To find the original oral tale of "Little Red Riding Hood' . go to and find the story
titled 'the grandmothers tale'

The grandmother’s tale is an oral story that has been told in many parts of  Medieval Europe and is open to many interpretations. The tale could be interpreted as a literal warning and moral tale, or as a symbolic
journey from little girl to mature woman and the inevitable development of  female sexuality.

During the medieval period many people lived in small towns
or  villages, making the threat of wolf (or "werewolf")attacks quite common, it could be that this story was simply one told to warn their daughters of the dangers of the forest,  to behave as a proper young lady should. The simple  style of the story: a  straight forward linear plot, the lack of depth in characterisation or setting, makes one of this folk tale’s meanings glaringly obvious. In one respect it was  a simple warning to village people of medieval times against the dangers of the  forest.

 Although this meaning is the most obvious, there is a vast amount of symbolism in this story that implies a
much deeper meaning. The grandmother’s tale symbolises the medieval ideal of innocence and the deviation
from this ideal as girls grow into women who can be easily tempted by ‘wolves’. The werewolf is a symbol of danger from both the animals in a forest, and men who lead girls and women to 'stray from the path'. The girl must choose a path to her grandmother’s house, the path of pins or the path of needles. These sewing tools are a symbol for the different stages of a woman’s life; pins are simple fastenings which are used temporarily, whereas a needle is used for the permanent fastening, and the act of threading a needle can be seen as sexual innuendo. The girl takes the path of pins, demonstrating her youth and yet to be corrupted innocence, the wolf travels by the path of needles highlighting his position as a sexual threat. So far, the girl is still the idealised picture of innocence and purity.

In this early version of the tale, the wolf is able to kill and eat the grandmother, and leaves her flesh and blood for
the young girl to eat. The, albeit unintentional, cannibalism of the girl's grandmother shows her  development from young naive child to a mature, intelligent woman. As she eats the flesh and wine (blood) she takes a metaphorical step from child to adult  hood, infusing her own mind and spirit with that of the grandmother, becoming a wiser, more powerful woman. This mental, spiritual development allows the young girl to be wary of the wolf and
his threat to her.

This tale was most likely originally told by women, and it is noticeable in its plot. This fact is made exceedingly clear by the lack of a masculine ‘hero' and the fact that the wolf is eventually out witted by a group of female characters. The girl is clever and able to trick the wolf into letting her escape her grandmother’s house. After he has her strip and almost enter the bed, where she would most definitely be devoured, the girl excuses herself to go outside and ‘relieve herself’ and slips away. A second act of female cunning occurs when the women at the river manage to drown the wolf, saving the girls life and proving the strength and character women can possess.

‘The Grandmother’s Tale’ has many readings available to it, it is both literal and metaphorical. A warning
against the dangers of the untamed world, a symbol of the transition from girl to woman and the power and  intelligence women can posses. It reflects the minds of those who created the story, and projects its meaning onto the world around it.