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Little Banned Riding Hood

by Kelly Koblacki

 

 

We all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The sweet fairytale of a girl on her way to visit her sick grandmoter was told to probably every child throughout the world. Or was it? According to some, it wasn't just a harmless tale: In 1989, Little Red Riding Hood was banned in some school districts around the country.

There is an edition of Little Red Riding Hood called Little Red Cap. In this story, much like the other, the girl was going to visit her weak, ill grandmother. Her mother told the little girl to bring her grandmother wine and cake in order to cure her. On the path to her grandmother's house, the little girl met a wolf. She innocently told the wolf she was going to her grandmother's house. The wolf ran to the house, ate the grandmother, put on her clothes, and got in her bed awaiting the arrival of Little Red Cap. When Little Red Cap finally got there, she noticed the unusually large features of the wolf. "Grandmother," she said, "What big ears you have╔What big eyes you have╔What large hands you have╔What a terrible big mouth you have".
"The better to eat you with," the wolf replied. And eat her he did. Then the wolf lay back down in the bed to take a nap. A hunter walked by the house and thought he'd go in and check on the old woman. He saw the wolf lying in the bed and figured he had eaten the grandmother. Just as he was about to shoot the wolf, the hunter though, perhaps if I cut open the wolf's stomache, the grandmother might still be alive. So he cut open the wolf. Out jumped Little Red Cap and her grandmother. School administrators found this story disturbing. They were bothered by the fact that a young girl was bringing wine to her grandmother.

They felt that the children should not be exposed to the term "alcohol." But I find it much more disturbing that not only did the wolf eat both the girl and grandmother, but that the hunter cut open the stomach of the wolf and saved two victims of a ridiculous situation. If this version had been told to me as a child, I would have been too traumatized by these disgusting events to even notice that she was carrying "alcohol" to her grandmother.
School administrators were more concerned about the introduction of the term "alcohol" to children than they were by the tale of murder and animal brutality.


 

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