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Child’s Play

Image for the play, Death, Duck and The Tulip for the Perth Festival

Radio National brings me many ideas and information and not too long ago I heard in the background talk of a play for children about death.  Upon hearing this, I was pleased to hear that the topic of death was being discussed and more so for the benefit of children.

On the whole, children easily accept confronting, taboo or difficult aspects of life more so than adults who can struggle.  I wonder what notion children have of death in Western culture, or any culture for that matter, for I don’t believe we as adults project an accurate or truthful one.

The play, Death, Duck and The Tulip, titled Ente, Tod und Tulpe in its German origin is based on the 2007 childrens’ book by German author and illustrator Wolf Erlbruch which deals with death and the afterlife.  A synopsis of the story is:

The story involves a duck who acquaints a character called Death who, as it turns out, has been following her all her life.  The two become friends, discussing life, death, and what any afterlife might be like. They go diving together and sit in a tree, pondering what would happen to the duck’s lake after her death. The duck reports that some ducks say that they become angels and sit on clouds, looking down on earth. Death says that this is possible since ducks already have wings. Then, she says that some ducks also say that there is a hell, down below, where bad ducks are roasted; Death replies that it’s remarkable what ducks all think of, and says “who knows,” prompting the duck to respond, “so you don’t know either.” In the end, the duck indeed dies, and Death carries her to a river, placing the duck gently in the water and laying the tulip on her “   From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

If you wish to look at some of the play click on the link below.   A

The book, play or film could be an excellent resource for parents and teachers not only for themselves but for the children.

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