Little Red Riding Hood: My own illustration of the fairy tale
This is my illustration for the very well known fairy tale "Little Red Riding Hood". I drew her with wolvish amber yellow eyes and befriending the wolf... Is the wolf herself? I wanted to depart from the original tale of a naive girl and the "big bad wolf". Were things really that way?
I wanted both to stare to the audience... like, this what "we" are, but also wanted it to be both fierce and innocent. Something wild but pure.
Little Red Riding Hood: Behind the Fairy tale
We all known the tale both from Perrault (first published version in the XVII century as Le Petit Chaperon rouge ) and Grimm versions. Another popular version is Italo Calvino's La Finta Nonna (The false Grandmother)
There are other similar variants. In Taiwan there is a very similar tale dated in the XVI century though using a "tiger" instead of the wolf.
The part in which the wolf is disguised as the grandmother is very similar to the poem "Þrymskviða" (Norse poetry, Edda) with Loki's explanation for the odd behaviour of Freyja who is Thor disguised as her.
The morals of the tale are pretty clear...
Well-bred, pretty girls don't speak with strangers ;-).
But the tale has darker implications has spawned countless interpretations, some a bit ominous,and the red often related with blood. But we are not covering that here. We are focusing today in the Wolf, the avatar, the animal demonized for the sake of the story and the myth.
It always end up pretty bad for the wolf (aka. dead cut open by the hunter). The wolf has been used as symbol of all that's evil in so many legends that it has inflicted a serious prejudice against this majestic beautiful animals (which I'll cover later). I love painting wolves, though I have seen them rarely. I tried to make Red Riding hood both "Innocent" but "Wild" and that is why she has the glimpse of golden in her gaze. In my version of the story she runs among her friends... She howls to the Moon... She run in the woods...
I collect fairy tales so as inspiration I had many illustrations from my favourite artists, though of course above you can see my original and hopefully personal rendition. To compare with a classical illustration,the following is by Arthur Rackham, one of my favourites.
Here the excerpts of my song "Feel the Thrill" ( you can find it on Spotify but I'll share it here soon)
Bearing only my free born spirit and startled gaze
I'm back into the woods
Oh I could howl to the moon
and feel the thrill
of the wild side
By the way for an alternate modern retelling of this fairytale I recommend you the book of short tales written by Angela Carter "The Bloody Chamber" that includes several tales, one of which was made into a movie "The company of wolves" (1984) directed by Neil Jordan.
In that Angela wisely exposes what we all know, that the tale is about morals, a warning not to trust strangers and it even has sexual implications for the less naive readers as child matures into woman and embraces the desires of the free spirited wolves.
Iberian Wolf. Endangered subspecies. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Majestic beings always demonized.
Wolves have been always demonized. Yes they are wild and dangerous... But are they the monsters the legends portray?
Canis Lupus Signatus the Iberian Wolf, It is a subspecies of wolf endemic from the North of Spain (and part of Portugal) where I live. Look at it well, in its uniqueness! The white stripes on the snouts and black marks on the front legs are characteristic of this subspecies. They can be found rarely where I live.
:( Almost extinct once, populations recovered, though it still remains to be vulnerable and endangered. Their numbers alarmingly scarce.
In the 50´s and 60´s Franco Government tried to wipe it out and almost succeeded, a few packs saved the species from extinction and it slowly recovered. Still, despite knowing our past mistake, our Spanish Government still allows the hunting down of a percentage of them each year, not mentioning the constant "poaching" that kills at least half of them.
Despite being endangered.... still hunted
When are we going to learn?. Honestly when someone asks me about my political inclinations I've been voting for the animals party since ages, because they still do not have representation. Isn't this a beautiful creature? Well, look at him well, because some time from now it might not be...
If we see the number of species gone the last 200 years, it gives me chills of terror
Extinction is an irreversible and terrible event... There is not "undo" button for it.
I confess sometimes I watch on youtube vifeos of already extinct animals. I don't want to forget
When you see the Thylacine moving in those vintage black and white old films , you almost feel like it might be still somewhere, yet it is not...
It is not, EXTINCTION means GONE, FOREVER... even cloning back extinct animals in the near future would not be the exact thing, would not replace what we lost. And once than, they can say "what a pity" but there is no undo button for extinction.
Remember this status...
EW Extinct in the wild
So are you afraid of the big bad wolf really? Afraid enough to wipe it out? And with him the balance of the forest and ecosystems they are part of controlling the population of rabbit, deer and boar? Because we complaint about Nature yet we mess its balance time after time.
We must stop blaming Wild Animals and portraying them as "evil". It's their Earth too.
HOW SELFISH WE ARE AS A SPECIES...
We make and take "everything" for our profit... yet this planet belongs to all living things
This is a little bit of a personal rant and I don't want to preach or make anyone in disagreement feel bad. But this is how I think and feel about it. I love Nature, all my followers know that already.
Wild animals belong in the forest if their population increases we hunt them down as if they were an unwanted molestation, animals do belong to Nature, it's us plaguing the planet. We have destroyed our environment (and keep on doing it while our blinded race to the point of no return draws to a fatal conclusion). But we still treat a few thousands wolves, deer or boar as "plagues" when millions of us fill the Earth with garbage.
If I meet a wild boar (I hike regularly and I have read how to make precautions), I don't blame the animal, I try my best, in respect to cross our paths in peace (one of the most beautiful experience in my recent hikes was to stumble with a sounder of boar in the mist)... but first option for many, let´s kill it, let´s hunt it down.
Scientists, we have ways to treat catch and release them with treatments so they are less fertile. There is no need to get rid of them by hunting or killing. All could be done ANOTHER WAY but it's not the cheap way, which is how we fix things usually.
More let's get trained about what to do and don´t if we find a wild animal... an teach respect to all creatures, and find SOLUTIONS that don'ts imply torturing, killing, hunting and destroying endangered species like the Iberian Wolf is when it's at the gates of becoming extinct.
Aren't you so smart and clever, HUMAN?
Don't you say that something merciful is HUMANE in your language
Look at the wolf eyes...
Now, don't look away
Pd: All pictures made by me and @hedac except the Iberian Wolf photography (properly attributed by CC license)
Other articles in "Behind myths and Fairy Tales"
singer-songwriter & illustrator
Thanks everyone for the follows, upvotes or resteems, but above all the feedback which is the fuel of my motivation to keep on sharing with you all here on this platform. If you want to get to know me better, hear me sing on audio or join the d-live chats while I do the performances consider to join my discord server https://discord.gg/7rY7JD