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Fairy stories - not just for children

February 2024

‘Some day you will be old enough 

To start reading fairy tales again’.

I have never considered myself a ‘grown up’.

Which is probably why fairy tales have always held such fascination for me.

In the dedication to ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’, C S Lewis wrote the following to his goddaughter, Lucy Barfield:

“My Dear Lucy,

I wrote this story for you, but when I began it, I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. 

As a result, you are already too old for fairy tales. And by the time it is printed you will be older still. 

But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. 

Your affectionate Godfather.”

The inference is that when we ‘grow up’ we consider these stories too childish for our adult intellects.

It’s only as we get much older that we understand their value.

Whenever I talk about them, the question I get asked most is:

‘What the hell does it mean?’

And the only possible answer is:

What do you think it means?

Because stories speak differently to all of us.

In most cases, though, there is an underlying sense of unease. 

A feeling that more is left unsaid than meets the eye (or ear).

Which is as it should be. 

They speak to the part of ourselves we often hide. 

Or hide from.

My favourite is ‘The White Bear, King Valemon’.

In the book ‘Shadow of the Stone Heart’, Richard Olivier (son of Laurence) uses this story to describe his own search for meaning.

It tells of what it really means to ‘grow up’.

Especially regarding our relationships.

It contains truths difficult to hear.

Which, in turn, elicit resistance.

Which is, again, as it should be.

Where there is resistance we find the greatest opportunity for growth.

Even if we’re already ‘grown up’.


My name is Clark. I tell potential clients they'll know within 20 minutes whether we're a good fit.

And so will I.

For some, my matter-of-fact style doesn't work.

I'm cool with that.

Those I do work with prefer the straight-talking, pragmatic approach.

If you drop me a line and we decide to chat, in 20 minutes you'll know.

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