Monday, July 25, 2011

Little Red...

There’s just something about Grimm's tale of Little Red Cap (or Little Red Riding Hood) that I love so much. It’s a dark story, darker than you probably remember; Red is naïve and wonderfully innocent, a good, obedient girl, whose only mistake is that she stops to gather armfuls of wildflowers, allowing the wolf plenty of time to sneak away to Red’s intended destination.

Our childhood memory tends to put a rosy hue on best-loved fairy tales – we remember that the fair princess is woken with true love’s first kiss, that happy couples are always reunited in the very last sentences, that good triumphs (in its own strange or magical way) over evil. There’s a certain comfort in the knowledge that everything will eventually be alright in the fairy tale world, no matter what obstacles are put in the path of our beloved protagonist.

But poor Red! After her trademark, ‘What big ears you have!’ speech, she’s eaten - somehow that crafty wolf manages to swallow her whole, and she’s nestled in his belly alongside her ailing grandmother. This proves to be a fortunate mistake; for at the right time, a hunter instinctively comes to the cottage, and using scissors, he cuts the belly of the snoring wolf, freeing the women inside.
And to decieve the still-sleeping wolf further, Red fills his empty belly with stones, which miraculously kill him the minute he tries to stand. The hunter takes the wolf’s skin as a souvenir, and Red and Grannie sit down to tea.

In the last week, I’ve started to rework my fairy tale papercuts, and the lovely Little Red Cap is the first to go under the knife. I have to admit, it’s a fine balance – between being true to the dark nature of the stories, and making a piece that you’d be happy to feature in a child’s bedroom. Sometimes I get it right; other times, it’s just that wee bit too scary or macabre.

This is the new Little Red Cap design:

 Little Red Cap in the forest, taking her own sweet time to get to her Grandmother’s….

What do you think?



wimcee said...

Love it - especially the basketful of goodies!

MultipleMum said...

I always found Little Red Riding Hood to be a bit gullible and annoying! Your design is superb - such detail and a stylish layout. Thanks for Rewinding Nat x