May 4th, 2004

self portrait (escher)

We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Not sure what brought this about, but I was just reflecting on that classic children's tale, Three Billy Goats Gruff.

You all know the story. It's been around for hundreds of years, translated into every language ever spoken. I don't think any child on this planet will reach adulthood without being exposed to it.

So, here's my question:
        Why?

I'm not saying it's harmful or anything. I'm just trying to pinpoint what it is about this story that makes it so darn enduring. 'cause, as stories go? It's not that good.

And somewhere in my befuddlement, the obvious hits me:
    It's all in the delivery, in hearing your parents put on different voices -- especially the Troll. In the hands of strangers, or on the printed page, that appeal is gone. The story itself, no one cares about. But the telling of it, in all of it's countless variations, is universal. It's something that everyone loves, most people miss, and no media can ever hope to reproduce.
I'm either inspired or depressed by this revelation. Can't tell which.
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