To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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A dark whistle blowing story of revenge, antisocial behavior, misrepresentation and social engineering for 3 year olds and their parents....

aka "Vom kleinen Maulwurf, der wissen wolte, we ihm auf den Are we sitting kopf gemacht hat"

Are we sitting comfortably then I shall begin...

Once upon a time there were two germans, Werner and Wolf, who wrote and illustrated a picture book for three year olds. This story was about a little mole (lets call him ...Mole) who as he stepped outside was crapped upon by a shit and run crapper. Yes a drive by plop to the head!. A gift from heaven if you will! Naturally outraged by this unwarranted assault on his person he sets out to find the miscreant challenging all and sundry. All denied the act and as proof statements promptly delivered samples of their poohs for comparison (far be it from me to suggest that such a story would only penned by Germans !! Werner is in fact a university professor in Weimar; and I know from experience that children (boys in particular) find bodily functions absolutely hilarious so you could argue that he knows his market).

Finally Little Mole (aka Mole) seeks expert forensic advice from a couple of passing flies who after sampling conclude it is "doggy dodo". This doggy "lead" puts Henry a "known dog" in the frame as the perp.

So so far we have had the antisocial behavior; Now comes the rest .... and in order to understand what's going on, the background plot is that my wife got the book out if the library ..twice... one copy in English and the other in Chinese

The English version (which being a Brit ..I assume is a faithful translation of the orignal German) differs in some key respects from the Chinese version:

Mole sets off (with an evil look in his eye) to confront Henry ...
[ENGLISH]A dog !! Now Little Mole was sure whodunit on his head.
[CHINESE] Little mole went to find the big dog immediately.

Henry appears asleep in his Kennel, Mole peers round corner
[ENGLISH]Henry that old Hound dog!
>[CHINESE]Henry was dozing. Little mole asked him, 'Why did you poop on my head?' The Big dog closed his eyes and said lazily, 'I was careless! What do you want?'

A moment later
[ENGLISH]As quick as flash Little Mole climded on top of Henry's doghouse (Pling - a litte brown cresent landing slap-dab in the middle of Henry's forehead)
[CHINESE]Little Mole was so upset that he ran to the top of the dog house and shouted, 'Hey! You should at least say sorry!'[Before the big dog could answer, suddenly little mole's stomach was upset and he couldn't help "plop" and a tiny little black poop had dropped down right on top of the big dog's head.]

A couple of moments later
[ENGLISH]The deed done,a happy and satisfied Little mole dissapeared back into his mole hole
[CHINESE]Little mole immediately cried, 'Oh no! I'm sorry!' And then, embarrassed he dissapeared back down his mole hole!

So in the English version we have Mole hunting down Henry, exacting a sneak revenge attack on him whilst he sleeps, in the biblical tradition of an eye for an eye, and then "victorious" running away to safety before Henry can take reprisals.

The chinese version on the other hand depicts litte Mole bravely standing up to Henry and challenging the big dog to 'fess up (no sneak under hand revenge attack here !!) and then poor little mite he suffers a sudden attck of upset tummy unfortunately resulting in an embarrasing whoopsy on Henry's head ( and if you believe that.. my father in law was chinaman!! (well at least one of them was))

So that covers the revenge. Clearly one if not both of the versions is not true to the original penned by the author - this goes to the misrepresentation which brings us to the social engineering;

My first reaction when my wife pointed out the differences was that the censor had had a hand in politically correcting the text. I was reminded that when the Scorsese version of Infernal Affairs (The Departed) was released in China it had a different ending to the rest of world. It was unacceptable that the police mole (the good guy) in the Tiad should die whilst the triad mole (the bad guy) in the police gets away with it ; sends the wrong messages to society : implies baddies can win and the police may be corrupt.

So the morally correct version of "Whodunit" would not be about seeking revenge and mounting a sneak attack and then running away before you get the stuffing kicked out of you but to

My wife did point out that the chinese text (pictograms) was Traditional (not Simplified) and that the translation was done in Taiwan not in Mainland China by 3&3 Internation Education Institute . Her view was that culturally most Chinese would dissaprove of the English version's "message". (She is also horrified when I explain to her the true stories behind most English Nursery rhymes eg :Ring a Ring a Roses which is an everyday story of the Black Death !!, and I have yet to explain to her the subtext to Little Red Riding Hood...)

Anyway the bottom line is that when it comes to reading time with #3 (who coincidently is 3 ) we favour the robust Anglos Saxon approach to kiddies stories - take the fight to the enemy .. hit and run guerrilla tactics against superior forces .. that sort of thing !!! I am sure Chairman Mao would approve !!!.

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