People who’ve never read fairy tales,
the professor said, have a harder time coping
in life than the people who have.
They don’t have access to all the lessons that can be
learned from the journeys through the dark woods
and the kindness of strangers treated decently,
the knowledge that can be gained from the company
and example of Donkeyskins and cats wearing boots
and steadfast tin soldiers.
I’m not talking about in-your-face lessons,
but more subtle ones.
The kind that seep up from your subconscious and
give you moral and humane structures for your life.
That teach you how to prevail, and trust.
And maybe even love.
by Charles de Lint (The Onion Girl)