Well, it’s the last day of my Wolf Facts Week, and I really hope you’ve enjoyed it. If there’s interest I might possibly add a Wolf Facts Day during the week (yup, I still have some left!). Today though it seemed apt to go back to what originally started my wolf research, and look at the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood.
Wolf fact #6
As with most fairy tales the original versions tend to be a lot darker than the one we might be familiar with from our childhoods. The oldest version of the story seems to be from 14th century Italy, there was no red hood is this version, the wolf was actually a werewolf and, as you might expect, there is no ‘happy ending’ – the wolf wins and the girl dies. The moral was supposed to be not to talk/listen to strangers (maybe a little harsh?)
The first written version of the story was by Charles Perrault, who added the red cloak as a symbol of the girl’s sexual maturity, while the wolf was supposed to represent the sexual predator, seducing her off the moral path. It was a cautionary tale, warning young women of the dangers of men. The Brothers Grimm version, that we are probably more familiar with, was take directly from this but they added the ‘happy ending’ of having the woodsman come along to rescue Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother and kill the wolf.
This was one of the earliest examples of the wolf being used a symbol of sexual predation, and it still continues to this name in common terms and cliches. For example, a predatory man may be described as a ‘wolf’, while a whistle to indicate that someone is sexy is called a ‘wolf whistle’.
I find the way stories and fairy tales change and are adapted through history fascinating. The core of the story remains, but it is updated and tweaked for the current audience. Little Red Riding Hood is one that has seen numerous versions and adaptations, in novels, movies, television etc. I really enjoyed being able to do my version, and I hope it fits in somewhere 🙂
Thanks so much to all who have stayed for the week. I hope you’ve enjoyed, and there will be more coming soon!
Scarlett Legacy is on sale at Amazon now.
Take care x