Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hungry Like the Wolf

My son is really taken with Peter and the Wolf. You know, the half-hour long musical piece where the different instruments represent individual characters in the story, the duck is oboe, the bird is the flute, Peter is the strings, and so on. C loves to cue it up in the CD player but then he gets scared half-way through when the wolf appears, even though when it's over he likes to tell me stories about all the ways he would capture the wolf if he were Peter. The story of Peter and the Wolf is not for the faint-hearted, at one point the wolf catches and eats the duck, lock, stock, and barrel. Not like the watered-down versions of fairy tales and nursery rhymes most kids get these days, where the farmer's wife gives the mice cake instead of cutting off their tails, and Old Mother Hubbard kisses her kiddies instead of whipping them all soundly before bed. I don't think it's the wolf eating the duck that scares my son, though. I think, to Mr. Prokofiev's credit, it's the very frightening wolf music which causes him to vacate the living room and come up with some weak excuse for why he needs to be in the computer room with me. But the next time I ask what CD he wants to put on, the answer is the same: "Peter and the Wolf."
The whole thing reminds me of the movie American Werewolf in London. Both feature toothy, canine, antagonists; and instead of those weird villagers in the Slaughtered Lamb warning the Americans not to go in the moors, we've got the over-cautious grandfather cautioning Peter not to go in the meadow.

song: Hungry Like the Wolf • artist: Duran Duran

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