, she saw
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, "May I come in?"
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
"He's going to eat me up," she cried.
And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
♥ He quickly put on Grandma's clothes.
(Of course he hadn't eaten those.)
♥ He sat there watching her and smiled.
He thought, I'm going to eat this child.
Compared with her old Grandmamma
She's going to taste like caviare.
Then Little Red Riding Hood said, "But Grandma,
what a lovely great big furry coat you have on."
"That's wrong!" cried Wolf. "Have you forgot
"To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?"
"Ah well, no matter what you say,
"I'm going to eat you anyway."
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, "Hello, and do please note
"My lovely furry WOLFSKIN COAT."
~~Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.
♥ The animal I really dig
Above all others is the pig.
Pigs are noble. Pigs are clever,
Pis are courteous. However,
Now and then, to break this rule,
One meets a pig who is a fool.
♥ The Wolf said "Okay, here we go!"
He then began to blow and blow.
The little pig began to squeal.
He cried, "Oh Wolf, you've had one meal!
"Why can't we talk and make a deal?"
The Wolf replied, "Not on your nelly!"
And soon the pig was in his belly.
"Two juicy little pigs!" Wolf cried,
"But still I am not satisfied!
"I know full well my tummy's bulging,
"But oh, how I adore indulging."
♥ The Wolf approached another house,
A house which also had inside
A little piggy trying to hide.
But this one, Piggy Number Three,
Was bright and brainy as could be.
No straw for him, no twigs or sticks.
This pig had built his house of BRICKS.
"You'll not get me!" the Piggy cried.
"I'll blow you down!" the Wolf replied.
"You'll need," Pig said, "a lot of puff,
"And I don't think you've got enough."
Wolf huffed and puffed and blew and blew.
The house stayed up as good as new.
"If I can't blow it down," Wolf said,
"I'll have to blow it up instead.
"I'll come back in the dead of night
"And blow it up with dynamite!"
Pig cried, "You brute! I might have known!
Then, picking up the telephone,
He dialled as quickly as he could
The number of Red Riding Hood.
♥ A short while later, through the wood,
Came striding brave Miss Riding Hood.
The Wolf stood there, his eyes ablaze
And yellowish, like mayonnaise.
His teeth were sharp, his gums were raw,
And spit was dripping from his jaw.
Once more the maiden's eyelid flickers.
She draws the pistol from her knickers.
Once more, she hits the vital spot,
And kills him with a single shot.
Pig, peeping through the window, stood
And yelled, "Well done, Miss Riding Hood!"
Ah, Piglet, you must never trust
Young ladies from the upper crust.
For now, Miss Riding Hood, one notes,
Not only has two wolfskin coats,
But when she goes from place to place,
She has a PIGSKIN TRAVELLING CASE.
~~The Three Little Pigs.