Little Red & Mary

Yesterday we saw ‘Little Red’, a Christmas family show telling the story of Little Red Riding Hood. In yesterday’s version Little Red is given a pie to take through the woods to Grandma. Her mother, a woodcutter, tells to wear her red coat, speak to no-one and keep to the path. Mr Wolf persuades her to leave the path; she gets lost…

Mr Wolf takes her coat and pie… arrives at Grandma’s house… eats Grandma… Little Red arrives… Wolf’s about to eat her… mother-woodcutter saves Little Red… cuts live Grandma out of Wolf… sews him back together… they all live happily ever after.  

In the well-known Christmas story… Mary… young, engaged, encounters an angel, becomes pregnant, journeys to Bethlehem, has a baby…

Musing… Both stories are…

…very old, told in different ways and forms, with different meanings, to different times and cultures. Little Red’s at least 1000 years old, Mary’s 2000…

…about young girls given an important mission, leaving home, encountering the unknown. Little Red travels alone through the dark wood; Mary embarks on a long journey to an unknown city with her fiancé…

…influenced by a super-natural encounter. Mary meets an angel who predicts the future; Little Red encounters a talking Wolf who persuades her to leave the path.

…about young girls losing their innocence. Mary’s a teenage virgin who becomes pregnant and has a baby; some speak of darker meanings behind Little Red… of the ‘red’ speaking of blood, of rape or pregnancy…

…about gaining maturity, girls becoming women (as in Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty…) gaining understanding of life, understanding destiny.

…about discovering protective forces more powerful than themselves; Mary’s protected by her God, Little Red by the woodcutter.

…have a moral tone… good overcomes evil, wrongs are righted… travelling through the bad that good may prevail… all living happily ever after.

…perhaps there’s a picture of resurrection – Red’s certain death’s prevented, live Grandma’s cut from Mr Wolf… Jesus dies and comes back to life…

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