The trouble with traditional tales is that no-one holds a copyright, so no-one can be held to account for their content. If only I could trace the writer of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I would file a claim for compensation for the devastating affect this tale of blonde-haired beauty had on me as a brown-haired child. My therapy bills beggar belief.
I always had a problem with those Three Little Pigs too. There were so many versions that I didn't know which to trust: in one, the wolf ate the pig in the house of straw and then the one in the house of sticks before being outwitted by the clever pig in the brick house. In another version, the straw and stick pigs escaped from the wolf and reached the safety of the brick house. Then there was the fate of the wolf: in some tales he fell into the pot and was cooked for the pigs' supper and in others he singed his rump and ran away, a reformed character. Such confusion can hardly be good for the developing child. And what about the morality of the tale? Ms Pig (no father around!) sending her children out alone, knowing there are wolves about; little pigs approaching strangers to ask for sticks, straw and bricks; little pigs playing with matches and hot water.
Kirklees Primary Music Festival organisers didn't ban the production of a musical version of The Three little Pigs on Health and Safety grounds, though. They thought that songs about piggies might offend any Muslims who might be in the audience. They appear to have been hasty in their judgement because, according to a spokesman from the nearby Hanfia Mosque, Islam does not ban the mentioning of pigs. I'm sure that if the school used the version where no pigs are actually eaten then no offence would be given to anyone and the teachers won't have to rewrite the songs to refer to Three Little Puppies.
I've just heard that the show has been reprieved! The late editions carry the good news.