Sunday, September 05, 2010

CCVII - Little Red Riding Hood

Charles Perrault, the earliest known writer of Little Red Riding Hood,
explained the 'moral' at the end so that no doubt is left to his intended meaning:

From this story one learns that children, especially young lasses, pretty, courteous and well-bred, do very wrong to listen to strangers, And it is not an unheard thing if the Wolf is thereby provided with his dinner. I say Wolf, for all wolves are not of the same sort; there is one kind with an amenable disposition — neither noisy, nor hateful, nor angry, but tame, obliging and gentle, following the young maids in the streets, even into their homes.

Alas! Who does not know that these gentle wolves are of all such creatures the most dangerous!

Time to return to the original.
In verse, of course.

Little Red Riding Hood.

This is the tale of Red Riding Hood,
A little girl, so trusting and good;
She was pretty, she was sweet,
The nicest girl you ever could meet.

Her hair was golden, like ripened corn,
The sun shone from her, as from the dawn.
Admiring glances on her would linger
And she had her Granny wrapped ‘round her finger.

She often skipped through the woods
To visit Granny with a basket of goods.
The woodcutters told her to be alert
As wolves would be attracted to her skirt.

But, unconcerned, she tripped along
Singing a sweet little skipping song.
But, true enough, a wolf was lurking,
Watching her pass and evilly smirking.

Wolves are cunning and know shortcuts
Through the woods to Grandma’s huts.
The wolf barged in, intentions shady,
And was quick up and upon the lady.

He threw the remains into the shed
And clambered into the old dear’s bed
Just as Riding Hood knocked and entered.
As normal, the room was lavender scented.

But as she approached the Granny’s bed
Some questions were forming in the little girl's head.
“Granny, you’re tense, why aren't you relaxing?
And I think you are overdue for waxing!”

The wolf to stop her from retreating
Quickly threw off all the sheeting.
“Now”, he cried “There’s nothing between us!”
“Granny!” she shrieked “You’ve got a penis!”

And now we come to the tragic bit,
A wolf is a wolf and life is a shit,
And the hairy beast had it’s wicked way.
No woodcutters came to save this day.

There are do-gooders who, scared of offending,
Love to tack on a happy ending;
But morality tales should maintain their gory
Or risk losing the point of the tragic story.

© J Cosmo Newbery