Farr&Beyond book

A lawyer rewrites your favourite fairy tales

You’ll never see the Big Bad Wolf the same way again
You’ll never see the Big Bad Wolf the same way again

Farr & Beyond illustration

Farr & Beyond LLP: Lawyers for the Otherworldly reimagines the Big Bad Wolf not as a villain, but a contractor with a strong legal argument

As Kenneth Smookler watched Cinderella at the ballet four years ago, he had a thought. “Cinderella’s family had her scrubbing floors and cooking,” recalls the 87-year-old retired lawyer. “But now, they’ve lost her to the prince.” His legal imagination took off. He worried that Cinderella might have signed a contract with her stepmother to perform housework. If so, the stepmother could file a suit to keep Cinderella from doing similar work for the prince. For fun, Smookler wrote Cinderella a letter, explaining her rights.

He saw legal issues in other fairy tales. “The Three Bears had a trespasser for heaven’s sake!” he says. He wrote his ideas down.

His wife, Fran, saw his work and told a friend, whose son is an editor at book publisher Wall & Emerson. This past winter, Farr & Beyond LLP: Lawyers for the Otherworldly hit bookstores. It’s full of legal documents that relate to the caseload of a firm that represents fairy tale characters. For example: the Big Bad Wolf, whom Smookler reimagines as a contractor who thinks the Three Little Pigs’ homes aren’t up to code. In a letter to the city’s planning commission, counsel for the wolf states: “My client is the owner of the Huff-n-Puff demolition company and is prepared to blow these houses down.”

This story is from our Spring 2017 issue.




Illustration by Ryan Howe