I’m in danger of just rewriting fairytales for the rest of Lent… but I thought I’d share Saturday’s poem. And will write some book reviews at some point…
It comes, to those in fairy tales
As the mildest of mild shocks
To be objectified by males:
Such, indeed, was Goldilocks.
Though (charitably) meant to praise,
Dear Goldie was more than her looks.
While victim of the male gaze,
She infinitely preferred books.
As Goldilocks must needs explain
“A model, I would scoff to be –
I’d rather be (I have a brain)
A student of philosophy.”
With this in mind, she took a stroll
(Ideally one devoid of men)
And, thankfully, saw not a soul –
But found a cottage in a glen.
“I’m tired,” thought Goldie, “And want food,
And seem to have misplaced my map,
A little sick of solitude,
And desperate (frankly) for a nap.”
She knocked and entered, seeing still
No owners – though the furry chairs
(And photos on the windowsill)
Suggested it was owned by bears.
In fact, in every room she’d see,
On shelf, or floor, or hook, or wall,
That every object came as three:
One big, one medium, one small.
Recalling that her first intent
Was sleeping, she ignored the rest:
And to the bedroom, off she went
And found three beds (as you’ll have guessed).
And, with philosophy in mind,
Adjudicating what she’d seen
She lay down on the middle kind:
The Aristotelian mean.
(You may be asking yourself why
The porridge has been overlooked:
Let’s say the sleep would fortify
Her strength before she went and cooked.)
She woke to find three angry bears
And also found she’d caused offence
She told them why she’d used what’s theirs,
With Aristotle as defence.
Unhappily, the bears as one
Preferred a different Greek instead.
“Your theories, dear, are quite outshone
By the Platonic ideal of ‘bed’.”
A little scared, she could observe
Each bear appeared as one who brooks
No argument – and, losing nerve,
Poor Goldie fell back on her looks.
She batted eyelids, twirled her hair,
Apologised for breaking in,
And found small, large, and middle bear
Forgave, in moments, every sin.
The moral of this tale, you see
Is – well, let’s think – do what you’re told.
And, if you don’t, philosophy
Won’t help – unless your hair is gold.