Welcome back to Fairy Tale Friday!
For this month's selection, I decided to go with Cat and Mouse in Partnership, another early tale of The Brothers Grimm. In short, it is the tale of a cat and mouse that choose to live together. Before long, one proves to be untrustworthy, stealing their food that is stored for the winter. The ending comes with no surprise, but I won't spoil it for you. It's a short one, so I encourage you to read this one for yourself.
This little tale reminds me so much of one of my favorite childhood cartoons: Tom and Jerry. A cat and mouse living together, but constantly up to no good! Cats and mice are typically sworn enemies and I believe the tale was used to teach children a lesson to not trust those different from you ... to stick to your own kind.
Then, as I begin to think about it even further, another tale comes to mind - one that is much deeper than the cat and mouse cartoon, but using a very similar format: Maus by Art Spiegelman. In Spiegelman's tale, he narrates his father's experiences as a survivor of the Holocaust with Germans being portrayed as cats and the Jewish as mice. This puts a whole new spin on the lesson that I believe was originally intended.
With the latter information in mind, I personally don't know if I can view this tale the same again. At first, it comes across as a simple little story meant for young children. However, as I dig a little deeper, I have to wonder if it is a tale or lesson that we really want to be teaching our children. As I try to wrap my mind around how I am now feeling, I'm not even sure I know how to put my thoughts into words. I am wondering how we portray our world through our stories. I am pondering how we categorize (and ultimately judge) people based upon stereotypes, history, etc. and how that can help or hinder our relationships with them. When these things begin going through my mind, I really don't believe it to be as simple as it seems to be on the outset. Then again, maybe I'm making it more complicated than the original intent!
What do you think about Cat and Mouse in Partnership? Do you think it was meant to be a simple little tale with a simple little moral? Or, do you think that it has turned out to be more complicated like I did?
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Karsyn @ KaKiJoKoJa
Karsyn Smith ... Thank you so much for the honor! I haven't participated in awards for years, so this was a pleasant surprise!Delete
I remember this story! I liked it when I was a kid -- I always did feel the mouse was an extremely foolish mouse, however. I mean, what kind of leverage did the mouse think it was really going to have over the cat in this so-called partnership?ReplyDelete
Jenny @ Reading the End ... Really good point!! And, how did the mouse NOT catch on to the cat's antics?!?Delete