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hobWent to a classroom play of sorts at Erin’s middle school — a mostly unscripted mock trial. The teacher is innovative and fun, and Erin adores her, so I wasn’t surprised to see that she’d come up with this clever little exercise.

The kids were assigned roles — prosecution and defense teams, jury, witnesses, and so on.  On trial was an alligator, accused of eating the witch in the Rapunzel story (a wrinkle I’d never heard before). 

Various other fairy-tale characters testified — again, unscriptedly, so they had to think on their feet. It mostly went as you’d expect of sixth graders asked to improvise.

Erin was the bailiff. As the first witness approached — the prince, I believe — Erin instructed him to raise his right hand and place the other hand on a fairy-tale book she held out. (Had myself a nice internal chuckle at the parallel.)

It occurred to me casually — I’ve come ever so far — that the name of the Creator was about to be invoked. Sure enough, Erin looked the prince in the eye and said

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you Grimm?

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.