Life is not easy, especially for pretty girls: they are often devoured by wolves or ill-treated by their sisters, mothers, fathers and husbands. As for boys, when they are ugly, they can also be tormented. Actually, there is always a cruel ogre looking for fresh flesh! Needless to say that fairies, unpredictable creatures, can interfere and change the course of time but it is rarely helpful: magic is not as efficient as intelligence and humanity. Compared to virtue and honesty, I would even say it is useless...Charles Perrault was a serious writer who understood, at the end of his life, that his duty, as a human being and an intellectual, was to increase the level of reason and humanity of people. Therefore, he gathered European folktales and transformed them in order to enhance their moral qualities. Barbarity, man's temptation, was an individual disgrace he wanted to dilute in the fountain of knowledge. Children were to read his fairy tales and choose to follow, with the help of their maturing consciousness, the road to wisdom. More than three centuries later, a world on the verge of total self-destruction should listen, at last, to the echo of the fabulist's intelligence.Illustrations and new translation by Dr. Laurent Paul Sueur.