Storytime with Brunhilde is a gentle children's bedtime program hosted by the Teutonic feline, Brunhilde (see left).
Brunhilde tells children stories about her life since moving to America and how much she loves her homeland in the Alps.
Creation of 'Brunhilde'Edit
The character of 'Brunhilde' was the creation of Hildegaarde Von Cosby, the wife of a powerful official in the German American Bund, a group of residents of German descent who welcomed other Germans to their new homeland.
As a mere hausfrau in 1928, Von Cosby took an interest in local politics, especially the workings of the school board. Von Cosby volunteered many hours reading to recent German immigrant children, even going so far as to invent her own stories that were a mix of German folk tales and her experiences in America.
From those tales came 'Little Hildegaarde' (later 'Brunhilde'). Von Cosby believed that the children would be able to relate to a cat, since children are small creatures just like cats who sleep a lot and can be difficult to reason with. Also, Von Cosby speculated, Little Hildegaarde's move to a new home could act as a guide for children who may feel confusion or fear in their similar situation.
Von Cosby's CrusadeEdit
Little Hildegaard's popularity (and by extension, Von Cosby's) would come following the disappearance of a child.
While working in the daycare center of the Bund, Von Cosby grew attached to one of the children in her care, Brunhilde, the blonde, blue-eyed, perfect daughter of Von Cosby's rival, Magda Olbermann, the hausfrau of the Official in Charge of the Bund's Eugenics Committee.
One day, Brunhilde Olbermann disappeared!
An investigation headed by local police, however, was unable to determine what had happened.
Von Cosby was enraged by the "official" story. She vented her frustrations and what she considered "shoddy police work" from a platform in front of the Bund's daycare center, where she began questioning passersby about their whereabouts on the day of the abduction and how they felt about it causing not a few of the mothers to break down in tears.
After a few weeks and a multitude of complaints, Frau Olbermann accused Von Cosby of poor mothering skills, and even of being behind the abduction as some twisted way of garnering attention for herself.
Von Cosby retaliated in the only way she knew how: she renamed her immigrant cat, Brunhilde and accused anyone who disagreed with her of not wanting justice.
Little Hildegaard, now Brunhilde, began to be a more activist cat, working with police to catch criminals, interrogating suspects in courtroom dramas and even meting out punishments for the guilty.
By this time, the character and her creator's success was getting national attention.
Brunhilde Goes NationalEdit
Financiers and other powerful members of the German community saw an opportunity in 'Brunhilde' and purchased time on a local radio station in order to share their new star with the rest of their new country.
After airing a few programs, news of a popular new children's radio program reached the offices of WTF and The Earl Du BeauMont, who eagerly purchased 47 episodes (half a season).
WTF only aired one episode of 'Storytime with Brunhilde'. Earl Earl Du BeauMont disliked Hildegaarde Von Cosby's pronounced German accent.
Bruinhilde's stories encouraged children to do things that would act as shining examples of good German breeding:
- "Hansel Und Gretel" (the only one that was broadcast) encouraged "self-sufficiency" for when the "big one" happens
- "Little Red Riding Hood" encouraged loyalty
- "Cinderella" reminded children that rightiness was not something just anyone could learn; one had to be born with it
- "Rumplestiltskin" encouraged the children not to forget their heritage
Excerpts From 'Hansel Und Gretel'Edit
Good evenink, I am Brunhilde, und wilkommen meine liebsten kinder ve are 'Schtorytime mit Brunhilde", yah!
I am to tell you zis evenink zee schtory of der schtrong and brave kinder "Hansel und Gretel". Zey are very schtrong und very brave, yah! Ve vill learn much from zese adventures, und ve vill be schtrong und brave chust like zey are, yah?
Okay...SILENCE! Ve begin...
Vunce upon a time, der kinder Hansel und Gretel are livink vit der parents, yah!
Und der parents vork hard for der Garnansammlung, vat is dis vord? To bringink der much yarn, yah!?
Von day, der kinder are vorking hard und der eltern are vorkink hard, but der chew cats chust sit und count der münzen vile everbody else vork hard for der Garnansammlung, yah?
Und zee time is bad, no?
Zee kinder are made of good der schtock, yah! Zee kinder go to zee voods to do chores for to rid ze Vaterland of der chew cat, yah!
Und ven das kinder walken in zee voodz, dey come to zee haus of der Vitch!
It is frightful, yah!?
Gretl is not afraid, und Hansel is not afraid! Brave Aryan kinder dese kinder!
Das kinder are hungary, und zee vitch is hungary, und dey are hungary due to rationing, vich is policy of der communist cat, yah!?
Und zee communism is bad, yah!
Der kinder, Hansel und Gretl use superior race to defeaten das vitch, und zey live fat und content in der voods!
- ↑ Modern investigators have ruled out any wrong-doing on the part of any of the officials involved, despite repeated calls for the reopening of the case by Von Cosby's descendants.