Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And With the Wolf At the Door

Peter and the Wolf
Walt Disney Productions retells Sergei Prokofiev's fairy tale
Random House, 1974

The story is a bit like The Penguin That Hated the Cold in that it was a film first. Walt Disney produced an animated version of the work in 1946, with Sterling Holloway providing the voice of the narrator. It was released theatrically as a segment in Make Mine Music, then re-issued the following year accompanying a re-issue of Fantasia (as a short subject before the film), then separately on home video in the 1990s.

I love the names of the characters: Peter, Sasha, Ivan, and Sonia. I was planning to feature this book soon, but for some reason it seemed appropriate today. In this story a young boy disregards the advice of his grandfather and with the help of some friends manages to catch a dangerous wolf with only a toy gun and his wits. It's a dangerous game and some might say it's a foolish one that almost cost Peter his friend. Still, it is also a story of a boy who is underestimated,and the odds were not in his favor and yet he never wavers and in the end he comes out on top.

On this inauguration day, we say hello to a new President and somehow, despite the dire forecast, the disastrous state of our nation, I have hope. I am counting on him and those in this new administration to be like Peter and to boldly venture out, to use innovation and intellect, and even a bit of bravado to get the job done. I am hoping we can banish those wolves in our midst.

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