We're coming to the end of January. It may interest readers to know that among the Anglo-Saxons, January was called Wolfsmonth. This was because the cold of that month used to drive wolves into the villages, looking for food.
Actually, the wolf is a rather maligned creature. Wolves have rarely if ever killed humans. However, if you should ever find yourself confronted by a wolf, don't run. Wolves hunt on the run, so its instincts will tell it to pursue you.
In the original tale of Red Riding Hood by Perrault, the Wolf actually ate Red Riding Hood. There was no friendly woodsman with an ax to save her. This tale is one of the ones that gives us a picture of the archetypal anthropophagous wolf.
This computer doesn't recognize anthropophagous. Illiterate computer!
The woodsman who saves Red Riding Hood was probably introduced to make the story more palatable to children. In some versions he saves Granny too, either by cutting open the Wolf and letting her out or by finding her locked in the cupboard.
In French, Little Red Riding Hood may be feminine, but she is grammatically masculine. This is because chaperon, a hood, is a masculine noun, so she is called Le Petit Chaperon Rouge.
Watchers of the TV series Once Upon a Time may remember that in that Red Riding Hood is the Wolf and she eats her boyfriend. Only the red cape stops her turning into a wolf at night.
Saturday, 25 January 2014
MONTH OF THE WOLVES
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