As part of Monster-a-Day on the Dapper Cadaver Blog, today I bring you “The Scissor-man”
Children need to be taught that actions have consequences and bad behavior will result in trouble, even when the parents are away. Sure, you could tell a kid that if he sucks his thumb his teeth will come in crooked and everyone will tease him, but he’s not going to believe that.
He will believe that a long legged supernatural tailor will come in through the window and cut through the bones of his thumb with giant silver scissor. Plus it’s more fun to say.
These are called Nursery Bogeys. For every naughty behavior there is a monster who exists to punish it. Parents and nannies have relied on nursery bogeys to be scare their kids into good behavior for centuries.
The Scissorman is one of the most famous, featured in the story book and opera Struwwelpeter / Shock Headed Peter.
What he does with the thumb is never explained. But then again neither is what the tooth fairy (a benign nursery bogey) does with those teeth. Which always worried me as a child.
I’m watching you, kiddies