Last night Eden wanted me to read to her from a very old nursery rhyme and fairy tale book she has. She opened it up to Red Riding Hood and we snuggled down in her bed for one of my favorite bedtime rituals.
Let me start off by saying that I did not realize I was reading the Brother’s Grimm version. Had I known that ahead of time I would’ve at least skimmed the story before I dove in headfirst.
Well it starts out pretty dang awesome. Red Riding Hood needs to go visit her Grandmother who is ill (blah, blah, blah), and her mother says,
“Come here, Red Riding Hood! Take this cake and bottle of wine to grandmother. She is weak and ill, and they will do her good.”
Come on! This story has it goin’ on!
“Uh… mom? That is not going to make her better. Cake… sugar! Wine… alcohol!”
Where does she get the idea that these are bad things?
Moving a little further on when the wolf finds the grandmother in the bed,
“He went straight in and up to the bed without saying a word, and ate up the poor old woman.”
Ok, in the other versions I’ve read and been told, the grandma runs off, or the wolf puts her in the closet. Eden and I are quite silent after this line. We just look at each other and I ask her if I should keep reading. Of course, being spawned from me, she wants to go on. At this point I know that Red is going to get it too, so we’re not too shocked when she is swallowed up as well. Then along comes the huntsman. He is about to shoot the wolf when it occurs to him that the grandmother might still be alive inside of his belly.
“So he took and knife and began cutting open the sleeping wolf. At the first cut he saw the little red cloak, and after a few more slashes, the little girl sprang out and cried, ‘Oh, how frightened I was! It was so dark inside the wolf.’ Next the old grandmother came out, alive but hardly able to breathe.”
And here I’ve been praying against bad dreams.
How did it end? Well, clearly ‘slashing’ the wolf to pieces wasn’t enough to kill him, but Red filling him up with big stones so that when he woke up he couldn’t move worked like a charm.
Next in the book is Cinderella. Not really sure how I feel about that yet.
Oh, the book came from John’s previous boss. Not sure how I feel about that either.