In “Nursery rhyme by Tom Thumb», Mimmo Mòllica re-proposes the famous one tale by Perrault making it current by introducing, with sarcasm and irony, elements of ‘modernity’, such as pocket watches, postal cards, securities and cash. And again, packaged and frozen foods, draft beer, pate and a fairytale menu, from time of the witches. But also a very serious topic such as the confiscation of assets stolen from bullies, from the ogres of modern society. Pollicino thus assumes an equally topical role, universal, acting with courage, audacity and intelligence, to the point of making a mockery of the Orc who eats children, seizing his wealth, accumulated with arrogance and illegality, and using them for “social works” and “common good”.
The tale of «Tom Thumb” tells of a great famine and of a poor woodcutter (and wife) who no longer even has the food to feed his seven children, decides to abandon them in the woods: there they will find food to feed themselves, a hut and wood to shelter from the cold and rain.
“Tom Thumb” is the youngest of the 7 siblings and is a tiny boy of stature but extraordinarily intelligent and cunning, full of resourcefulness and insight.
In Perrault’s fairy tale the theme of abandonment (of the children) is certainly touching and controversial, and yet in «The Prophet» K. Gibran speaks thus: “Your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of the very force of Life. They are born through you, but not from you. You are the bow from which, like living arrows, your children are thrown forward… on the path of infinity… with all the vigor, so that the arrows may go swift and far. ” But is the forest far away?
Once upon a time…
… a woodcutter who had seven children,
but he didn’t know how to feed them,
he was really poor in the barrel
and to feed them he had nothing,
and so was a gray, gloomy and dreary day
he thought of abandoning them in the woods.
The youngest, which was Tom Thumb,
he was born really small,
it cannot be said that it was not strange:
he was as tall as a finger.
Small in stature but beautiful,
shrewd and very sharp of brain,
he was a careful and judicious little man,
resourceful, honest and hardworking.
There was a great famine that year
that to imagine it takes fantasy,
there was no bread and nothing to eat
and seven children are many to feed.
The father then in the throes of despair
in his thoughts one day he cut it short:
“If I really can’t feed them all
in the woods it will be better to abandon them,
there they will find food to eat,
a hut to live in
and to keep warm by the wood fire,
rather than die of cold and hunger ».
Arrived in the woods, the crafty Tom Thumb,
who had heard his father very slowly,
he put many pebbles in his pocket,
others he even gave to his brothers
and dropped them on the road,
along the way of that district,
and found his way back
following the pebbles all day.
Back home to the father nothing else remains
than bring them back into the forest,
and Tom Thumb who has no more pebbles
let it fall like seeds
the only thing left in his pocket:
the crumbs of his loaf of bread.
But the birds eat them quickly
and Tom Thumb no longer finds the little house,
so sad and afraid in the evening
they see light there on the moor:
it was an old house and Tom Thumb
braving the pitch dark he came close,
walked over to the door and then knocked
a woman came out and exclaimed:
«Oh, poor little ones, are you lost !? But how can I accommodate you for the night? Don’t you know that this is the house of the Orc who eats children and if he finds you here, he will make a single bite of all of you ?! ».
But Tom Thumb replied: “Good woman, please, let us in, if we stay out all night the wolves will eat us, we will die of hunger and cold or, in the pitch dark, we will fall into who knows what cliff.”
Tom Thumb prayed: “Good lady,
let us enter your home,
it’s cold outside, the wolves will eat us,
otherwise perhaps we will fall into the cliffs.
And so Tom Thumb, convincing,
please kindly let them in.
The woman then took pity on him,
there are always good people,
he let them into the house to rest
and also gave him something to eat.
But suddenly the door opened:
“The orc is back and he can’t stand it
to wait to have a nice banquet “,
the woman hid them under the bed.
But as soon as the Ogre was in the house he could smell it
of human flesh, or perhaps heard noise
and began to search every corner
“Here I smell good baby perfume”.
And rummage in the closets, everywhere:
“Here they are, now I’ll make ham”,
and the little brothers trembling with fear
grabs by the ears and catches them.
“Oh what a beautiful evening that awaits me,
now I can have a dinner.
A special dinner! ” he exclaimed,
but his wife quickly stopped him.
“There’s already a good dinner waiting for you,
I have prepared you a good dinner:
frogs, lizards with lard,
toads, green lizards, ham bugs,
salami, lard, crocodile pate,
stuffed peppers and blueberry liqueur,
draft blonde beer, six ice cream balls,
fresh and frozen forest food ».
“As you can see I have prepared healthy food for you,
you will eat the brothers tomorrow ».
And the ogre like an … ogre ate,
he drank the beer and then fell asleep.
When the children heard him snore,
they were already very ready to escape,
the ogre on awakening could not find them,
he ran into the woods and there he went to look for them.
With the seven league boots,
like witches’ boots,
he hunted down the poor children,
he did not find them, yet they were close:
“Damn it, who knows in what places
the brothers will be hidden? ».
Tired and hungry the orc falls asleep
and then Tom Thumb inventing himself?
The Ogre quickly steals his boots,
wears them and like the wind gives wings,
he runs to his wife and frightens her
while she is cooking polenta.
He tells her: “The orc has been captured,
evildoers have chained him,
while he slept they overwhelmed him,
to free him they ask for a ransom
all the gold you have and the diamonds,
the checkbook and even the cash.
This is the request of the brigands! ».
The frightened killer whale then takes the gold,
take out the chest with the treasure:
necklaces, buckles, fine gold rings,
bracelets and three pocket watches,
chains, chains and diamonds,
postal cards, securities and cash.
Quickly deliver everything to Tom Thumb
who greets her and sets off.
Tom Thumb without the unicorn
home like a rocket returns,
in short, he just ran away,
with feet and wings, as if he had them both,
and empty the sack that contains the gold,
the riches of the Ogre, his treasure.
It is the greatest treasure I know
now we will never go back to the woods,
there is enough to live happily
without difficulty or suffering.
And his parents there weeping
they swore with moving sentences
not to leave them in the forest anymore,
they cried for a long time and then they celebrated.
Now no one is afraid of the Ogre,
there is Tom Thumb who reassures them,
the bad ogre had grown very rich,
but his treasure was now served
to bring the brothers home,
to their games and their beds.
Honest Tom Thumb taught us
that with the confiscated Ogre’s treasure,
or kidnapped from thieves and criminals,
you can do “social works”,
and for Christmas to the poor and children
you can make lots of little gifts.
So a fairy tale can often help
to make us feel better and to understand
than violent ones, riches and fortunes
they can become “common good”.
Mimmo Mòllica ©