3 Added example.
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It seems to be something which has fallen out of practice, but many fairy tales were originally written with horrible gruesome endings, mainly in order to scare children into good behavior.

The original The Little Mermaid, for instance, would have emphasized the importance of being an obedient daughter and not accepting favors from shady characters. Several other examples here.

I doubt you'd sell a lot of copies of such a children's story these days with the way parents try to shield their children from any sort of disappointment.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has any successful modern examples, but I suspect there are none. It seems to be a lost art.

Update: Actually, Robert Munsch does come to mind as an author who has been highly successful writing endings which are not stereotypically happy. The Paper Bag Princess, for instance, has a very neutral ending, with the princess realizing she is better off not having rescued the prince.

It seems to be something which has fallen out of practice, but many fairy tales were originally written with horrible gruesome endings, mainly in order to scare children into good behavior.

The original The Little Mermaid, for instance, would have emphasized the importance of being an obedient daughter and not accepting favors from shady characters. Several other examples here.

I doubt you'd sell a lot of copies of such a children's story these days with the way parents try to shield their children from any sort of disappointment.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has any successful modern examples, but I suspect there are none. It seems to be a lost art.

It seems to be something which has fallen out of practice, but many fairy tales were originally written with horrible gruesome endings, mainly in order to scare children into good behavior.

The original The Little Mermaid, for instance, would have emphasized the importance of being an obedient daughter and not accepting favors from shady characters. Several other examples here.

I doubt you'd sell a lot of copies of such a children's story these days with the way parents try to shield their children from any sort of disappointment.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has any successful modern examples, but I suspect there are none. It seems to be a lost art.

Update: Actually, Robert Munsch does come to mind as an author who has been highly successful writing endings which are not stereotypically happy. The Paper Bag Princess, for instance, has a very neutral ending, with the princess realizing she is better off not having rescued the prince.

2 clarifying intent
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It seems to be something which has fallen out of practice, but many fairy tales were originally written with horrible gruesome endings, mainly in order to scare children into good behavior.

The original The Little Mermaid, for instance, would have emphasized the importance of being an obedient daughter and not accepting favors from shady characters. Several other examples here.

I doubt you'd sell a lot of copies of such a children's story these days with the way parents try to shield their children from any sort of disappointment.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has any successful modern examples, but I suspect there are none. It seems to be a lost art.

It seems to be something which has fallen out of practice, but many fairy tales were originally written with horrible gruesome endings, mainly in order to scare children into good behavior.

The original The Little Mermaid, for instance, would have emphasized the importance of being an obedient daughter and not accepting favors from shady characters. Several other examples here.

I doubt you'd sell a lot of copies of such a children's story these days with the way parents try to shield their children from any sort of disappointment.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has any successful modern examples. It seems to be a lost art.

It seems to be something which has fallen out of practice, but many fairy tales were originally written with horrible gruesome endings, mainly in order to scare children into good behavior.

The original The Little Mermaid, for instance, would have emphasized the importance of being an obedient daughter and not accepting favors from shady characters. Several other examples here.

I doubt you'd sell a lot of copies of such a children's story these days with the way parents try to shield their children from any sort of disappointment.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has any successful modern examples, but I suspect there are none. It seems to be a lost art.

1
source | link

It seems to be something which has fallen out of practice, but many fairy tales were originally written with horrible gruesome endings, mainly in order to scare children into good behavior.

The original The Little Mermaid, for instance, would have emphasized the importance of being an obedient daughter and not accepting favors from shady characters. Several other examples here.

I doubt you'd sell a lot of copies of such a children's story these days with the way parents try to shield their children from any sort of disappointment.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has any successful modern examples. It seems to be a lost art.