10 December 2009


Little Red Riding Hood is really a tale about a bzou (a werewolf). It all began much earlier than our imagination can grasp. For Little Red Riding Hood belongs to the world in which werewolves were believed to roam among us.
Where we find metaphor, our ancestors meant it literally. Little Red Riding Hood, as it was told in France and Italy in the 1300s, does not differ significantly from indictments and judgments rendered against individuals accused of being werewolves. In the 1600s, belief in werewolves was completely backed up by theology. Tens of thousands of werewolf trials took place in the 1500s and the 1600s. Judges believed that accussed werewolves wore their skin turned inside out (with the coat of fur hidden on the inside).
According to the confession of one Stumpp in 1589, he had been given a magical belt by the Devil that enabled him to shapeshift into "the likeness of a greedy, devouring wolf, strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkled like fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharp and cruel teeth, a huge body, and mighty paws."
The better to grab you with.

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