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Little Red Ridinghood

Page history last edited by Amber Autry 12 years ago

"Little Red Cap"

The first known record of the story “Little Red Ridinghood” is Perrault’s manuscript dating to 1695.  His version was called “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge” and it was published in Stories or Tales of Past Times (1697). The story follows a little girl, Biddy, going to visit her grandmother. She travels through the forest wearing a red cape and carrying a basket of goodies. Biddy encounters a wolf (or a werewolf) who asks where she is head. She mentions her purpose and the wolf is delighted. He asks her where the grandmother and then leaves little Red Ridinghood. The wolf reaches the grandma’s house and tricks her. He eats the old women. But before he can leave Biddy arrives. The wolf disguises himself as the child’s grandmother. Little Red Ridinghood questions her grandmother (who is actually the wolf) on the size of her arms, legs, ears, eyes and eventually teeth. At the last question the wolf confesses his true identity and proceeds to eat Little Red Ridinghood as well.

 

The last exchange between the wolf and Little Red Ridinghood is similar to the exchange between Loki and Thrym the giant in Elder Edda from the 1200s. Thor is disguised as Loki’s fiancé, “Freyja”, and Loki tries to explain to Thrym why the woman is so ugly.  In the end of the tale Thrym is killed, which increases the similarities between this tale and that of Little Red Ridinghood.

 

There are several alterations of the story where Little Red Ridinghood and the grandmother are saved. In the Grimm Brother’s “Little Red Cap” the ladies are saved by a games keeper. In another version the wolf tricks Little Red Ridinghood into drinking and eating pieces of her grandmother's flesh by calling it meat and wine. In one version the younger girl is able to escape the wolf after he has devoured the grandmother.

 


Check out the stories for yourself


Citations

  • Ashliman, D. (2010). Grimm brothers’ home page. Retrieved from http://www.pitt.edu.
  • Heiner H. (1999). SurLaLune fairy tales. Retrieved from www.surlalunefairytales.com.
  • Opie P., Opie I. (1974). The Classic Fairy Tales. New York, Oxford; Oxford University Press.
  • Owens, L. (1981). The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. New York, Toronto, London, Sydney, Auckland; Crown Publishers, Inc., Random House.
  • Warner, M.(1994). From the beast to the blonde: On fairy tales and their tellers. New York; Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Zipes, J. (2000). The Oxford companion to fairy tales: The western fairy tale tradition from medieval to modern. New York; Oxford University Press.


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