Saturday, June 01, 2019

"Little Red Riding Hood" by Charles Perrault



Illustration by Warwick Goble

Charles Perrault's version of "Little Red Riding Hood" is a straight up horror story. His stated moral for it is all about Stranger Danger. There's no last-minute save by a woodsman (even though some are mentioned earlier in the story as being in the area). The final words of the tale are:
"The better to eat you with." 
Upon saying these words, the wicked wolf threw himself on Little Red Riding Hood and gobbled her up.
His moral is equally terrifying. It includes a warning that "not all wolves are exactly the same. Some are perfectly charming [...] following young ladies right into their homes" and ends with, "Watch out if you haven't learned that tame wolves are the most dangerous of all."

Chilling.

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