It was just something vaguely appropriate and disturbing that I Googled. But completely awesome Drunkard Miss Othmar just informed me that this is in fact an illustration from Der Struwwelpeter, a German children's book from the 19th century. It consists of ten stories that teach moral lessons to German children. And by "teach moral lessons," I mean "traumatize and scare the crap out of little kids who may later grow up to be Hermann Goering as a result."
|This is not the face of a man who was exposed to|
"My Little Pony" in childhood.
|Literally. Not literally. But sometimes literally.|
Anyway, I went straight to the Wikipedia entry for Der Struwwelpeter and was absolutely delighted by what I read. Essentially the entire book is a dire warning to children to never ever ever do anything wrong, lest they suffer pain, humiliation, and general torment.
Suddenly I feel I've failed as a parent by not imparting this important lesson to Precocious Daughter.
For example, the image I used is from the story "Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher" (The Story of the Thumb-Sucker), in which a little boy who won't stop sucking his thumb has it lopped off by an insane tailor with a huge pair of scissors and some kind of grudge against harmless childhood vices. No wonder my mother was so adamant that I stop sucking my thumb when I was a toddler; she knew what the next step was if brushing my thumbs with bad-tasting goo didn't work, bless her heart.
Then there's this story, as described on the Wikipedia page:
"Die Geschichte vom Suppen-Kaspar"(The Story of the Soup-Kaspar) begins as Kaspar, a healthy, strong boy, proclaims that he will no longer eat his soup. Over the next five days he wastes away and dies.
Gott im himmel, I love being German.
|Über alles, baby.|
You totally need to read the synopses for all ten stories. You thought Lemony Snicket was dark? He's a pussy.
Thanks, Miss Othmar, for making my day with this information.
Oh, and if you want to read another amazingly effed-up German children's story, check out a post I wrote a few years back about Hans Huckebein, the Unlucky Raven. It ends delightfully badly for the titular bird.