THE MONSTER AND THE TAILOR
A Ghost Story
In intent, another "Scary Story"--following The Tailypo and King of the Cats; in actuality, a lame excuse for a story framing a central scare sequence. A poor tailor is sent to the graveyard to stitch up the Grand Duke's new trousers ("Only then will I have good luck when I wear them--that is what my soothsayer told me"). There, a ghostly monster begins to emerge behind him, intoning: "Do you see this great head of mine?" "Do you see this great neck of mine?" Etc., etc. As the monster materializes bit-by-bit in the background, the tailor bravely stitches away ("I see that, but I'll sew this")--until, finishing in the nick of time, he makes the Grand Duke's castle just inches ahead of the pursuing creature (the marks of whose fingers, we're told, "can still be found on the castle wall"). The tailor-monster dialogue is in the best oral ghost story tradition, and Galdone's pictures of the confrontation have a properly threatening aspect when seen at a distance. But for the single child, listening or looking, it's a crudely executed artifice.