"Little Red Hat" written by Christian Schneller was originally published in a collection with other authors in 1867 and this is examining the English translation from 2007. This Italian/Austrian rendition of "Little Red Riding Hood" paints a fairly graphic tale despite its brevity. As expected, Little Red Hat needs to journey to her grandmother's home to deliver soup and she encounters a stranger along the way. While we, Americans, are often more familiar with the red hooded, female character encountering a wolf in the woods (example here), the character depicted in this short story encounters an ogre. The ogre asks where she is headed then takes a separate path, beating Little Red Hat to the grandmother's home. In this rendition, the ogre killed and ate the grandmother but saved a few body parts and placed them around the home. He places the intestines on the door as a latch, the teeth in the kitchen as rice, the jaws in the kitchen as chopped meat, and blood in the kitchen as wine. In every case, the ogre says exactly what they are before Little Red Hat asks"what did you say?" then the ogre quickly replies "Just eat/drink and keep quiet". There is certainly quite a bit of dialogue leading up to Little Red Hat questioning the appearance of the ogre in the grandmother's bed.

Touching back on the idea that it is not necessarily custom to read a version of Little Red Riding Hood with an ogre, the national animal of Italy is the Italian Wolf. It is also the origin of the Romulus and Remus, a Roman myth, where twin brothers are raised in the woods by a wolf and eventually lead to the founding of Rome. Therefore, an Italian folktale would not necessarily depict a wolf in a negative way. Selecting an ogre to be the antagonist adds a new set of possibilities for this story. There is the possibility for opposable thumbs, being able to speak (though the likelihood of an ogre may be equal to a talking wolf), presumably walking on two feet, and resembling something human-like. Though, I think is some of the appeal of folk tales: having flexibility in the depiction and delivery of the story. That being said, this replacement of the wolf character is what drew me to inquire about Italy's history with wolves.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.