And they died happily ever after

August 28, 2015

Jolande Fooken

"'My darling child!' she cried, folding the little girl in her arms and covering her face with kisses. 'Where in the world did you come from?' 'From the Land of Oz,' said Dorothy gravely. 'And here is Toto, too. And oh, Aunt Em! I'm so glad to be at home again!'" And they lived happily ever after. Or did they? Maybe - like the Russians say - they lived long and happily, and died together on the same day. They might also have lived happily until there came to them the One who Destroys all Happiness (that is Death, who's final words are - by the way: "A last note from your narrator. I am haunted by humans."). How did the stories end that you read as a kid? Can you remember? Do you see a boy and his bear playing in an enchanted place on the top of the Forest? Or do you see Max stepping into his private boat and waving goodbye to the wild things? And do you remember how happy Pinoccio was when he finally became a real boy? But what did we learn from these stories that we read as kids? Is this how our morals and ideals were shaped? Or is there also value in reading stories with not so happy endings? This will be - for the time being - my last UDLS and of course there will (hopefully) be intercultural discussion and in any case prizes for you to win! So please come and join!