My drawing "Red Riding Hood": The Iberian Wolf and were wolves the monsters portrayed in the story? Photography/myths/rant ;-)

in art •  5 months ago

red riding hood by Priscilla Hernandez - by priscilla Hernandez (

My own illustration of Red Riding Hood as commissioned cover of "Lupus in Fabula" magazine


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...

riding hood - by Priscilla Hernandez.jpg

Above: me doing a reenactemen of the fairy tale

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.

Arthur Rackham Little Red Riding Hood+

Above: Illustration of this fairytale made by one of my favourite artists Arthur Rackham (Public Domain). I kind of think they look more friendly in this one.

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.

riding hood - by Priscilla Hernandez-2.jpg

Iberian Wolf. Endangered subspecies. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Majestic beings always demonized.

Canis Lupus SignatusZOOM

Above: Iberian Wolf by Juan José González. License : Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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.


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"

Priscilla Hernandez flame - by priscilla Hernandez (


Priscilla Hernandez
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

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

i love myths and fairy tales, and found it fascinating that you see the reinterpretation in this way. so many myths are cautionary tales to enforce outdated social mores, and many have outgrown the original use. wolves may have feared creatures 400 some off years ago, with the hype being more than the reality. agree with your summation that we are arrogant and ignorant in our treatment of wildlife, in fact of all nature imho. terrific post!


Thanks for the lovely feedback. I felt compelled to express my opinion about this, yes the myths we created and not themselves made them a monsters. Prejudices, arrogance and when you thought we are over that and we are able to understand we have bit one only home in frail balance, we just greedily break it, nature is home. Us, them, all


I enjoyed reading this so much! ... No, I'm not afraid of the big bad wolf... ;P

You express a lot of how I feel about all this... We are not being careful enough with our planet and our fellow residents... I mainly blame religion for this. Religious belief elevated humans "above" the rest of the animal kingdom, when in fact, we are only just another animal on earth, with more responsibility because of our heightened intelligence.

Too many animals suffer the same prejudice as wolves... Snakes, because of the bible... Sharks, rats, bats, black cats, the list goes on. All of which I have a special soft spot for.

The only living things I don't mind killing are flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches, and only if I find them in my home.

Oh and the artwork! It's great. I think you got the innocence/wildness captured perfectly in her expression. And the wolf looks a bit mischievous too ;P

(P.S. - Steemit is not allowing me to vote right now >.< ... Will try again soon)


Thanks for your insightful feedback. I agree antropocentrism still exist, we think we are superior and evolved yet we fail to adapt to the environment as many species do. Thanks for the compliment on my drawing. I will share a song related to it likely tomorrow

Fantastic work, I love the illustrations ....and the photos of you are lovely as always.

Beautiful article and photography! Well done!

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

well bred pretty girls sometimes simply speak the ugly truth:


Indeed... Souls like yours make life better though :-) Beautiful artwork to by the way, love that picture ;-)

I love so much the details :D
specially the wolve's , he looks so realistic. Great work my friend and with an interesting backstory ^^

Wolfs always be getting a bad wrap.
*munch munch
looks suspiciously at wolf
“What I’m just eating!?”
“Geeze ok I was just looking.”
“So because I’m a wolf I can’t eat ?”
“ no no i didn’t mean it like that, it’s just embarrassing I hate to bring it up-“
“Just say what you gotta say.”
“Well some villagers went missing again-“
“I new it, can’t let a wolf eat in peace, fucking unbewolfable.”
“Look ok I’m sorry”
“ oh ok ruin my meal and now your sorry great, yeah just great. Every time some villagers come up missing it’s my fault, like I have nothing better to do than just eat lost villagers. Every time ugh!”
“Oh man just forget it ok sorry I’m gonna go no.”
“Yes do, ugh I mean just because I’m eating....
“Um is that a finger you just belched into the ground?”
*winces nervously “hehe”


I love fairy tales, they can teach us so much and even more if we look at the history behind them and the culture they come from. Your illustration is absolutely beautiful honey! 💚💚💚

Oh you paint too :)


Yes, there are several art posts if you surf back. Last was an ink sketch. I love to paint and draw as much as composing. ♥️♥️♥️ Ty


I haven't painted in a while mostly due to my illness which is screwing up my fine motor skills but I did get some acrylics a while back who knows ;)


Aw, hope you can get back to it soon. I gad a friend that was illustrator and had a brain stroke. She totally retrain her to paint again. I know you, as I, deal with a fair lot. But remember we are warriors. And thanks for the compliment on the drawing.


p.S both wolf and ridinghood are lovely :)

very sad indeed about this culture of hating wolves. And now people say they need to hunt deer because there are too many, in order to control the population. If they left natural predators like wolves and bears alone, nature would find its own balance....

I agree with you 100%, @yidneth ! The wolf has always got the short end of the stick and I don't think it's fair ... So I am super glad to read this post from you <3

Wolves might have been threatening once, but MAN is now the apex predator and it makes very little sense to continue to demonize majestic and natural animals who are part of the ecosystem and who have as much claim to Earth as human beings do...

The picture is also very lovely <3 The way you accentuate your red riding hood's eyes really gives a vibe that she has a wild side that makes her belong both to the human side and to the nature side... And her curly hair is beautiful <3

Very nice post !

Listening to your presentation, enjoy your article very very much, thank you for sharing!

Awesome post, Yidneth!
Well done.

AND yes, Extinction is not an undo thing!

I always love your work - and your passion and your talent behind EVERYTHING you do :)

beautiful, as always <3

I love everything you wrote here! The pictures, the illustrations are amazing. You look like you could be Red :)
It is so sad what is happening to the wolves. I think the same thing is happening all over actually. They aren't seen too often thats for sure.

Congratulations @yidneth! You have completed the following achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of comments received

Click on the badge to view your Board of Honor.
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Do you like SteemitBoard's project? Then Vote for its witness and get one more award!

I liked your version of story more, wonderful illustrations


Aw thanks, yes let's be wild and innocent

oh yes, I always loved any dark twist of the grimm fairy tales (even thought the originals are pretty brutal) 👹Beautiful rendition dear @yidneth! - the girl has a little bit of you in her.

I've always thought the the story was based on scaring young girls from venturing into the forest where bandits can snatch them, and molest them... I think the wolves were a way for the folk to go 'PG' on the real event that could have happened is some small town... "evil wolf" sound better and more dangerous that "shady stranger"... 😱