Little Red

Academia Interlude: On Little Red

Those who enjoy werewolves have likely been exasperated in recent years with the two releases of god-awful “Little Red Vs Werewolves” films Red Riding Hood and Red: Werewolf Hunter. Red Riding Hood, after all, is a children’s cautionary tale, and the wolf is merely a wolf.

Supposedly.

In actuality, the standard Little Red Riding Hood story has changed quite a bit since it first began to be told. The modern-day rendition comesfrom the brothers’ Grimm book on fairy tales, Children’s and Household Tales (A.K.A. Grimm’s Fairy Tales), and their rendition of the story, “Little Red Cap.” The brothers Grimm, however, specialized in fairy tales that were prominent in Germany. Many of Little Red’s roots lie in France.

In fact, in some French variations, the tale is so different that there is no heroic woodsman, and the wolf is no longer a wolf at all. In The Grandmother’s Tale, one such variation collected in 1885, it is a bzou—a werewolf.

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