Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lessons from Bad Children’s Books: The Rabbi and the 29 Witches

[In LBCB, I take older books my children have and analyze the messages within.]

Story
Once upon a time there was a perfectly normal town that was near a cave filled with evil witches. We know the witches are evil because the book tells us so and because, once a month on the full moon, the witches would fly over the town and scream a lot. The townspeople were scared of them, partly because of the screaming, but mostly because... Oh, no, wait, they’re just scared of the screaming. Anyway, nobody goes out at night.

One day, an old grandmother tells the Rabbi that she wants to see the full moon. The Rabbi agrees to help and comes up with a plan. He gathers twenty nine men and has them put dry robes in clay pots, then they go out to the witches’ cave.

At the cave, the Rabbi convinces the witches that he is a witch like they are, and that he can walk between raindrops, which the witches want to learn how to do. The witches conjure a magnificent feast for him. In return, he pretends to conjure the men from outside, who put on the dry robes (it’s raining out) and come in to the cave.

Pretending to take the witches outside for a dance, the men drag the witches out into the rain, where they melt away into nothing. Then all the townspeople go to the cave, eat the feast, and sing and dance.

Oh, and they get to see the full moon at last. Yay team.

Lessons
1. Kill people who annoy you
There is never any mention in the book of the witches causing any harm other than screaming. Sure, the people have nightmares and the livestock are disturbed by it, but the witches never curse or directly harm anyone. The wise Rabbi of the town never even tries to ask the witches to keep their screaming down. He just sets off to kill them. Come to think of it, my neighbor keeps playing his stereo really loud at night; maybe I should pay a visit to his “cave” if you know what I mean.

2. Jewish stereotypes are real
The old woman who sets everything off says “I want to see the full moon before I die! Is that too much to ask?” She then complained about never seeing her grandchildren and went back to her room to sit alone in the dark because it’s to much trouble to turn on the light. Bagels.

3. Follow your leader blindly
When the Rabbi tells the men they’re going to the witches cave armed only with pots filled with robes, nobody asks why. They just assume that, because he was a Rabbi, he knew what he was doing. Later, the Rabbi told them to wear their underwear on the outside of their clothes, paint their faces blue, drink this special Kool-Aid he prepared, and come to his Amway meeting.

4. Menstruation is Evil
Once a month the witches, all female, screamed a lot and scared everyone. Come on, do I have to spell it out for you?

1 comment:

ジェシカ said...

I have no scholarly or witty remarks to put on here. However, I will state that this was hilarious and I had to bite my lip in the library to keep from laughing out loud.