If you have ever seen an episode of “Snapped!” you will recognize the pattern. Each tells the story of some family’s unraveling, usually ending in a suspicious disappearance or crime. They always start out with close-up shots of family photos, everyone all smiling and matchy-matchy, living a good life in a good community where nothing bad could ever happen — then shift to yellow police tape and a booking photo of (usually) the woman, with the announcer sounding deeply disapproving: “…and then she SNAPPED!”
I got to thinking about the template, and realized several familiar stories fit right in…
The three little pigs had it all – a sturdy house, a loving mother, and a healthy respect for the local criminal kingpin, the Big Bad Wolf. Then in a surprising turn of events, the three brothers find themselves homeless, running for their lives, and the Wolf family claims their patriarch has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. Did the wolf end up in a pot of soup, a victim of the Pig Clan as investigators allege? Or is Mr. Wolf responsible for his own “disappearance,” to frame the pigs for a crime they didn’t commit?
Goldilocks was just like any girl living at the edge of a forest: full of dreams, full of curiosity, and full of a sense of adventure. It was a safe place to live, except for one unsolved crime spree that rocked Grimm Forest a decade ago. For years the community buzzed with the startling home invasion and destruction of personal property suffered by the three bears, but despite a detailed police sketch authorities had no culprit in mind… that is, until a wee little spoon was found on the dashboard of Miss Goldilocks’ car in a routine traffic stop. Could this flaxen-haired beauty be the criminal mind behind the porridge-robbing, chair-breaking, bed-sleeping intruder that terrorized the Grimm Forest so long ago? Did the police finally have the culprit that was just right?
When Jill met Jack, everyone agreed theirs was a storybook romance. Long walks up hills were common for the popular couple – until the evening of July 12, 2009, when Jack was discovered at the bottom of the hill with a broken crown. Police initially ruled it an accident– until friends of the couple mentioned a certain dalliance with Miss Muffet. Did Jack really fall on his own, as Jill’s attorneys allege, or was he pushed in a bid to do him in before he could rewrite the nursery rhyme to include a spider and some whey? Was it really an accident, or something more sinister?
More examples of crimes and misdeeds dot the children’s section of the library. Kidnappings and unlawful detainments are commonplace, as are thefts of items from giants and other “undesirables.” Could the Three Billy Goats be guilty of criminal trespass in their attempt to cross the Troll’s Bridge? Are they now squatting on property that does not, in fact, belong to them? Did Rapunzel’s father really break and enter to obtain the magical flower that saved his wife, and did he barter his unborn child for the deal? Did the tailors in the Emperor’s New Clothes exercise some sinister mind control over the ruler, or were controlled substances to blame? (And while we’re on the subject, clearly controlled substances can also be traced to such rhymes as Hey, Diddle Diddle, Humpty Dumpty and Rub a Dub Dub…)
Who will be next? Sources say the Little Red Hen has reached a critical breaking point in her life. After working her wings to the bone to grow, harvest, grind, and bake her wheat crop into food, her no-good, lazy, parasitic friends continue to take advantage of her good nature. Will she continue her codependent pattern and share her bread, or will she SNAP?