I remembered Hansel and Gretel! the little gingerbread house with the witch, found when they were lost in the woods - I loved the story as a child and read it to myself a lot but I would change the end - the book had Arthur Rackham illustrations - he's my favourite childhood illustrator - he captures a sinister undertone in all his work. As a child I secretly wanted my then only brother and I to re-enact the story and couldn't think of anything more wonderful than creeping into the woods, getting lost and finding the old witch in her magical house. We weren't afraid of witches of course, we had plenty of those in our own family (our mother dabbled with the occult and our grandmother maintained an aura of mystery and authority over us with her 'invisible seeing eye'! it would be out of the frying pan into the fire for us!). Imagine re-creating the gingerbread house in the woods with stained glass windows and iced roof - it would be the most magical place to live. My plan was that the witch would teach us her skills and we would catch small animals to go in the oven so we were spared. I wished it so much it was almost real!
One of my blogging friends, Karen, picked up on a comment I made and emailed me this picture - how kind is that?
My grandfather (probably bored with the same old stories) would start a story and then encourage us to make our own middle and end! He was a good artist but couldn't do Hansel and Gretel pictures, however, he knew that I would busy myself for hours if he asked me to finish the story and left his box of pastels and crayons out. He designed buildings so had the most enormous draftsmans table with paper sheets the size of dining tables! how I loved to draw on those sheets.
I think stories that capture our imagination when we are children stay with us and are part of who we are - did you have a favourite childhood book that took you away to fairyland? perhaps you're a secret Cinderella, Red Riding Hood or Alice in Wonderland?