Turn the music on before reading:
Last weekend I went to the playhouse, named the GRAND PARQUET, in Paris to see a play called “La faim du loup.” Everyone knows the story of Red Riding Hood –or rather, they think they know.
The show is inspired by all those tales that reveal that the transgression of dangerous shores necessarily involve the damaging of innocence.
Here, our heroine is a white, modern girl. She could possibly even be seen as a naïve clown, who, wanting to escape the shackles of superficiality, is plunged into her own version of the Red Riding Hood – Rose Riding Hood.
And here is her story:
There was once a village girl, the prettiest that ever existed, and her mother was crazy about her, and so was her grandmother. This girl had a little rose riding hood with a pair of little rose gloves, which suited her so well that everybody called her Little Rose Riding Hood.
One day, her mother, carrying a bottle of champagne (rosé) and a good Havana cigar, asked her to go and check upon the apparently sick grandmother. “Take the champagne and this delicious cigar for that’s what she likes most,” said the mother to her daughter, for the grandmother is no ordinary old woman and she hates tea. Little Rose Riding Hood set out immediately to go to her grandmother, who lived in another village.
Passing through the woods, she met a rather unordinary, old wolf (The poor creature was aged 51, which is quite old for a wolf. (Fortunately this isn’t true for human beings for whom 51 is the summit of good life).
This wolf admired her rose hood and rose gloves. The wolf had a strong desire to eat, but he dared not, because of some woodcutters who were in the forest. In addition, he revealed that it was his birthday and he claimed that his last wish was to know where Little Rose Riding Hood was going.
The poor child, who did not know that it is dangerous to listen to a wolf, and who thought it was disrespectful to refuse someone’s wish on his birthday, said to him: “I will see my grandmother and bring her a bottle of champagne (rosé) and a delicious Havana cigar from my mother. And by the way: Happy Birthday wolf!” The wolf replied: “Does she live far away?” “Oh! yes,” said Little Rose Riding Hood, “it is beyond the mill you see, the first house in the village.” “Well,” said the Wolf and ran off taking the shortest road to the grandmother’s house, while the little girl chose the longest path, enjoying herself gathering nuts, running after butterflies, and reading some pages in her new book (Ivre du vin perdu). The wolf, however, did not take long to arrive at the house of the grandmother. Here follows the part we all know. On knocking at the grandmother’s door and hearing her question “Who’s there?,” the wolf replies “This is your granddaughter Little Rose Riding Hood. I have come to give you your favorite champagne and a delightful Havana cigar sent by my Mother.”
The good grandmother, who was in her bed because she was really ill, cried out: “Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up.” The wolf did as he was told, and the door opened. He threw himself upon the good woman and ate her up in no time because he hadn’t eaten in three days. Then he closed the door and went to sleep in the grandmother’s bed until Little Rose Riding Hood, who came some time afterwards, knocked at the door. “Who’s there?,” asked the wolf. Little Rose Riding Hood, hearing the thumping voice of the wolf was afraid at first, but believing that her grandmother had a cold, said: This is your granddaughter Little Rose Riding Hood. I have come to give you your favorite champagne and a delightful Havana cigar sent by my Mother.” The wolf shouted, although trying to soften his voice a little: Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up.” Little Rose Riding Hood pulled the bobbin, and the door opened. The wolf, hiding in the bed under the covers, said to her: “Put the champagne and the Havana cigar upon the stool, and come to bed with me.”
Little Rose Riding Hood undressed (first her little rose hood, then her corset and finally her little rose gloves) and went to the bed.
Somewhat astonished, she said: “Grandmother, you have muscular arms!” “So I can hug you better, my child,” the wolf replied. “Grandmother, you have strong legs!” “So I can run better, my child,” the wolf announced. “Grandmother, what large ears you have!” “So I can better listen to you, my child.” “Grandmother, what big eyes you have!” “So I can see better, my child.” Finally Little Rose Riding Hood remarks: “Grandmother what large teeth you have!” and upon saying these words, the wicked wolf fell upon Little Rose Riding Hood and ate her.
So what is the morality of this story….