When I was young, growing up on a mine, East Geduld, in South Africa I had the full set of puppets for a Punch & Judy show. There was Punch with his curved nose and dropping hat. Judy had a big floppy hat and an inane grin. Recall the tragedy: they fight and Punch clobbers Judy to death dropping the baby along the way.
The Policeman arrives to investigate and gets a sound whacking from Punch before being hauled off to jail. The Judge in long wig argues for justice, but Punch displays open defiance, until sentenced to hang. Thus the Hangman puppet all in black with a hood and rope come on the scene. It gets very dramatic. You can vary the story through infinite retellings and twists of fate.
I had a large puppet theater made by my father. Once a year, the mine women would organize a charity fete at the mine club-house. I was engaged to give the Punch & Judy show. I somehow recall it cost two-shillings and sixpence to file into the hall, sit on the floor, and join Leon Roome (now an accountant living on the Isle of Man) and me as we put on the show. The audience would shout in support of Punch, then Judy, then the Policeman, then the Judge, and finally, exhausted and drained by emotion, for the Hangman.
Today, I have to invent gentler stories for the grandkids. Their mothers disapprove of the violence of the old stories that have entertained hundreds of years of kids enjoying a puppet show. When ma is out of the room, however, the stories echo the age-old themes of the village square and the wandering puppet players. We relapse into visceral and primitive tales of good and evil, the noble versus the ignoble, tragedy played to comedy, and the kids love it. For this story mode is in their bones, whatever suburban mothers now think. These stories did us no harm; rather I think they alerted us to the evil and the harm that flourishes in the absence of action by those of good will. Now kids are brought up to believe everybody is good; you can gauge the results of this fallacy when you see who wins elections.