I am not sure who benefited most from bedtime stories back in the day ... the reader or the little listener. Maybe they didn’t put any real value on them at all except as being one step closer to getting a child to bed at night.
Let’s think about it however. I believe there are some real lessons to be learned. Take for instance “The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf (and the Art of Home Construction) ... poetic license taken. There was the first Little Pig who built his house out of straw.
When the Big Bad Wolf desired the occupant he just blew his flimsy house away and took over. The second Little Pig, owner of the house built of sticks, met a similar fate. We never heard from either as to how they felt about their losses ... it was assumed they were not only homeless but eaten as well. When the third Little Pig built his house it was another matter. Clearly the prize property of the three abodes, the owner had put some thought (and dare we say prayer) into its construction.
Certainly the lesson of failed attempts made by his brothers would have led Pig Three to cautionary construction. It is inspiring to believe that he employed wiser Architects than he to ascertain it would be Wolf-proof. It was! A house of bricks was the answer. The covetous Wolf would have had to hang around outside until its occupant was foolish enough to open the door and let him in ... how dumb would that have been!