“I had a little bird,
Her name was Enza,
Opened the door,
And in flew Enza.”
a drawing by my mother, c. 1970s
My mother went through a phase of children’s illustrations long before I was born. This particular image hung on the wall of my childhood bedroom. I stumbled across it the other day and experienced a wave of nostalgia, but also felt the lingering fear it used to cause me when I was little.
This series featured original ideas (such as this one), but many of the drawings were inspired from traditional fairy tales. She adored The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson and always read these tales to me in their original form. For this reason she refused to take me to Disney films as she felt they butchered the stories to make them family friendly.
I do kind of like classic Disney movies because they feel strangely forbidden to me (I went to my friend’s house to watch them), but I can also understand her point of view as well. If you were raised on a Cinderella where the step sisters chopped off their heels to fit that glass slipper, and who eventually had their eyes pecked out by birds at the royal wedding, watching the Disney version might seem a bit dull.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
~excerpt from There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale