The Slippery Stalk

Tonight H8 was doing his homework for me, which was to read aloud from “Jack and the Beanstalk”. He performed brilliantly, but it started me thinking about the story.


It’s a strange one, putting aside the obvious problems with plant growth, conservation of matter, structural integrity and the practicality of living in a castle on a cloud. But the glaring problem I thought of was this – why does the giant’s wife invite the young scoundrel into the castle in the first place? She has no obvious reason to do so. And then why, even more bizarrely, does she invite him back after he has proven that he is a thief and, as mentioned, a scoundrel?

And then the answer occurred to me. Obviously the giant’s wife cannot be having a fulfilling sex life with the giant, given the mechanical difficulties implied. So when a strong young lad happens by, looking for a bite of food and a bit of company, what does the good lady do? Why, she invites him inside for a bit of whatever. This is why she is so eager to hide him from her husband, whose love of human flesh is no great secret.

So Jack performs services for the lady of the house, who happily looks the other way while old Jack slips a bag of gold or magic harp into his bulging shorts. Jack is, in short, the original gigolo.

And of course you could paste as many smutty beanstalk analogies as you wish onto this analysis, which I will leave to you all as homework. 200 words on “hidden sexual messages in traditional fairy tales” and have it off on my desk by Wednesday.

/ paddy

13 thoughts on “The Slippery Stalk

  1. As funny as it sounds, all good nursery tales and songs have something dirty or twisted behind them for some reason.

    A perfect example is Ring Around the Rosy, a wholesome song about people developing “rosies” on their skin and then quickly flopping off from the Black Plague :( I feel sad.

    Then you have Hansel and Gretel, a nice wholesome tale about an old woman who’s probably a bit of a pedophile and who likes to eat children when she’s done with them. I don’t want to even think about which body part she eats first. Gross!

    Then you have Little Red Riding Hood, about a creepy misogynist wolf who chomps on ol’ gramma’s skull and then scopes after a little girl like a seasoned interspecies pervert, before being shot dead by a triggerhappy woodsman.

    What the &%$@!!! What I learn from these stories is that people who make children’s stories should **NOT** be allowed near children. Ever!


  2. It’s thought that a lot of fairy tales were originally allegorical tales warning children of bad life experiences. Perrault’s Red Riding Hood for example, the wolf was be seen as a sexual predator- which the girl gets eaten for flirting with. And I won’t even go into the ‘hairy beast’ and ‘red hood’ symbolism… hah.

  3. And as Granny Weatherwax said, why did the family send the little girl off through the wolf-infested forest wearing that bright red cape? Or was that dear old Gran’s idea?

  4. Glen: I agree – that Neil Gaiman character should be locked up without further delay.

    andgreyskies: I think we need more of those stories today – about the dangers of voting conservative, for example. Or about not buying SUVs.

    Chris: The cape was reversible – the other side had camouflage print.

  5. You have to be kind of a madman to make childrens stories I think. When I look back at them today they’re all just strange and angst-enhancing. What kind of sick and distorted mind came up with teletubbies, for example..?

  6. ullis: The teletubbies make perfect sense if it is 3 in the morning and you are on painkillers. And I will get back to you about the photos – there is a big plan brewing…

  7. I’ve almost tried that one actually. Altough around 7am whilst still drunk from last night. There’s few times in my life that I actually withdrew with a yelp from the tv with such scars. Forever there. Except for one hentai liquid protein incident when I was only 14…

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