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Once Upon a Time there was 

Watching The Three Billy Goats Gruff today on stage, the troll asked the audience for their advice: should he let the littlest goat go? My son alone in the audience said "no!" When I asked him why not, he told me his concern that if the troll didn't eat the first food that came along, then he might not get another chance and so might not get enough to eat. But of course.

We had a great time at the play, but what I loved most was hearing his thought process. We didn't read a whole lot of fables or fairy tails when he was younger. It wasn't really an intentional omission, just that we had so many other wonderful things to read, but the more I think about it the more I dislike fairy tales anyhow. They seem beautiful at first glance, but they're awfully one dimensional. Gregory Maguire had the right idea when he took the traditional tales and turned them on their heads, showing the "other sides" of the stories in books like Wicked.

Calvin's thinking that the troll is also worth a life is a refreshing thought, one that bucks convention and has many elements in it from our recent discussions on evolution. All living things have to eat, and meat eaters are not evil, they're just hungry like the rest of us. Even better, like Maguire he had to willingly go against the tide to say "no" in an audience of "yeses" and to me that right there was worth the price of admission.

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