Little Red Riding Hood

Does everyone know the story of Little Red Riding Hood? The way it goes is like this. A little girl who wears a red cape (hence the name) is taking some food to her grandmother who is sick. On her way to Grandma’s house she meets a wolf who asks her to give him her food. She refuses, but she does tell the wolf where she’s going.

He suggests that she pick flowers to take to Grandma, and while she does the wolf runs ahead to Grandma’s house and pretends to be Little Red Riding Hood. Grandma opens the door, and the wolf gobbles her up.  The wolf then dresses like grandma and gets into her bed. When Red Riding Hood shows up the wolf tells her to come in.

Little Red Riding Hood does notice a few weird things about Grandma. Things like big eyes, pointed ears, a hoarse voice, and big teeth. When she mentions teeth, the wolf tries to eat her, but she screamed and ran away. A woodsman heard her calling and rescued her from the wolf. He chopped the wolf open, and Grandma jumped out safe and alive.

This story is one of Grimm Brothers fairy tales, but it has been retold many times across Europe. I don’t know if we’d want such a dark story for children today, but fairy tales were usually meant to teach children how to behave. They could get pretty dark.

If I were rewriting it I don’t think I’d change anything except toward the end. When the wolf knocked on Grandma’s door he’d get more than he bargained for. Grandma was a karate instructor in the local town so the wolf had no chance to eat her. She flipped him around until he hobbled away with his tail tucked between his legs. When Red Riding Hood got there, she and Grandma would have lunch and Grandma would tell her the story of the wolf. What genre is this? Oh, action/adventure for sure. Are we empowering women here?

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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7 Responses to Little Red Riding Hood

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    That’s one of my favorite tales, as you’ll see more about tomorrow.
    I like your altered ending!
    Yes, the earlier, darker versions of those tales do strike a modern audience as a bit extreme.
    Some of those old tales, including RR Hood’s misadventures, go way back… to other cultures than the ones the Grimm brothers consulted to collect their anthology.


  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I love to read about strong women! This ending works for me. What better role model for Red Riding Hood?


  3. kathleenbee says:

    Hahaha. I like your twist. Wow, that fairy tale is really dark when you look at it from a modern point of view.


    • Elaine Cantrell says:

      A lot of them are. They were meant to scare children into behaving, but I wonder if they worked or not. Kids will be kids.


  4. Oh, yeah, Kick-butt Grandma; I vote for that! I never could stand the movies/show/books where the women just cower in the corner.Fight back! Surely when the bad-guy’s attention wavers, (or he’s fighting someone else), “Bean him with a lamp or something”,I scream!
    I never liked the woodsmen chopping the wolf up, anyway, dead Grandma not withstanding.


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