The Origins of Little Red Riding Hood

We all know the modern rendition of Little Red, don’t we? Red takes a basket of goodies to her grandmother’s house to find the Big Bad Wolf in the old woman’s place. A huntsman shows up and kills the wolf and Bob’s your uncle. The end.

The original take on this wonderful tale is far better in my opinion, not because it has carnage and mayhem, but because there is actually a moral in it. The mayhem and carnage is just a bonus.

In the original version, the wolf gives Little Red bad directions when she asks how to get to her grandmother’s house. Like the fool that she is–obviously, I mean she doesn’t even know the way to her own grandmother’s house–she follows the directions given to her by the wolf. Surprise! She doesn’t end up where she thought she would. There is no quaint little cottage at the end of those directions the wolf so expertly wove. Instead, she ends up getting herself eaten by a hungry woodland creature. There is no grandmother. There is no woodsman. There is only the sweet release of an agonizing death. All claws and teeth and blood and nasty bits. Good for the wolf, not so much for Red.

The moral of which I spoke: don’t take advice from strangers. If there is a moral in the new fangled version I have yet to find it.

Until next time, minions.

9 responses to “The Origins of Little Red Riding Hood

  • patriciaruthsusan

    Tsk, tsk, Adam, how sad for Red and her family. 😥 That moral also puts wolves in a bad light. The moral could also be, “Don’t walk through the woods if you don’t know where the heck you’re going.” O_o Very funny and probably true. 🙂

  • Charles Yallowitz

    I just realized how terrible a parent Red’s mother is. Who sends their child alone through the forest when there are man-eating wolves out there?

  • RoSy

    Her parents should have warned her about stranger danger…

  • draliman

    I’m guessing the original didn’t go down so well with parents and teachers. Sounds like good carnage, though.

  • storydivamg

    I’ve long had a fascination with fairy tales and their various iterations. In fact, I’m up late tonight (not drinking, by the way) winding down from the adrenaline-pumping task of writing a post-script to The Pied Piper of Hameln. Provided my colleagues in my writers’ group discern that it is something more than just so much dreck, I’ll be posting it here at WordPress soon. Interestingly, I discovered while researching my story that the legend of the Pied Piper is thought to be a retelling of the true story of the tragic Children’s Crusade, dated 70-some years prior to the date of the Pied Piper’s escapades.

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