October 21, 2003


When you're a parent, there is so much your kids need to learn to become polite, well-adjusted adults. It can be overwhelming at times, but remember, all it takes is a little patience and love.

Or, you can use good ol' fashioned FEAR with the German children's book of terror known as: "Der Struwwelpeter". The lessons offered in this classic by Heinrich Hoffman have been causing little German kids to shit their knickers for the past 150 years. And now you too, may shit your own.

So put on your best leiderhosen, kick back, and enjoy the first of several tales of violent childhood horror to come. (Translated from the original German thanks to Pags' and Pete's mom, Trudy! Bear in mind, this whole story rhymes in German.)

Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher
"The Story of Little Suck-A-Thumb".

Konrad, speaks Mrs. Mamma,
"I go out and you stay here.
Be nice and well behaved.
Until I come back home again
And especially, Konrad, listen!
Don't suck on your thumb anymore;
Otherwise the tailor with his scissors
Comes very quickly along,
And cuts off your thumbs
Just as easily as paper."

Just as soon as mother left-
Wupp, the thumb is in the mouth.

Snap! The door opens,
And at lightning speed
Jumps the tailor into the room
to the thumb-sucking boy.

Wow, now it goes snip, snip
With the scissors the thumbs come off,
With the big sharp scissors!
"Oh boy" Konrad hollers loud.
Just as mother comes home,
Konrad looks very sad.
Without thumbs he is standing there,
Both of them are gone forever.

I love a story that can be both cute and educational, while still maintaining just enough bloody disfigurement. To see the rhyme as written in its original German, click here. (I've seen English translations that they have forced to rhyme, but that just seems wrong to me.)

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Posted by Steven | Archive