Struwwelpeter, P.C.

By July 14, 2009General

At Overlawyered, we see the news of young woman who was texting as she walked down the street, didn’t see the uncovered manhole, and …”And now the parents of the 15-year-old, from Staten Island, N.Y., are planning a lawsuit. [Gothamist, Staten Island Advance]”

Don’t parents read the merry stories and funny pictures of Struwwelpeter to their children anymore? They include the instructive tale of Hans Guck in die Luft, or Johnny Head in the Air.

Once, with head as high as ever,
    Johnny walked beside the river.
    Johnny watched the swallows trying
    Which was cleverest at flying.
    Oh! what fun!
    Johnny watched the bright round sun
    Going in and coming out;
    This was all he thought about.
    So he strode on, only think!
    To the river's very brink,
    Where the bank was high and steep,
    And the water very deep;
    And the fishes, in a row,
    Stared to see him coming so.
One step more! oh! sad to tell!
    Headlong in poor Johnny fell.
    And the fishes, in dismay,
    Wagged their tails and swam away.

Alas, the remonstrances have been replaced with litigation. The Long Tall Tailor has given way to the Long Tall Lawyer.

In any case, the book was printed pre-1985 and is therefore banned by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

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