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6 Cautionary Tales That Terrified Kids of Yesteryear

6 Cautionary Tales That Terrified Kids of Yesteryear

Long before Edward Gorey offed children alphabetically, writers sought to instill good manners and exemplary behavior through strange, scary cautionary tales. The great tall tailor always comesTo little boys that suck their thumbs,And ere they dream what he's about. “The Tom-Boy Who Was Changed Into a Real Boy”For parents of a certain era, there were few things more horrifying than a little girl who didn't act like a little girl. At last she grew so coarse,E’en her voice was rough and hoarse,And her attitudes became so like a boy’s, boy’s, boy’s,That they thought it only right,On a certain Summer’s night,To change her sex completely, without noise, noise, noise. “Rebecca, Who Slammed Doors for Fun and Perished Miserably”Published in 1907, Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales for Children: Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years is technically a parody of 19th century cautionary tales.

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