Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I sat today in a German class and we read the original Red Riding Hood piece written piece by the Brothers German.  The original story was told from mouth to mouth, over a couple hundred years....until the Brothers Grimm sat down and ironed out a version of the story in their own vision.  The origin of the story is believed to have come from France in the 1600s.  Charles Perrault wrote his piece around 1697.  The Grimms wrote theirs in 1812.

After reading the piece in class...I came to realize that there are two noted differences between the normal version I might have heard as a kid, and the version of 1812.

First, Rotkappchen (Red Riding Hood), was given cake and a bottle of wine in the German version.  The 'basket' was the English switch to this....probably to lessen the suggestion that Grandma was a heavy drinker or sipping too much booze.

Second, it is pretty blunt in terms of violence conducted with Robkappchen, Grandma, the Wolf and the Hunter.  The English version.....less so.

You have to put things into a prospective with the Brothers Grimm.  They were editing a long told story for a book that would be in the majority of homes within a decade or two after being printed.  This was pure entertainment and likely told a thousand times in someone's life.  No TV, no radio, no newspapers, and no internet.

With the art of story-telling, you need a bit of suspense and a suggestion of horror out in the woods, and the Grimms achieved that.

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