"Meanwhile, the sun set, and . . . out came an ugly old woman, thin and yellow, with great red eyes, and a crooked nose which reached down to her chin."
-- From Jorinde and Joringel, by the Brothers Grimm
The fairy-tale character of the old woman who is a wicked witch is a familiar one to all of us. Unfortunately, the caricature is not limited to the fantasy world. We opened this book with some negative stereotypes about old people, written not by fiction writers but by students in your age group. "Crabby," was one characterization. "Smelly breath," was another. And "feeble," "don't understand anything," "body starts to deteriorate," "wrinkly skin," "ready to die."
The young adults who offered those views are not alone, nor can they be blamed for believing them. For hundreds of years, the young, and even the old them-