Thursday, August 14, 2008

Whoa!

My friend, Sally sent me the above photo. It's a postcard from the 1920's, published in Germany. It's quite a strange picture of this woman with a gaping crocodile or alligator mouth sitting at a table, looking horrified, with a basket of knitting in front of her. Do you suppose this is some sort of game card, like Loteria? Is it a strange postcard or cartoon of the day? What do you think?
ADDENDUM
The lovely Madgik came up with an enchanting story / parable / fable to go with this illustration. Here it is:
This is actually the tale of the Little Crocodile Girl. It was left out of the Grimm Bros. Fairytales due to the manuscript running over in length, but goes something like this... Hombelina was a bossy know it all who bullied the other girls. She'd knock them down and steal their FOs, calling them her own. She'd filch their best balls of cashmere and angora, and laugh when they asked for them back. She constantly bragged about how her knitting was the best in all the land. She was altogether a bad egg.
Then one day, as she was tormenting the lambs in the paddock out behind her house, a shadow fell over her. It belonged to Frau Schwarz, who admonished her that if she persisted in being such a no-good little so-and-so she'd soon rue her ways. Hombelina kicked her in the shins, and laughed as she ran inside her house.
Once inside, she sat down to knit a few stitches on a doll sweater she'd taken from Selma during lunch that day. It was made from a lovely blue Baby Cashmerino, and Hombelina thought it would fit her baby doll (the one she'd taken from Wanda a few days ago) quite nicely. She'd only completed three stitches before an amazing thing happened. With a little itch, and a twitch, her nose suddenly began to grow. She swatted at it, recoiling in horror, and then noticed the rest of her face and body was changing, too. A few minutes later Hombelina's father came in from doing the afternoon chores. He was a little shocked when he discovered the small crocodile in his house, but quickly saw how its hide would make a nice pair of shoes for his wife.
Moral of the story: Play nice, or you might just end up a fashion accessory.

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10 Comments:

At 4:24 PM PDT, Blogger Laurie Ann said...

I think it's a cautionary tale. Judging from the cramped position of her hands and the multiple needles in the basket, this poor woman has been knitting socks until her fingers cramped. To relieve the pain, she took some pills which turned out to be hallucinogenics and--Yikes--Croc Face!

The moral of the story is "For crying out loud, put down the socks and no one gets hurt."

 
At 5:49 PM PDT, OpenID hookedonstring said...

Looks like me when I drop stitches. ;)

 
At 9:30 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL...I love the theories about this picture. I actually tried to google-research it and came up with nothing. I'm so intrigued with what it could mean. The cramping fingers are what I would identify with the most!

Christine G.

 
At 11:17 AM PDT, Blogger Madge said...

This is actually the tale of the Little Crocodile Girl. It was left out of the Grimm Bros. Fairytales due to the manuscript running over in length, but goes something like this...

Hombelina was a bossy know it all who bullied the other girls. She'd knock them down and steal their FOs, calling them her own. She'd filch their best balls of cashmere and angora, and laugh when they asked for them back. She constantly bragged about how her knitting was the best in all the land. She was altogether a bad egg.

Then one day, as she was tormenting the lambs in the paddock out behind her house, a shadow fell over her. It belonged to Frau Schwarz, who admonished her that if she persisted in being such a no good little so and so she'd soon rue her ways. Hombelina kicked her in the shins, and laughed as she ran inside her house.

Once there, she sat down to knit a few stitches on a doll sweater she'd taken from Selma during lunch that day. It was made from a lovely blue Baby Cashmerino, and Hombelina thought it would fit her baby doll (the one she'd taken from Wanda a few days ago) quite nicely. She'd only completed three stitches before an amazing thing happened. With a little itch, and a twitch, her nose suddenly began to grow. She swatted at it, recoiling in horror, and then noticed the rest of her face and body was changing, too.

A few minutes later Hombelina's father came in from doing the afternoon chores. He had a little shocked when he discovered the small crocodile in his house, but quickly saw how its hide would make a nice pair of shoes for his wife.

Moral of the story: Play nice, or you might just end up a fashion accessory.

 
At 11:40 AM PDT, Blogger ladylinoleum said...

I like Madge's take on the illustration.

 
At 1:47 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great story Madge!

Christine G.

 
At 4:24 PM PDT, Blogger LINDA said...

What a hoot, Madge! Ellen thanks for sharing.

 
At 10:08 AM PDT, Blogger mj said...

I Googled German crocodile girl and came up with web site. It doesn't explain the postcard, but check it out.
http://childrensites.blogspot.com/2005/01/little-crocodile-that-ate-germany.html

 
At 9:53 AM PDT, Blogger Marianne said...

That's the way we Florida fiberistas look - especially after a hurricane.

 
At 3:18 PM PDT, Blogger woolanthropy said...

Love the story, madge.

I feel sorry for soggy Fl fiberistas with crocodile snoots. :(

 

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