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Poetry Friday: The Cat and the Fiddle as retold by L. Frank Baum

June 20th, 2008 (07:42 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Fun Never Ends by Sense Field

Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon!
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran off with the spoon!

Perhaps you think this verse is all nonsense, and that the things it mentions could never have happened; but they did happen, as you will understand when I have explained them all to you clearly.

So begins L. Frank Baum's retelling of The Cat and the Fiddle. Read the entire story along with other familiar tales in Baum's collection entitled Mother Goose in Prose. Check it out from your local public library. It is also available online, thanks to Project Gutenberg.

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Posted by: lisachellman (lisachellman)
Posted at: June 20th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)

This is very interesting. I was a huge L. Frank Baum fan as a kid, but I never heard about his Mother Goose project! Reading the story, I'm not sure whether to commend his efforts or to condemn him for giving such blase rationale for a charming and whimsical (albeit mysterious) verse!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 20th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)

To say the least, it's interesting to see/hear/read retellings of known stories and fairy tales. Some are more successful than others; some, more inventive, and/or must be taken with a grain of salt; some barely recognizable!

Posted by: lisachellman (lisachellman)
Posted at: June 20th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)

Agreed! I periodically get irritated with people who think copyright should last forever, reminding them of all the wonderful works that have come of old tales revisited and revisioned again and again! They so much about the creator/reinventor, the culture, the times... What's that recent picture book that switches from culture to culture, page by page, within a single fairy tale?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 21st, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)

I am not familiar with the book to which you refer, but it sounds interesting.

I have an entire booklist devoted to fairy tales retold!

Posted by: lisachellman (lisachellman)
Posted at: June 21st, 2008 01:14 pm (UTC)

Ooo, that was driving me crazy, but I finally figured out what I was thinking of! It's called Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella, by Paul Fleischman. It's definitely worth a peek.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 21st, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the tip!

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