Saturday, 3 November 2012
Shaggy dog story......
First of all I have to declare my interest.
I am completely fascinated by Little Red Riding Hood.
As a child I read several versions of the classic fairy tale, from the Ladybird version through to the original Charles Perrault adaptation of 1697, which was a real shocker as LRRH was gobbled up by the wolf!
In the more acceptable Grimm's version, the young girl and her grandmama are rescued by the huntsman, who dispatches the wolf after performing a caesarian section with a pair of scissors.
Then in the more contemporary tale by Roald Dahl, the feisty, feminist LRRH "whips a pistol from her knickers" and in short order sports "a lovely furry wolf skin coat."
Quite what keeps drawing me repeatedly back to this story I don't know. Admittedly there's a lot going on under the surface.
For example the whole sexual analogy?
Red = blood.... sin.... passion..... seduction.
Wolf = sexual predator
Or is it moral imperative not to stray from the path and to avoid all temptation?
Is it perhaps the childhood dread of being devoured? Or the dichotomy between male as predator or rescuer?
Or is it simply a rollicking good fairy tale?
I've had in mind for some time to undertake a miniature project based on LRRH which may, in the fullness of time, transmute from theory into practice.
However, in the meantime, tonight, I persuaded Perfectionist Partner, Prodigal Son and Small Dog to watch "The Company of Wolves" by the amazing Angela Carter, based on the LRRH theme.
I've seen it several times so the storyline wasn't new to me. However to Small Dog it was a revelation! She sat bolt upright on my lap, ears all a-quiver, wide eyes fixed on the screen, her whole body trembling in response to every single wolfish breath, pant and howl (of which there were many).
At the end, before bedtime, she had to go outside for a quick wee, but whereas usually I'm calling her to come in for ages while she's up the garden scouting for squirrels, tonight she was out and in again within 30 seconds.
I chanced to enquire if she'd met any wolves up the garden, as she is adamant that she often has to bite the heads off any she might come across. She didn't even deign to answer.... running in straight past me, making a bee-line for her basket and burrowing under her blankys.
So much for our domestic dogs being two steps away from wolfdom!
Small Dog's right to reply.
i amm trommatized.
mi mum (the kwite madd wun) wonnted two wotsch a fillum kold "The Kumpani Ov Woolvs" whitsh i thot mite bea a dockumentari.
itt wos teryfien.
i didd knott evin kno a wulf kude due eni of thatt horibul transformen stuf and eeten peepul.
in the passt i hav bean kwite sanngwin abowt woolvs, espeshali ass i am neerli a woolf misellf butt i am haven two reeveis mi oppiniyons.
mi mum wil hav knobudy two blaim butt hursellf iff i hav badd dreemz and hav to gett intwo hur bedd inn the middul of the knite.