January 4th, 2012, 10:38 am

Culinary Context: Parents and Wolves

Happy New Year, everyone! My first resolution is to wrap up this Peter and the Wolf parody this month, with one to two updates a week; February will be the month of the Date Disaster in time for Valentine's Day and every love story that goes wrong.

In Peter and the Wolf, a bassoon plays when Peter's grandpa speaks; the bassoon plays the melody as a succession of low pipes, with the violins accompanying on the G string. Grandpa has a small role in the ballet, mainly to keep Peter away from the danger of wolves. He does not go into the details, however, taking Peter’s knowledge of the situation for granted. I expanded the dialogue to include all the wolf facts mentioned and to dramatize the low notes emphasized in that moment.

I like wolves a lot, despite what Peter’s grandpa might say about them; although the facts that he states are true, they are written with a deliberate negative slant. In addition to possessing sharp hearing and the ability to blend in with the forest, wolves are also loyal pack animals and nurturing parents. They constantly learn from their surroundings, especially when we become evolved; wolves will take precautions to avoid humans and objects associated with us. Although one cannot confuse them with domesticated dogs, which have lost their wild instincts to genetic breeding, we also should recognize the aspects that they share with our pets at home.

I sympathize with Peter’s grandpa because no one wants to expose their child or younger sibling to an unnecessary danger. Fairy tales were told to caution children from trusting strangers, treating others unkindly, and losing faith in their present scenario; we disliked morality tales when we were kids and nevertheless repeat them to the next generation. At some point a new storyteller comes and remarks on this absurd cycle, revising it with truth and entertaining details. The storyteller may not succeed in breaking the cycle or entertaining the reader, but he or she paves the way for change in myths.

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