Friday, October 11, 2013

Origin Of the Scary Teeth Story From "The Thing At The Foot Of The Bed" by Maria Leach - Countdown To Halloween / BlogOWeen

While re-reading my copy of The Thing At The Foot Of The Bed by Maria Leach, I noticed that her story, "As Long As This"...

is very similar to "The Teeth" story in In a Dark, Dark Room by Alvin Schwartz.

This is not surprising because both authors have culled material from folktales and urban legends.

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It is interesting that Schwartz made the story more kid-friendly.  Instead of an adult asking for a light for a cigarette, it is a little boy (alone in the dark) asking for the time.

Here is the original link:

"As Long As This" is more faithful to the source material.  There is a footnote at the end of  Leach's book which cites the source for this story:

As Long As This?  This is a Negro story from Dutch Guiana collected by Melville J. and Frances S. Herskovits in the city of Paramaribo in 1928-1929, and published in their Suriname Folk-Lore, p. 427. 
My complaint about "As Long As This" is the illustrations.  The first two pictures resemble Jimmy Carter, our 39th United States President and Nobel Peace Prize winner.  The last picture looks like Baba Booey from The Howard Stern Show.  Neither man is remotely scary.

1 comment:

  1. In the dark dark room book by alvin schwartz it cites it as based on a story from surinam (dutch guiana) collected onthe 1920's by melville and frances herskovitz.


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