While watching news about the state of the nation the other night, it dawned on me how different many of our childhood fables, nursery rhymes and storybook tales would turn out in today's world.
Take the parable of the ant and the grasshopper, for example:
The industrious ant worked diligently all summer, gathering food, hauling it to its anthill and storing it away.
Meanwhile, the lazy grasshopper sat around dozing in the sun and watching the Sports Channel.
Suddenly, winter struck. The industrious ant had plenty to eat, thanks to its hard work.
The lazy grasshopper, however, went hungry -- until someone from the Government showed up, confiscated half of the ant's food, and gave it to the grasshopper.
The boy who cried wolf:
He grew bored guarding sheep, so he yelled, "Help! Wolf!" and the villagers came running. When they realized they'd been tricked, they were pretty peeved.
The kid thought it was funny, so he did it again the next day: "Help! Wolf!" Again the villages came running. Again, they discovered they'd been fooled.
The third day a wolf showed up and began chowing down on the sheep. The boy shouted for help, but nobody came. He had cried wolf once too often.
Next day he hired an attorney and sued everybody in the village over the loss of his sheep and "emotional distress," and won a huge out-of-court settlement.
Little Red Riding Hood:
A wolf gobbled up Red's granny, put on her nightgown, hopped in her bed and lay in wait for Little Ms. Hood to arrive.
Red immediately saw that the wolf wasn't her grandma (duh!), and before he could pounce, she drew a snub-nosed .38 and plugged him between his big, bad eyes.
The anti-gun folks were in a dither, but since Red had a carry permit there was nothing they could do but stew.
PETA also pitched a fit when it learned that several fleas on the defunct wolf also perished.
Mary had a little lamb:
And it followed her to school one day. The principal immediately ordered a lock-down and called for a swat team, three fire engines and a detail from Homeland Security.
Mary was expelled, and her parents were ordered to undergo animal husbandry sensitivity training.
The pet lamb was confiscated by the Health Department for violation of the local zoning ordinance, and Mary, bored, went back to being an I-pad zombie.
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe:
She had so many children she didn't know what to do -- until finally she heard about Planned Parenthood.
Old Mother Hubbard:
Went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone, but the cupboard was bare, so the Humane Society took the mutt away.
But the story has a happy modern-day ending:
Mother Hubbard hit the lottery, got her dog back, and went on a Vegas spree with the frisky old lady who used to live next door in a shoe.