Once Upon a Time and Far, Far Away

What’s not to like about a fairy tale? There is something magical about the words “Once upon a time” or “Far, far away.” Anything can happen in a fairy tale . We read it and accept it without question.

A few years back I happened to see a copy of Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales and immediately snapped it up. I mean, just how could I resist? Who doesn’t like the occasional fairy tale? Although this was a hard cover copy it still paled in comparison to the copy I had as a child that I ordered from the Scholastic book order through school. I sure loved those days when the new book orders arrived, reading the blurbs for the books and deciding which one to order. I was disappointed to find that some of my favourites were not included in the copy that I purchased but never fear….

Yup, you guessed it….

I still have that copy of fairy tales from 40 years back, what’s left of it that is. My favourite story was “The Little Match Girl”— still is. As a matter of fact I just finished reading it.

Okay, so the story is depressing, the little girl lights the last of her matches to keep warm but ends up freezing to death. But her old granny, who is dead, takes her up to heaven to be with God, and so the reader is not left feeling bad for the little match girl whose home life is miserable and disheartening.

In sixth grade, we were to choose a fairy tale to read to the class. I choose “The Little Match Girl.”  What I learned from that experience was, even though I was understandably nervous to be reading in front of the class, I very much enjoyed it. So, I’ve sort of known since I was eleven that it was something I liked and something I could do fairly well.

Since “Bitter, Sweet” has come out, I’ve read from the book on several occasions. On May 15th I’ll be reading at the Lunenburg Library. There will be a reading with Q&A afterward and I’m very much looking forward to the event. Maybe I’ll have photos to post afterward…who knows. I’m not very photogenic but I’m getting to the point where I don’t care so much any more.

Little did I know, back in the sixth grade, that one day I’d be reading from my own book. Pretty cool.

Odd the way life has of preparing us for future events.

So, do you have a favourite fairy tale? Do you prefer “Once upon a time,” or a “Far, far away?”

Maybe you have a favourite memory of a fairy tale from your childhood that you’d like to share?

Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. Brothers Grimm comes to mind. Hansel and Gretel. I guess you could say I had a thing for scary. I did not like busy tales like 101 Dalmations or Lady and the Tramp. Too many characters kept me from connecting to the story.

    Another favorite was one I don’t remember the title, but I made my mom read it over and over again. It was about a runaway pancake and everyone kept trying to get it to slow down long enough to eat it.


    • Hmmm…I know that story about the pancake. But can’t for the life of me remember the title, either. I will not rest now until I have that bit of information.

      A thing for scary? I seemed to like the sad stories, the sadder the better. I guess you could say I was a glutton for punishment, as my dad used to say.


      • Tricia, Carol, I just did a little looking around and I believe the name of thestory is “The Runaway Pancake.” It’s a variation of “The Gingerbread Man.”


  2. I don’t remember a story about a pancake, but a similar one I read to my kids was called The Gingerbread Man. To this day I remember the line “Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.” Here’s the link to that one:


    One of my favorites is The Ugly Duckling. I felt so sorry for him spending his youth being picked on, and was glad he grew up to be beautiful. I love happy endings.


    • Hmmm, is it possible that Tricia and I are confusing the gingerbread man with a pancake? It IS possible that I am. It’sort of same concept, flat, delicious and everyone naturally wanting to eat it.

      The Ugly Duckling is a goog one, Carol and there’s nothing wrong with happy endings!


  3. Yay. The Runaway Pancake! Thanks, I was going crazy trying to remember it.


  4. My favourites were told to my cousins and me by our grandfather and usually began with “Far, far away in the land of rainbows and leprechauns….” He was from Ireland and we loved his accounts of a make believe world.

    I have an old copy of “Mother Goose Tales” that used to belong to another grandparent. As a child I loved browsing through it. Those poems and stories aren’t as popular with today’s mothers… too much violence in Rock-a-bye babies’ cradles falling out of trees, wicked witches baking children in ovens, wolves eating children’s grandmothers, cooks cutting off mousie tails with carving knives, etc. Some of those nursery rhymes and stories we treasured really were pretty gruesome, weren’t they?


    • I do like the Far, far away opening myself. It seems to make the imagination soar. Rainbows and leprechauns sounds very intriguing..

      I suppose once you list all the horrible things in these fairy tales you’re right, they were pretty gruesome although I don’t recall thinking them horrible when I was a child.


  5. It must be quite a thrill to read from your own book, Laura. 🙂

    I had no books as a child, so I don’t think I heard any fairy tales until I was old enough to read them for myself. When I was a little older, my favorite books were The Borrowers series … and I still believe in these tiny people.


    • Books were not a big thing when I was going up either, not in the earlier years. My very first book was Little Red Riding Hood that a neighbour gave me for my fifth birthday. Her cape was red velvet on all the pages. I loved it. I used to borrow Nancy Drew book and the Hardy Boys from the school library and Mum would read every evening.

      I’m sorry that you had no books as a child but it it has not stopped you from reading AND writing as an adult and I think that’s great!!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 240 other followers

  • Follow Laura Best on WordPress.com
  • Laura Best

  • Blog Stats

    • 77,122 hits
  • Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: