“Grandma, what big teeth you have!” “The better to eat you with, my dear.” These are the iconic lines in the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale—a story that has captured the imagination of many around the world. The Huntress (Grim Edition) flips the character on her head.
No longer is she a helpless damsel in distress. Instead, she’s an embodiment of the grim reaper! Big bad wolves look out—the huntress is out to get you.
Dropping the scythe, the huntress wields a sharp ax ready to dole out punishment to the baddies who unfortunately cross her path. Her robe is no longer iconic red—instead, it's dyed black so that she can stealthily move across the forest.
The hunter is now the hunted. Between the legs sits her trophy—the head of the big bad wolf that was once looking to devour her. What other versions or variations of this fairytale exist? Explore with us in greater detail.
The Wolf and the Kids
Popular throughout Europe and the Middle East, this tale was collected by the Brothers Grimm in Grimm's Fairy Tales. It is also one of the two possible origins of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale.
Instead of Red Riding Hood being tricked by the wolf, the story focuses on seven young goats. The mother leaves them at home with a warning not to open the door for the wolf—it has two telltale signs: a gruff voice and black feet. As the tale progresses, the wolf changed his voice and feet to trick the goats, eventually succeeding.
With the door open, the wolf greedily swallowed six of the goats—the youngest managed to hide. Full, he took a nap nearby. When the mother returned, she was fuming. The youngest revealed the position of the goat and they went to visit him. He was still soundly asleep under a tree, but the mother noticed that his tummy was moving unnaturally.
Grabbing a pair of scissors, she opened the wolf’s tummy and discovered that the goats were still inside! The wolf had been greedy and swallowed them without chewing. She replaced the tummy with stones and sewed it back up before getting everyone home safely.
When the wolf woke up, he felt thirsty. He took a sip in the nearby well but lost balance due to the weight of the stones and fell in, drowning.
Source: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Der Wolf und die sieben jungen Geißlein Kinder- und Hausmärchen
The Tiger Grandmother
This tale originates from a poem dating back to the Qing dynasty. This tale focuses on a sister and a brother—they were tasked to bring a basket of dates to their grandmother nearby. The sun was setting as they made their way through the forest.
An old woman approached and tricked them into believing that she was their grandmother. They followed her back to her cave, where she fed them dinner and got them into bed, snuggling with the younger brother. The sister found that certain things didn't match up, making her suspicious. Eventually, she figured out that she was not her grandmother but it was too late—her brother had been eaten.
Not revealing her knowledge, she requested to visit the washroom but the old woman had a condition—she had to tie a rope around her leg, something she’ll tug if she ran into any trouble outside. Agreeing, the sister headed out. Her suspicions were confirmed when she discovered that the rope was not actually a rope but an intestine.
Horrified, she untied the intestine and hid up the tree. The old woman was furious, but she couldn’t climb up the tree. She fled to the cave, thinking of her next course of action. The next day, the girl screamed her lungs out and caught the attention of workers nearby. They rescued her and got her home.
On the flip side, the old woman enlisted the help of young tigers. When they got to the tree and found that the girl wasn't there anymore, they were upset that they were tricked and turned on the old woman, tearing her to shreds.
Source: Huang Zhi Juan
The Bechuana Tale
This iteration hails from South Africa—the wolf is replaced by a man from a tribe of cannibals. A family went out to seek fresh pastures but the daughter refused to leave. The mother warned her to keep the door shut in case the tribe of cannibals came to eat her.
The mother will drop by occasionally to give her food. One day, the daughter heard a gruff voice offering her bread. She immediately knew it was the cannibal and laughed him off. Not one to give up easily, the cannibal made several attempts to change his voice, before he finally succeeded.
The daughter opened the door and was stuffed into a bag by the cannibal. On the way home, he got thirsty and went into a nearby village to look for drinks. He asked one of the villagers to look after the bag. They noticed that the bag held a girl and immediately freed her.
They replaced the contents with a dog, scorpions, vipers, broken pots, and stones. The cannibal returned and set off with the bag. Reaching home, he opened the bag, ready to eat the daughter. Instead, he received a nasty shock and was bitten and stung. He rushed outside and flung himself into the mud for relief and was transformed into a tree.
Source: The Folk-Lore Journal, Volume 7
Some of these variations of Little Red Riding Hood stories might seem outlandish to us but they are a result of cultural and societal norms. Experts believe that these fairytales have the same roots, resulting in similar story elements across the board.
Detachable Base and Wolf Head
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In The Huntress (Grim Edition), Little Red Riding Hood is a strong lady, ready to protect herself from any baddies. Be lured by her contrasting traits of danger and charm in this premium polystone piece!