Saw the Doctor taking the time to read those poor orphan children a bedtime story in Doctor Who episode Thin Ice, and thought to yourself ‘Aaah, what a lovely Doctor’?
Well think again, because the story he was telling them was one of a number of cautionary tales used to scare the bejesus out of young children back in the day.
It comes from the notorious Der Struwwelpeter, written by German psychiatrist Heinrich Hoffmann and first published in 1845, and tells of young Conrad, AKA Suck-a-Thumb, whose mother warns him that if he doesn’t take his thumb out of his mouth he’ll lose it to “the great tall tailor” and “his great sharp scissors”, which you may have heard the Doctor mention.
Suffice it to say, after Conrad’s mother goes out he doesn’t last long before jamming his thumb back into his mouth – and immediately in runs “The great, long, red-legged scissorman“.
Here’s what happens next…
Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out – Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast;
That both his thumbs are off at last.
Thanks Doctor, guess we won’t be sleeping tonight…
Doctor Who continues on BBC1 on Saturday