Now here’s the thing. I’ve just switched off the light in my daughters bedroom after a communal reading of Little Red Riding Hood, the Disney version. She was satisfied with the plot, the characterisations, the beginning and the end.
Everyone in the story has their place, they fulfill the narrative in a way that gives a warm and fluffy feeling to the reader (and the audience, if they’re seven years old). But I have a nagging feeling that this is not what the original authors intended. It seems a bit pat; everyone lives happily ever after, except the wolf.
This bothers me. I think it’s because I always root for the underdog. I watch Americans play soccer, Belgians play water polo, the English play, well whatever it is that they invented but can’t seem to keep up with and I think, hold on why don’t we give the underdogs at least a fighting chance? Back to fantasy and a scenario that would actually be plausible (aside from the English thinking that they’re ever going to win the Soccer World Cup again). In the world of the Brothers Grimm it seems that someone is getting the shitty end of the stick.
Firstly have you ever thought of what Little Red Riding Hood would have looked like? She’s entrusted with carrying a basket of goodies to her ailing Gran. This suggests someone who is trustworthy and takes her responsibilities fairly seriously, in other words, someone like this…
I would think that the story would end happily ever after, especially if the Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood meet each other in the forest and strike up a friendship.
At least no one gets their head chopped off in my version, and Gran gets rescued by a buff woodsman with his chopper in hand. Know what I mean?
Everyone lives happily ever after, in my world.
But it won’t last.
Little Red Riding Hood gets Rabies and starts foaming at the mouth and is confined to her little palace of pleasure. The woodsman cuts his hand off while stocking the cottage up for a long winter of naughty fun with a senior citizen and spends the rest of his days lecturing lumberjacks on the importance of safety in a woodland environment. Mom goes after her slut of a daughter and the local council passes a law regarding beastiality with forest dwellers, Howls fill the night.
A blond woman is brought up on charges relating to theft. A group of Brown Bears is sued for bodily harm when a young lady steals their porridge.
A group of Ursines is brought up on charges of GBH, (Grevious Bear Hustling) when they encourage people to go down to the woods today, their picnic baskets are confiscated.
And you’re faced with an entrance fee and fines for frolicking in the fynbos.
Why can’t anything be simple?
Sleep well, and remember we should all have the opportunity to live happilly ever after.
Just leave the bears alone OK. Those furry mother f%^%Kers can’t be trusted.
It all started so well.
Hang on to your teddy bears because you might be asked to be a character witness.