Little Red Riding Hood: Incest, Cannibalism & Bzous

I’m sure ya’ll thought there was going to be a fairytale sized hole in your hearts for the next few weeks but that’s not how I roll. The best way to move past Sheriff Graham’s death *moment of silence* is with new shiny things. Now I can’t give you Prince Charming (and if you think I wouldn’t keep him for myself anyway, you clearly aren’t reading these recaps) but I can give you a few fairytale recaps. Some of you may remember that I did a recap of the original Snow White fairytale a few weeks ago. This week I thought I’d cover the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Ruby’s been a fixture in Storybrooke but hasn’t had her own back story shown in the fairytale realms yet. Seeing as I’m adoring all the subtleties of Meghan Ory’s portrayal of our own Little Red Riding Hood, I thought it was high time she got her own story.

There are quite a few versions of Little Red Riding Hood out there but most go along the standard, girl goes to grandma’s with goodies, wolf eats grandma first, tricks the girl and then eats her too. Some versions that prefer a more cheerful ending allow Red to get away. If you’re familiar with Grimm’s fairy tales, you’ll know that she is known as Little Red Cap. The Brothers Grimm did things a bit differently. In their version, a huntsman hears the wolf snoring (I did not know wolves snored but apparently they are really fucking loud) and decides to enter the house and see what’s up. Because snooping around an elderly woman’s home while she’s asleep is totes normal. Anyway, the huntsman sees the wolf taking a nap after his dose of fairytale tryptophan and is like oh hey, maybe if I cut open the wolf, I can pull grandma out. It would seem that the wolf’s belly is like Mary Poppins’ purse. Scissors seem to be sharp enough to cut through fur, skin and muscle and within a few snips, Red pops out of the wolf and then Grandma does as well. To further emphasize the massiveness of this wolf’s magical belly, neither Red nor Granny saw each other while they were in there. The trio fill the wolf’s belly with stones…not sure why killing him wasn’t an immediate option, and then he dies when trying to run away. And then Red is a good little girl who agrees to never stray from the path again. Because obviously paths are magical and you can’t be killed in the middle of the damn road. Red needs to pick up a TV and watch every supernatural show on the planet and learn the truth about that little lie.

So that’s what you’ve probably been familiar with. I however want to recap the French version of Little Red Riding Hood because it is awesome. And by awesome I mean the only fairytale more fucked up than this one is the original Sleeping Beauty where her dad rapes her, gets her pregnant and she wakes up to find out she’s the mom to twins. But we’ll get there. This show’s going to be on for a long time and we have summer hiatuses and more random awards show breaks so I’m prepared for the long haul. Anyway, the original tale of Little Red Riding Hood is French and like I said, fantastic.

The story starts with a mother baking bread and she tells her daughter (Red) to take a hot loaf of bread and bottle of milk to her grandmother. Now, here’s what gets me. The bread is still hot and the milk is always still cold when Red gets to Grandma’s. I need this magical fairytale cooler. I could put breakfast tacos and mimosas in the same container and have brunch whenever I wanted. Yes, these are my priorities in life. Okay, so Red heads out and at a crossroads to a path, a bzou (werewolf but how fun is it to say bzou? So much more fun than shapeshifter though not quite as much fun as direwolf. But in all fairness, direwolf is an awesome term) greets Red. The bzou, who’s in his human form wants to know where Red is going and because she never saw this video (, she tells him she’s headed to her grandmother’s. Then, as in ancient stories, werewolves are sick bastards, he asks which path she’s taking, the one of pins or the one of needles and Red informs him that she’s taking the one of needles. So the bzou goes the other way since he’s not into straight up killing. Actually I shouldn’t say ancient stories. In most stories, werewolves are seen as sexual predators of young women. It’s why you see the shape shifter motif come into play more often in current fantasy as it takes away some of those connotations. I know y’all like it when I throw psychology 101 analyses in the mix.

The bzou heads down the path of pins and Red gathers some needles as she walks. This Valentine’s Day, don’t get your loved ones a bouquet of roses. Pick up some pins and needles! Seeing as the bzou isn’t stupid (yet), he heads to grandma’s and kills her. Then the wolf decides to put some of her flesh in the pantry and pours a bottle’s worth of Grandmother’s blood aside and sets it on the shelf. Apparently Grandma was a really good year. Red shows up and the bzou tells her to let herself in. So Red’s all “sup, Grams’, I like totally brought you some bread and milk”. Bzou!Grams is like “blessing on you, my child, why don’t you put it away and have a snack? I’ve got meat and wine in the pantry.” Red, continuing to be stupid, sees nothing wrong with eating meat that’s been sitting out so she goes into cannibal mode and chows down on Grandmother. I mean, to Red’s credit, she doesn’t know that it’s Grandma but who trusts their grandma when she says something hasn’t expired? I have found 4 year old jars of olives in my Granny’s fridge. Dumb.

Red eats her dinner and drinks her wine (child alcoholics!) and it would appear that Granny tastes pretty good. Also, yes, I am aware that I’m using several different names for the same Granny. In a truly random side note, a cat who happened to be hanging out at Gran’s comments that Red is a slut who is eating Granny’s flesh and drinking Granny’s blood. Cats are such judgy creatures.

Once Red is done eating, the story really gets fucking messed up. And I bet you’re like um, Melissa, this fairytale is already crazy. Oh yeah, it is. But now we’re getting to the creepy stuff that you won’t really want to think about. Sort of like the current relationship on Dexter. Except worse. Anyway…The bzou, still pretending to be Grandma in bed, tells Red to get undressed and climb into bed. Look, I don’t know about ya’ll but if my Grandma had ever told me that I would be like “FUCK. NO.” Families are closer in fairytales though so Red wants to know where she should put her apron. The bzou says to toss it on the fire, since Red won’t need it anymore. The same instructions are repeated for all of Red’s clothes. The werewolf would prefer his little girls naked whether in bed or out. (Have I creeped you out yet?)

Red hops into bed (she is always called a little girl in the stories so don’t even try to make it less creepy by assuming she’s the age of Ruby in Storybrooke. Which is also still creepy, just in case you’re unclear.) and pulls the “Granny, how hairy you are!” routine. It takes the hair, long nails, big shoulders, big ears, and big nose before Red gets to the bzou’s big mouth. Not referring to the bzou’s penchant for gossip, unfortunately. The bzou notes the usefulness of his features, including being able to snuff tobacco, carry firewood, and scratch himself. The last one seems appropriate for the hairy pedophile.

Once Red learns that Bzou!Grams is really the bzou who wants to eat her, she informs the bzou that she has to go to the bathroom. The bzou, reaching new levels of fucked up, says to go in the bed. Red insists that outdoors is the best place to defecate so the bzou ties a string to Red’s foot and let’s her go outside. Great jailer this one. Red finally picks up some intelligence and ties the thread to a tree in the yard. After a while, the bzou figures out no one takes this long on the pot and starts yelling, “Are you dumping a load?” (I kid you not. This is literally how it translates. HYSTERICAL). Now that the wolf has hit the dumb portion of the fairytale, he finally goes outside and realizes Red escaped. The bzou follows Red home but she just makes it inside the house when the bzou catches up to her. And while Granny’s house is free game, Red’s house is clearly under vampire rules which extend to werewolves so the bzou can’t get in.

And so we learn that in the original tale of Little Red Riding Hood, our heroine lives but will be in therapy until the day she dies. She also probably will marry a man with a beard after developing belated Stockholm Syndrome.

Okay gang, as always comments are love. I’m thinking of recapping Cinderella for next week since we’ve seen her on the show but I’m open to suggestions. Also, is this one of the most fucked up fairytales you’ve ever read?

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  • SJP

    So yeah I’m very familiar with this version as I had to read a book of French “fairy tales” for my French Revolution course in college. I put fairy tales in quotes because they’re more like horror stories. The Hansel and Gretel one is also incredibly fucked up.

    While I loved fairy tales growing up, I kinda love the fucked up French ones more even if they were used to preach morality issues and to scare kids into listening to their parents. Fuck, it’s better than being whipped I guess.

    Btw, this is one book I wished I hadn’t sold back to the campus book store for like $2. I should’ve kept the motherfucker.

  • Patty Housel

    OK, this story is totally fucked up.  And the thought of being naked in bead with Grams OR a wolf?  Yuck.

    Please tell you you are going to do one of these for Hansel and Gretel with that movie coming out in the spring.

  • Melissa Leaman

    I love the fucked up fairy tales too. The sweet ones are nice but I find it hysterical to see how twisted people’s minds can get. Sleeping Beauty is also a royally fucked up fairy tale. Can’t wait to recap that one.

    And oh man you so should’ve kept that book! But then I’m the worst in the world at getting rid of textbooks. I keep so many.

  • Melissa Leaman

    Oh my gosh yeah that part just gets nasty.

    I have every intention of doing one for Hansel and Gretel. They’re supposed to appear in one of the first Once Upon a Time episodes after the hiatus too.

  • hockeybychoice

    Um. Gross?

  • Anonymous

    Warning tales used to be so much more fucked up then they are now. With tales like this I’m not sure how humans ever even left homes and villages. I would have stayed my ass right by the hearth.

  • Kimber

    Soooooo gross, and yet so awesome. Is it wrong that I think I enjoy the original/disgusting versions of the fairytales more than the Disneyized ones? Yeah.

    I’m reading the old-school original Grimm tales, and waiting (impatiently) for my copy of “Grimm’s Grimmest” to ship to me from Amazon … and these stories are pretty awesome. Lots of recurring ideas, and even repeated scenes (like cutting people/objects out of wolves/animals and replacing them with rocks. Ha!).

    Please, please do more of these!

  • Em

    Sick, sick, sick.  I remember reading Grimm’s fairy tales as a preteen and being shocked (Half Chick is especially weird), but this French version takes the cake.

  • Gabby

    There’s a game based on this exact story called The Path.

  • I’m pretty sure the original of Red Riding hood is actually from medieval Italy, called simply ‘The grandmother’ which is pretty much this story. The FRENCH version (which is Perraults version) actually ends up getting eaten by the wolf because Perrault was teaching a morale to Parisian society for young ladies to be demure. I’d be careful of checking facts and what you’re calling ‘the original’ as that may not be the case. Some interesting points though.

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