I’ve often read articles or heard speakers saying things like “Too many fairy tales are bad” and “Fairy tales lead to unrealistic exceptions”; and while I vaguely understood the points, I didn’t get it. I loved fairy tales, and still do . I gobbled them up as a kid and read all the retelling I can. Last night , while listening to Cosy Sheridan, I was struck by a lightning bolt of realization. ( This is very fitting — there were a lot of Greek gods running around in her songs.) When I think fairy tales , I don’t stop at Cinderella. Or Sleeping Beauty. And I do not mean the clean,happily ever after Disney versions only. My definition of fairy tale is big and broad — and really they hit all parts of life. The pretty , the romantic , the ugly, the courageous and the grim. There are many versions of Cinderella where her stepsisters are not forgiven. I read Grimm, Anderson, native American myths, Greek myths, fairy tales from Japan, China , India and silly stories from Norway. My favorite fairy tale is The Little Mermaid. No not the Disney version, but the version I read in our Grolier book of knowledge. It may me cry. and I had a hard time rereading it. I am sure that at first I wanted a different ending. Gradually, I really wanted the Little mermaid to changer her behavior. I wanted her to understand that giving up everything for love, and espcially for love that wasn’t going to be returned wasn’t wise. She never did learn, but I think I did. Sacrifice might be part of love, but giving up yourself is wrong.