It’s so nice to have a wolf about the house

Thanks to M for putting me onto this one too!

I am sorry if your connection speed doesn’t allow youtube §

This is a film of a children’s book called “It’s so nice to have a wolf about the house”, by the great team of writer Harry Allard and illustrator James Marshall, about a wonderful wolf who comes to help out an old man and his old pets. He claims he’s a dog, a German shepherd. But it’s all just too good to last, and it turns out he has a past…

Part One:

Part Two:

§ At least you can enjoy a bit of controversy, from the amazon.com page for the book:

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful:

The moral of  “people labels”,  June 7, 1998

As a child, I remember reading Harry Allard and James Marshall’s “It’s So Nice to Have a Wolf Around the House,” and feeling a deep sympathy for the main character, Cuthbert Q. Divine. All children can learn from this lovely children’s tale that teaches the danger of quick assumptions. Although Cuthbert is a fugitive from the law, it is obvious that this is not the life he wants. Despite all of the stereotypes about wolves, Cuthbert truly loves the Old Man and his pets with no ulterior motive involved–“all he wanted to do was make the old man and his three pets happy.” In fact, the Old man and his pets seem happier than ever when Cuthbert is around, as he takes care of all the chores while, at the same time, making the house a funloving place to live in. Cuthbert makes fancy desserts and organizes costume parties. When the Old Man discovers that Cuthbert is actually a wolf disguised as a the German Shepard he hired as his “charming companion”, he feels betrayed and frightened. However, upon this confrontation, it is Cuthbert who is “pale and shaking.” In fact, when faced with his sordid past, Cuthbert faints. In a sorrow-evoking mini-monologue, Cuthbert reveals that he’s always wanted to be good but no one expected him to be, as he was a wolf. This is representative of many children today who feel as if they have a “label.” In many schools, there is a “bully” who it seems never does anything kind or good. In so many fairy tales, wolves are depicted as a wholly evil and manipulative species. So, by Cuthbert breaking free of the stereotype his race of creatures elicits, a moral shines through for our children: Always be who you want to be, not who people think you are.

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Forgiveness as disregard for wrongdoing It is true that the wolf seeks to make the Old Man’s household happy. But, do guilt offerings by wrongdoers help the victim if they are offered to someone else? Of course not. Yet, by having readers sympathize with the wolf, Allard makes it seem acceptable.

The fact is the wolf has done harm, and this story whitewashes his actions in utter disregard for his victims. This is the intellectual “blank out” that the Left has used to give criminals a second chance with no regard for the damage they have done, or may repeat*.

Justice necessarily includes retribution &/or restitution. The wolf must fix his past by repaying his debts properly, otherwise he simply “gets away with it”, as all criminals would like. (E.g. “I will kill my wife, and then be good for ever after.”)

Allard is apparently so uninterested in this necessary principle of justice that he is willing to engage children in its subversion.

People wonder why today’s youth seem so lacking in morality! It’s because the adults are lacking in morality.

*This seems to be a popular notion with the courts these day.

Nice when adults can get over their pride and really engage with a kids’ book! How can this be out of print!!?

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6 Comments »

  1. Michael K said

    The second perspective does not weigh sincerity of contrition because it adheres to the idea of a punitive form of justice representing the course of elemental moral law. I think Allard is interested in this idea. He might have experience of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metanoia

  2. Simon G said

    these left / right dichotomies…

  3. vixen said

    I have friends who used to be ‘wolves’

  4. Simon G said

    That’s what we need, practice rather than theory. Are they nice to have about the house?

  5. isl_gr said

    Yes, we are ok now, I think. Aren’t we, Nan? If there wasn’t the cooking… But nobody is perfect. And the feeling of family bonds makes miracles on us. Wolves are so much for family animals. To the point that they may even learn (instead of hunting and eating raw) how to cook for the house!

  6. Simon G said

    Other stories warn about accepting this kind of protestation from a wolf! They have a way with words, but…

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