Red Riding Hood is a classic tale, remembered and shared in oral tradition for generations and finally written down by The Grimm's Brothers, Charles Perrault and more. There are several variations of Red Riding Hood and aspects of this story also feature in other fairy tales. At its most basic interpretation; it provides "stranger danger" advice for children.
However, there are many lessons in this tale and they can be as deep or as superficial as you care to interpret. Most obvious are "don't talk to strangers" (withhold personal information), "Mother knows best" (listen to the voice of experience) and "don't stray into the woods" (don't get out of your depth). But another that seems very applicable today, as we are more reliant on technology and are divorced further from nature; is to remember to trust your own natural instincts and specifically: 1) to be observant, and 2) to trust what your eyes and ears are telling you - not what someone else insists you must see and hear.
"... Little Red Riding-Hood ... knocked at the door (and) ... hearing the big voice of the Wolf, was at first afraid; but believing her grandmother had got a cold, and was hoarse ... "
Quote from The Young Folks' Shelf of Books, 1948
Now Red Riding Hood knew something was up. That front door shouldn't have been open, Grandmother shouldn't have been hiding herself under the bedclothes and Red Riding Hood shouldn't have felt scared or uncomfortable for no reason. But in her innocence, she chose to ignore this and instead questioned the wolf about his odd appearance: why his eyes, ears and hands were not the same size as Grandmother's eyes, ears and hands; to which the wolf cunningly supplies sweet "love-bombing" answers that his features make it "the better to see, hear and hug you with my dear". By the time poor Red Riding Hood notices his enormous teeth (for which the wolf really has no answer because Grandmother certainly doesn't have those); it is too late and she is gobbled up.
*Of particular note, is that the wolf did not even attempt to fool Grandmother. Upon gaining entry to the inside the house where Grandmother could see him; the wolf immediately ate her up. The wolf knew that as soon as the old woman saw him; SHE would believe her eyes and ears and wouldn't let him fool her into thinking that he was anything but a wolf!
So take a lesson from the age-old storytellers of the sad tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Do not ignore your powers of observation and do not accept every explanation handed to you in an attempt to "Be Kind" -- you might just be talking to a wolf!!
Bibliography: The Young Folks' Shelf of Books, The Junior Classics 1 Fairy Tales and Fables, P.F. Collier and Son Corporation, USA, 1948; Grimm's Fairy Tales to Read Aloud, Compiled by Oscar Weigle, Wonder Books, Inc., USA, Canada, 1963; Grimm's Fairy Tales, Companion Library, Grosset & Dunlop, USA, 1963; Grimm's Fairy Tales, The Folio Society, Great Britain, 2003; Charles Perrault Best Known Fairy Stories, Dean & Sons, Ltd., Hamlyn Publishing Group, Ltd., Great Britain, 1983; Red Riding Hood, James Marshall, Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin, Scholastic Inc., 1991.
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan, 2022
My interest in Asian folklore is relatively new and, as such limited, but I understand that these little fellows are moon rabbits, popular in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other folklore.
The oblong dish to the left is made in Japan and depicts moon rabbits with the full moon above them in the dark blue night sky. They are surrounded by eggs. I had forgotten the imagery on it when I stumbled across the little pastel-coloured dish to the right. It mystified me a bit at first, because it is egg-shaped and the bunnies are busily cavorting among pretty pink eggs and a flower. This led me at first to think it was an Easter dish - until I flipped it over and saw an Asian back stamp! But of course, when you compare the two, there is simply no mistake - I believe the pink flower in this case serves as a pretty substitute for the moon.
The white moon rabbit lives on the moon and stirs an elixir of immortality. Sometimes, when you look at the full moon, you can see his image. I'm not sure if the chocolate eggs I intend to place in these dishes will help in the quest for immortality ... but they certainly will satisfy the evening sweet tooth!
Bibliography: Wikipedia, Moon Rabbit, 2019
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2019
~ It will be a lark! ~ On a lark ~ Just for a lark ~ Larking about ~ Go on a lark ~
These are English expressions used to describe something done for a bit of carefree fun; usually on a sudden impulse or whim. It can be silly and gay. It can be mischievous - but never malicious.
"Come on, join me in the three-legged race ... it will be a lark!"
Marie decided to buy a new hat on a lark.
The children turned their desks around backwards, just for a lark, before the teacher came into the room.
"Stop larking about and turn those desks back 'round front", she laughed.
Sigh, I definitely need to go on a lark right now!!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2018
Do you ever wonder why so many household items for kitchens are rooster-themed? Everything from canisters to casserole dishes, potholders to pictures, and spoon holders to salt and pepper shakers.
A rooster in the kitchen brings good luck to your household - plain and simple! This belief is pretty universal around the world. Many countries relay fables with a rooster featuring prominently as the bringer of good luck to some situation or other. So common superstition says you would be well-advised to add one to your kitchen paraphernalia - if you haven't brought one in already! Check your kitchen - there is probably a rooster lurking somewhere, as people often gift these good luck fellows in the form of towels, utensils, dishes or other kitchen do-dads ... they might even be worked into your tiles. I actually relish the day when the "sterile" stainless steel kitchen trend comes to an end ... and colour and variety returns. Then not only the humble kitchen rooster - but all those lovely French Provencal blues, yellows, terracotta reds and whites - can make a well-deserved comeback in our kitchen tiles, counter tops and floors.
But in the meantime, why not incorporate a rooster into your kitchen decor to bring good luck and good fortune into your home? It's a very simple kitchen witchery trick and you'll get all of the benefit ... without any of that early morning cock-a-doodle-do-ing!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2018 / edited 2020 & 2023
Apparently, there is a folklore tradition, in Britain and North America, wherein it is very good luck to say "white rabbits" or "rabbits" or "rabbits, rabbits, rabbits!", or any combination of these words three times, on the 1st day of any month. Three's the charm as they say and is always an important component to the success of any spell. They must be your first spoken words upon waking on the 1st day of the month. I've never heard of it before but am going to give it a go this Sunday!
How auspicious is it that the first day of our next month this year (April), is not only April's Fool's Day but also Easter Sunday. Can't get much luckier than that!
There are so many diverse symbolic meanings attached to the rabbit - and often contradictory ones. But if you think of both the prolific nature of bunnies and also the common "trickster" aspect of the rabbit - the above charm makes a lot of sense. It both invites bounty and good fortune for the month ... while at the same time stymieing the possibility of silly tricks those cunning characters might play!
Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2018
I think most people are familiar with Aesop's Fable about The Fox and the Crow.
In this story, the Crow has found a wonderful round of cheese and is sitting in a tree, when along comes a sweet-talking fox. He wants the cheese for himself, but how to get it? He convinces the Crow that she has a beautiful voice and would love to hear her sing. She is flattered, opens her mouth to sing and, sadly for her, the cheese drops to the ground. Now, when you think about this fable, it becomes apparent that casting is important. Crows are really, really intelligent. Only a sly fox would have been right for this role ... for who else, in the entire animal kingdom would have the ability to out-smart a crow?
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2017
(gif courtesy of AnimatedImages.org)
There is rumour that a crow will sometimes strike up such a relationship with a person that they will show their gratitude for food by bringing some prezzies. I am hopeful that soon the shiny trinkets will begin to appear! The only thing he has brought me so far is an old stick. However, it is a very interesting stick, and looks like a small animal. My resident fairy, who is very observant, noticed that it has a teeny, tiny bit of red paint on it as well. So maybe the gift-giving has begun!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2017
How appropriate then that even now, bunnies are often shown as a young girl's companion in modern art or home decor. Perhaps, in older times, the Spring Maiden, or Ostara, was accompanied by an Oster Hare, as the Easter Bunny is called in Germany. There is some contention on this matter as to whether or not the Spring Goddesses of ancient days were connected with hares, eggs and other symbols of Spring at all ... or if it is a more modern connection recorded around the time that the Grimm Brothers collected their fairy tales. It matters little to us plebeians! In the eternal mind, the connection was made because it is the correct one. Bunnies and girls both represent youth, vitality and beginnings ... in every way the very essence of Spring!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2017 / edited 2019 / 2021 / 2023
Winter Solstice is such an incredible time. The fairies in the Grove are abuzz with excitement! One of their favourite activities is making a Winter Solstice Tree for all the hungry little woodland creatures - this is most enjoyed by the chickadees, blue jays, bush tits, juncos, woodpeckers and yes, even the squirrels.
How to make a Winter Solstice Tree
Watch and enjoy your little visitors from a quiet place!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2016 / edited 2019
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