Posted by: nightmistwalker | October 7, 2017

The Brothers Grimm as Comforters – Who Knew?

Earlier this week, I shared with you a story about making my granddaughter’s Samhain costume. Little Red Riding Hood’s cape is an integral part of this story, which I ended by wistfully mentioning that Grandmother did not fare so well at the end of the story.

This is why I love my readers. One of them left me a comment reminding me that the Brothers Grimm’s version has Grandma being rescued by the Huntsman as he slit open the Wolf’s belly. It is a little resurrection-y for me, but it lifted my spirits. So, thank you, Sandy! I would not have thought of the Brothers Grimm as being comforting to saddened Grandmas.

While sewing today, I caught a glimpse of a spirit whispering in my ear. “The Brothers Grimm! Those dear boys!” Morticia Addams (in Carolyn Jones’s voice) purred at me. Thank you, Morticia/Carolyn. Now I had a mission.

I spent half an hour with Wikipedia this evening reading through the biographies of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. I had always thought of these stories as being deeply dark and violent. As it turns out, one of the major criticisms of the first version of their book was that it was too frightening for children. So, the Brothers started rewriting. They removed sexual innuendo (Rapunzel) and a good part of the violence. Wilhelm was especially religious, so Christian symbolism was added to the stories. That is probably why Grandma emerged from the Wolf’s belly unsmothered and undigested. The versions of this story in other countries just say “Toodles” to Grandma.

I continue to sew, no matter my fate. Lily will have as beautiful and as comfortable a Red Riding Hood cape as I can make. If a wolf eats me, it had better be after the cape is finished.

The Brothers Grimm did their best to comfort Grandmas.

Who knew?


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