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In Uzbek national epos there is a tale “about the Red Cap” that has the ending that
Shawarma was cooked from the wolf .


The plot of “The Red Cap” is so popular that there are many versions of this tale now. Do you know that small details as well as the ending have been changed? Initially the tale existed in the folk version, and then Charles Perrault and the Grimm Brothers worked on it.

Here are some curious facts: The headdress of the girl initially was a chaperon[1], a form of hood, and then, due to the translation, it became the red cap that we all know. The contents of the basket were changed, too. In Italy it is fresh fish, in Switzerland – cheese, in France – a cake and a pot with butter, in Russia – patties. And then the interesting things start!



[1] a form of hood or versatile hat worn in Western Europe in the Middle Ages. It was with a fastener on the neck, and it was used by people of all the classes as a travelling cloths against bad weather. It can be thrown down the back and can be used as a short cloak. When Charles Perrault lived it became out of style in the cities, but still was popular among women in the countryside.

Let’s discuss the folk version of the fairy tale. The girl with the basket with milk and bread for her grandma goes through the forest and meets a wolf. The wolf, after getting to know where the Red Cap is going, runs forward, kills her grandmother and cooks dinner for Red Cap. Then the predator puts on the granny’s clothes and goes into her bed. When the girl comes to the house the cunning wolf invites her in to eat. The granny’s cat tries to warn the Red Cap about what the dinner is cooked from but the wolf kills the cat with the help of wooden shoes. Then the sharp-toothed predator offers the girl to take off her clothes, burn them and to lie down close to him.

The reason this plot was created can be guessed. Then, a widely known dialogue takes place; “Granny, what big teeth you have,“ the girl says. “All the better to eat you up with,” replies the wolf. The tale ends with the wolf eating the naive girl (in some versions the girl manages to run away from the wolf).


Charles Perrault was a French author and critic during the times of classicism. He brought the tales into fashion among the French aristocracy by publishing a collection stories entitled “Tales of Mother Goose” (1697). In Perrault’s version the girl wears the riding hood, the wolf does not eat grandma, and there is no a cat in the tale, only a moral:

Children, especially attractive,
well bred young ladies,
should never talk to strangers,
for if they should do so,
they may well provide dinner for a wolf.

The brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the researchers of German national culture and the collectors of legends around the world, interpreted the plot of “The Red Riding Hood” in their way by changing the end. In their version, the hunters (woodcutters) passing by save the granny and the granddaughter. They disembowel the wolf.


According to their version the girl’s granny lives in the forest, but not in the neighboring village. The Red Riding Hood carries a piece of cake and a bottle of wine in her apron and her mother addresses her with words of encouragement,

“When you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing”.

The wolf tells her with reproach, that she should go “as if she is late to school”, and he suggests that she “have some fun in the forest”. Having eaten the granny and swallowed the girl, the wolf snores so loudly that the house hunter passing by thinks the old lady needs some help. Upon seeing the wolf the hunter disembowels him, the granddaughter and barely alive granny jump out of it. Then he puts heavy stones inside the wolf’s belly. When the wolf wakes up he wants to run away, but the stones force him down and he falls down and dies. The hunter takes home the skin removed from the wolf. The granny, after eating the cake and drinking the wine, starts to feel better and Red Riding Hood learns a lesson:

“As long as I live, I will never by myself leave the path, to run into the wood, when my mother has forbidden me to do so”.

After some time the girl meets another wolf in the forest and this meeting turns fatal for him. The Red Riding Hood and granny drown the wolf in the washing tub without anyone’s help.


There is a wish at the end with Perrault’s moral, which is still the topic of many things today:

I say “wolf,” but there are various kinds of wolves.
There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite,
unassuming, complacent, and sweet,
who pursue young women at home and in the streets.
And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves
who are the most dangerous ones of all.

Psychologist Valentina Shapovalova