Every child needs a monster.

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Halloween is such a cool holiday and it’s right around the corner! You get to dress up, get drunk, watch cheap movies, eat candy, and you’re allowed to tell flat out lies and call them “scary stories”. Sadly, Halloween is terribly neglected in South Africa, and children are warned about  the dangers of hell, devil worship, and diabetes instead. But sometimes celebrating the silliness of witches, ghouls and ghosts can neutralise instead of encourage fear. Today’s doodle is a quote from a short story by Nataniël, which illustrates the difference between having a fear or a friend for life.

“When a child learns how the world works, he becomes scared, said Grandfather. He needs his own monster to fight the others. They have been giving children monsters in every fairytale since the beginning, dragons, eagles, geese and bats, creatures that can protect them and help them escape.

From what? Said Grandmother.

You know what happens, said Grandfather. You know what they do to children. Teachers, strangers, people they know, parents, uncles. Better you have a monster when you need one, than a demon at my age. You know what happens.

It took me many years to find out what happens. But since that day I have loved my grandfather, he might have been a little alcoholic, but he gave me the monster that has been my protection to this day.”

Nataniël, When I Was 8, When I Was, 2008

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