What big eyes you have!

The better to see you with…

What big ears you have!

The better to listen to this Little Red Riding Hood mini-cast with!

(Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Little Red Riding Hood by Annie Rodrigue (used with permission) We LOVE this illustration!!

For this minicast, we talk about the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood.  Oral history puts the origins way back in the 14th century Europe. Some versions starred werewolves, some with ogres or wolves, but similar tales of a little girl fooled  and led to a dire situation by a masculine animal creature were common throughtout rural Italy and France.

The first written version in 1697 is by Charles Perrault, the same writer who brought us a glass slippered, animal befriending, pumpkin riding, Cinderella.

In the Perrault story, our heroine sets off to bring food to Grandma, is tricked by a wolf, and  and both ladies die.

The end.

Ok, not quite. Perrault’s version ends with a moral:

Children, especially attractive, well bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf. I say “wolf,” but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all.

90-some- odd years after Perrault’s story, The Brothers Grimm put their spin on it with “Little Red Cap.”  We thought it odd that the Grimm brothers’  version had a happy ending (Grandma and Little Red being cut from the belly of a sleeping wolf by the woodsman), while the Perrault version was rather, um, grim.

We compared and contrasted  (because we think that’s fun) several versions of the tale. Some very gory, some overtly sexual, some just really cute and clever with a good message. We concentrated on these three, but there are so many more out there!

“Little Red – a Fizzingly Good Yarn” by Lynn Roberts (The one with the cool 18th century illustrations)

“Little Red Riding Hood – A Newfangled Prairie Tale” by Lisa Campbell Ernst

Little Red Cowboy Hat” by Susan Lowell ( “I didn’t want to talk to him, but I was raised up to be polite”)

Finally, we speculated about the upcoming Red Riding Hood Movie, with Amanda Seyfried, Lucas Haas, and Gary Oldham.

Does this not already look intriguing??

There are versions of the tale in which the creature is a werewolf, so that is in keeping with the original history of Red Riding Hood. The sensual overtone seems heavy handed, but again, keeping with the analysis of the tale. Of course we can only base this on the trailer – shockingly, no one has invited us to any prescreenings, or premiers!   After having read so many versions of this story, it might be fun to watch it Hollywoodized.   Now where can we find a red cape to wear?

Time Traveling With The History Chicks

A journey into the history of this character is similar to Cinderella. Head on over to Surlalune.com and read several versions, including the annotated one. (We adore Sur La Lune so much it is on our blogroll)

D.L. Ashliman has a listing for this tale as well, sit down and click through several  stories! It’s fun! http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html

And if you are wondering where you can see  (and buy!) the illustration at the top, or other artwork or merchandise by the same artist, Annie Rodrigue… check out www.moonlight-whispers.com .

Join us next time! We promise to profile a real woman—who lived an amazing life!

As always, music for our podcast comes courtesy of Music Alley. Visit them at music.mevio.com.