You would be hard pressed to find a child out in modern culture who isn’t familiar with the tale of Red Riding Hood. The classic tale of how the wolf dresses as the girl’s grandmother and how at the last second she is miraculously saved by the brave hunter. It’s been seen in numerous stories, tv shows like Once Upon a Time, and even movies such as Hoodwinked. Although this may be the story that we are all familiar with, this is certainly not how the story originally went down. The original stories told a much darker story of the little girl in the red hood often getting violently killed and eaten due to her innocence and trust in strangers. The first fable that was written was an Italian story called Little Red Hat. In this story the girl is tricked by a troll who disguises itself as her grandma after brutally killing her. The girl is forced to drink her grandmother’s blood after being convinced to come into the bed before “he swallowed Little Red Hat with one gulp.” Another example would be when in Little Red Riding Hood where the girl tells a strange wolf where her sick grandma lives. The wolf then disguises itself as her grandmother after reaching the house first and then proceeds to eat her. The story ends with a moral telling children, especially attractive girls, that they should always be wary of strangers. The story goes on to say that the more gentle and kind strangers are often the most dangerous who should be avoided the most carefully. Other stories, such as The Werewolf’s Daughter, often have similar themes such as these stories. While modern parents might find these stories gruesome and horrific to read to a child, parents long ago would read these fables to their kids to teach them important lessons from an early point in their life. This often times shows the great brutality of life and how often times stories have evolved over time to show much gentler and happier themes, although the stories roots have a very dark past.
Little Red Riding Hood http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html#perrault
Little Red Hat http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html#italy
The Werewolf's Daughter http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/wolfdaughter.html