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We are taught certain lessons in childhood that stick with us as we grow up and enter the adult world. One of these lessons, is the knowledge that we should never talk to strangers, and bad things will happen if we do. In the real world, there are many predators, and specifically there are many predators that will readily take advantage of innocence and naive behavior. As young children, everyone starts out with somewhat of a "clean slate" so to say. This clean slate involves seeing the best in everyone, and not really having an idea of what hurt is, or any idea of the concept that someone would want to hurt someone else. It is what encompasses true childhood innocence. This innocence is embodied in the story of "Little Red Riding Hood". It is a childlike way of introducing a real fear into the minds of

adolescents. The fear of what might happen if someone is to talk to a stranger, or in this case, a werewolf. The werewolf exemplifies a real life predator, who would take advantage of a young girl's innocence and harm her. As the story goes, Little Red meets the werewolf and because her innocence prevents her from seeing anything wrong with the situation, she speaks to him and reveals personal details. These details allow the wolf to find her grandmother's home, where he waits for Little Red and eventually kills her. Details in the story that embody the childlike innocence of Little Red include when she becomes suspicious after hearing what sounds like the wolf inside the house, but she remembers that her grandmother has a tired voice from being ill and assumes it is her. Little Red's suspicions quickly disappear because her first thought is not that the wolf had come to the house to harm her. What this folk tale among others aims to do is make a child less naive in a situation such as this. It aims to immediately make a young person relate danger to talking to a stranger in order to prevent a scary situation from happening. The folk tale "Little Red Riding Hood" serves as a lesson to adolescents without stating explicitly what it means, and also a way to introduce the unfortunate realities of the real world.

Source:

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html#italy

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