The Original “Little Red Riding Hood”

1867-les_contes_de_perrault-gustave_dore-1832-1883-illustrator-little_red_riding_hood_31

Before Perrault’s and Grimm’s version of Little Red Riding Hood there was the “anonymous” version. The anonymous version entitled The Story of Grandmother was dark, gory, and twisted. It involved cannibalism and was even sexually suggestive. Don’t believe me? Well, I’m attaching the original story below so you can read it yourself.

The Story of Grandmother:

There was once a woman who had made some bread. She said to her daughter: “Go carry this hot loaf and bottle of milk to your grandmother.

The little girl departed. At the crossroads she met the bzou, the werewolf, who said to her: “Where are you going?”

“I’m taking a hot loaf and a bottle of milk to my grandmother.”

“What path are you taking,” said the bzou, “the path of needles or the path of pins?”

“The path of needles,” said the little girl.

“Well, I shall take the path of pins.”

The little girl enjoyed herself picking up needles. Meanwhile the bzou arrived at the grandmother’s house, killed her, put some of her flesh in the pantry and a bottle of her blood on the shelf. The little girl arrived and knocked at the door.

“Push the door,” said the bzou, “it’s barred by wet straw.”

“Hello Grandmother. I brought you a hot loaf and a bottle of milk.”

“Put them in the pantry, my child. Take some of the meat that’s inside and have the bottle of wine on the shelf.”

As she ate there was a little cat that said: “A slut is she who eats the flesh and drinks the blood of her grandmother!”

“Undress, my child,” said the bzou, “and come and lie down beside me.”

“Where should I put my apron?”

“Throw it in the fire, my child; you don’t need it anymore.”

“Where should I put my bodice?”

“Throw it in the fire, my child; you don’t need it anymore.”

“Where should I put my dress?”

“Throw it in the fire, my child; you don’t need it anymore.”

“Where should I put my skirt?”

“Throw it in the fire, my child; you don’t need it anymore.”

“Where should I put my stockings?”

“Throw them in the fire, my child; you don’t need them anymore.”

When she laid herself down in the bed, the little girl said: “Oh, Grandmother, how hairy you are!”

“The better to keep myself warm, my child”

“Oh, Grandmother, what long nails you have!”

“The better to scratch me with, my child.”

“Oh, Grandmother, what big shoulders you have!”

“The better to carry the firewood, my child.”

“Oh, Grandmother, what big ears you have!”

“All the better to hear you with, my child.”

“Oh, Grandmother, what a big mouth you have!”

“All the better to eat you with, my child!”

“Oh, Grandmother, I need to go really badly. Let me go outside.”

“Do it in the bed, my child.”

“No, Grandmother, I want to go outside.”

“All right, but make it quick.”

The bzou tied a woolen rope to her foot and let her go outside.

When the girl was outside, she tied the end of the string to a big plum tree in the yard. The bzou got impatient and said: “Are you dropping a load out there? Are you laying cables?”

When he became aware that no one answered him, the bzou jumped out of bed and saw that the little girl had escaped. He followed her, but her arrived at her house just at the moment she entered safely inside.

*************************************************

What did I tell you? Creepy, weird, and definitely inappropriate for children (and that’s coming from someone who’s pretty liberal with their fairy tales). Usually I’m all for original works, but when it comes to this story, I’m really glad Perrault and the Brothers Grimm changed it.

Facebook fan page for my fairy tale novel series: https://www.facebook.com/ThePrinceofProphecy

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Original “Little Red Riding Hood”

    • When I first read this over I found those expressions to be a bit out of place as well (not to mention more than a little vulgar). But I suppose whoever translated this story (and this is most definitely a translation) could come up with no better way to phrase those odd portions. However, considering the context, I doubt “dropping a load” and “laying cable” were put any more eloquently in the story’s original language.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s