Missing the Mark
As is the sacred duty of fathers, I attempt to teach good morals and values to my daughter at every opportunity. Ergo, when she requested that we read Fanny’s Dream for her bedtime story earlier this week, I seized the occasion. It is a delightful book, taking a different stance at the Cinderella story. As a synopsis: Fanny is not very beautiful or dainty, yet wishes to marry a prince (or someone like that). She sits outside on the night of a fancy ball, waiting for her fairy godmother to come and use magic to make everything right. But she waits in vain, for the fairy godmother never comes. In her stead, a nice man named Heber comes and asks if she’ll marry him, work at his side, stay with him through thick and thin, through good times and bad. She eventually agrees and spends the next several years working very hard, with many good times and many difficulties that are commonplace in life. Then one night, Fanny heads out to the watermelon patch to get a melon, when who should appear but her fairy godmother – years late, but offering to make things right and send her off to a ball that very night to meet a prince! Fanny considers for a moment, remembering her three children and husband just inside the door of her small home. She recalls the love and warmth with them, along with the years of sweat and pain that she has put into her little family, which gave her precious moments in return. She decides that she does not want to go to the ball, and turns to go inside to her family. She decided that, although her husband is no prince and her apron is no glamorous gown and her children are not loyal subjects, they are all close enough.
This is precisely the point I was trying to explain to Avey at the end of the book. I thought myself very clever as I attempted to walk Avey through it in very simple terms, first asking her why Fanny didn’t go to the ball, and then suggesting some ideas. Avey seemed to listen intently, awestruck by my years of wisdom. After I had finished explaining the moral of the story, Avey’s response was, “That [Fanny’s] doggy don’t have hands, so he can’t pick a melon.”
Well, that’s a good point too, I suppose.