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In the Italy/Austria version of Little Red Hat from Christian Schneller, a young girl travels through the dark and dangerous forest to bring her grandmother soup. The young girl meets a ogre in the forest and decides to tell him where she’s going. Little Red Hat tells the ogre that she’s traveling across the thorns to reach her grandmother’s house, and the ogre replies that he will take the stone path instead to get there. Firstly, why is this young girl giving an ogre who are known for violence tendencies directions to her grandmother’s home, and almost inviting him come? Secondly, why is she not concerned when he say’s he’ll take a different way than her to get to the house. Little Red Hood is so trusting of this beast who she met in the forest, and isn’t even afraid when she see’s him! I believe this is the story that started the “don’t talk to strangers” movement. Little Red Hat and the broad ogre set out to her grandmothers house, but Little Red Hat was distracted by the lovely meadow of flower’s on her journey, and when she was done admiring them, she continued on her way, but with no ogre. Did she not notice the ogre was gone? The ogre took this time to get ahead of Little Red Hat and arrive at the grandmother’s home first. How young is Little Red Hat that she’s old enough to travel the forest alone, but get’s distracted by blooming flowers, and completely forget’s about the ogre after she’s done admiring the meadow. Eventually, Little Red Hat has arrived at her grandmothers, but it’s too late since the Ogre already ate her, tied her intestine around the door, and put her teeth, blood and jaw in the kitchen cupboard. Little Red Hat asked many question to who she thought was her grandmother, asking things such as, why is this rice hard? Why is this meat very red? And why is this blood very red? This young girl couldn’t clearly identify that the rice were teeth, the meat was a jaw, and the wine was blood. She then crawled into bed with her “grandmother” naked upon her request. She commented on the abundance of hair she said, her long legs, long hands, long ears and big mouth, until then she was finally eaten by the ogre. My initial thought after reading this is how does this girl who is old enough to travel the forest alone at night and bring her grandmother soup not able to realize where this story was heading? Researching this story more, I came across articles that would describe Little Red Hat as autistic. Once I had seen that, more things became clear as to why she was so trusting of this beastly stranger, why she was distracted easily by the meadows, why she forgot what happened to the ogre on her way to her grandmothers, and why she couldn’t tell the difference between rice and teeth, meat and jaws, and wine and blood. She also wasn’t suspect to her grandma’s voice change with what I can imagine is much different, deeper voice than the one she had today when they were together. She even crawled into her grandmothers bed naked, asking her why all all her features are different, and clearly being able to see that it’s not her grandmother. The only thing that stumps me is why Little Red Hat was allowed to do this all on her own if she was autistic. Studies show how functioning being with autism can be, but being allowed to walk alone in the forest at night is something I don’t believe I would be able to do. Relating Little Red Hood and autism is the only explanation I can think of that makes sense to this story. 

http://theautismblog.seattlechildrens.org/little-red-riding-hood-is-a-classic-story-of-autism/

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/shadow-wolf-little-red-riding-hood-contemporary-world/

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