Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Wolf (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In The Doll’s House, while at a hotel filled with serial killers, Gilbert tells Rose the story of Little Red Riding Hood…the original version, which is not nearly as nice as the version most people are familiar with.

The version Gilbert tells begins in the same manner as the popular version. Little Red Riding Hood is taking some food to her grandmother’s house when she encounters a wolf. The wolf asked where she was going and the girl replied, “To Grandmother’s house.” Well, the wolf decided to take advantage of this situation and so he ran ahead and arrived at the grandmother’s house before Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf killed the grandmother. He poured her blood into a bottle and cut her flesh and put it on a plate. He then dressed in the grandmother’s clothes and got into her bed.

When the girl arrived the wolf offered her meat and wine, which the girl ate and drank. After she was finished the wolf suggested that she take off her clothes and get in bed with him. As Little Red Riding Hood undressed she threw her clothes in the fireplace, as instructed by the wolf.

“Grandmother, how hairy you are.”

“It keeps me warm, my dear.”

“Oh Grandmother, what long nails you have.”

“They are for scratching myself, my dear.”

“Oh Grandmother, what big teeth you have.”

“They are for eating you, my dear.”

And the wolf at the girl.

In this version of the story there were no concequences for the wolf and no happy endings for the innocent young girl.

Gilbert recounts this story in Sandman # 14 on pages 7 and 8.

Max did a great job with this wolf. I always think it’s difficult to do portraits of animals, but that’s probably just my perception since everyone has done amazing jobs with them so far. I love the quiet thoughtfulness of this portrait and the purples in the back really highlight the starkness of the wolf. This is another wonderful portrait from Max.

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