Following on the discussion of the Rudolph Christmas special we grew up with, I read a description on Snopes of how the original Rudolph poem came about.
It reinforces that Rudolph was not really meant to be the story that the TV special made out to be. Santa was not cast as a complete jerk. Rudolph's parents were not ashamed of him.
It might be fitting to close this page by pointing out that, although the story of Rudolph is primarily known to us through the lyrics of Johnny Marks' song, the story May wrote is substantially different in a number of ways. Rudolph was not one of Santa's reindeer (or the offspring of one of Santa's reindeer), and he did not live at the North Pole. Rudolph dwelled in an "ordinary" reindeer village elsewhere, and although he was taunted and laughed at for having a shiny red nose, he was not regarded by his parents as a shameful embarrassment. Rudolph was brought up in a loving household and was a responsible reindeer with a good self-image and sense of worth.See the Snopes article for the whole story.
Or, see this web page, which casts a more misty, romantic haze over the creation of Rudolph.
While you're at Snopes, why not read about Dunder and Blixem.Posted by James at December 22, 2003 3:22 PM