Little Red Riding Hood
I read this little story (adapted by Neil Gaiman, from Sandman #14) years ago and thought it was worth sharing…
The red hood was an invention of Charles Perrault, who tidied up the folk tales of France for popular consumption in the eighteenth century. Other changes — such as the happy ending, are later additions. I will tell you an original version.
A little girl was told to bring bread and milk to her grandmother. As she was walking through the wood, a wolf came up to her and asked her where she was going.
“To Grandmother’s house.”
The wolf ran off and arrived first at the house. He killed the grandmother, poured her blood into a bottle and sliced her flesh onto a plate. Then he got into her nightclothes and waited in the bed.
“Come in, my dear”
“I’ve brought you some bread and milk, Grandmother.”
“Have something yourself, darling. There is meat and wine in the pantry.”
The little girl ate what was offered. And as she did, a little cat said, “Slut! To eat the flesh and blood of your grandmother!”
Then the wolf said, “Undress and get into bed with me.”
“Where shall I put my skirt?”
“Throw it in the fire; you won’t need it anymore.”
For each garment, petticoat, bodice, and stockings, the girl asked the same question, and the wolf replied, “Throw it on the fire; you won’t need it anymore.”
When the girl got into bed she said, “Grandmother — how hairy you are.”
“It keeps me warmer, my dear.”
“Oh, Grandmother, what long nails you have.”
“They are for scratching myself, my dear.”
“Oh Grandmother, what big teeth you have.”
“They are for eating you, my dear.”
And he ate her.