Once upon a more enlightened time review

October 31, 2008
By Kelsey Hurst, Portland, OR

This book is a short story book, meaning it has many small fairy tales within it, but instead of the hand-me-down, happily ever after ending stories, they put a twist to stories like, “Hansel and Gretel,” and, “Puss in boots.” James Finn Garner, The author, made them both more realistic and less realistic. Some include magic and witch craft; others have hippies and earth lovers. The thing that makes it so funny is that some characters are left the way they were in the original fairy tales, so when two characters meet one original, one changed, it makes the story hilarious. What I love about the stories is that every single one of them has a saying or message or a moral. Most of this book has to do with communing with nature and meditation. One of the stories, and my favorite, is the little mer persun. It is about a mermaid that, on her 16th birthday, goes up to the surface and happens to come across a rebellion man who is protesting to large ships about water pollution. He falls in the water and almost drowns, but the mer persun saves him. When he wakes up, he instantly likes her and one day when the mer persun is in the castle under water he comes, having implanted fish D.N.A in himself, to ask for her hand in marriage. She accepts and they live together while he protests about pollution. My second favorite story, the puss in boots, is about a father who gives his three sons plenty of his wealth and riches except for one who gets his fathers cat. The lad is sad that he only inherits a cat, which will do him no good. He is mistaken when the cat can talk and helps the boy by leading him in a presidential election. After many debates that the cat writes for the boy, he wins. For an after speech to his country, instead of saying what the cat wrote for him, he surprised everyone by telling them that his cat had been the one writing all his speeches. Many of the people are offended and boo at the boy-but-now-man. When the man walks off the stage his cats greets him, but the cat is displeased. He says that no one will like you now and with that he walks onstage, takes a bow and everyone claps for him while the man is left with wide eyes. One other fairy tale that I like is Hansel and Gretel. It is about two kids a boy and a girl that are very poor so their dad takes them into the wood to leave them behind but he says he will come back before night. When they realize that their dad is not coming back, the girl starts getting scared while the boy thinks up a plan. He decides to make a house in the forest but the girl wants to go home. So the make they’re way through the forest until the reach a candy house and so they go up to it and out comes a witch. She tells them that she is really a wicken. She teaches them about greenness and loving the earth, and they become wickens and people of the earth staying happy forever.

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