Variations on a tale

“She was my first love. I felt that if I could have married Little Red Riding-Hood, I should have known perfect bliss.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Tree.

These ‘scrap’ or ‘die-cut’ sheets both date from the late 50s/early 60s – one was produced in what was then the GDR, the other in ‘West Germany’. I know which one I prefer.

From Austria there’s this wonderful set of handkerchiefs – I am not sure when they were made. The embroidery is beautiful. I am not surprised they were never used – they are there to be looked at.

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“Tobacco is the plant that converts thoughts into dreams” is attributed to Victor Hugo.  A Dutch company -J Baars & Son (1867 – 1935) – named its cigars after him. This set of ‘bands’ is probably from the 1920’s.

I admire the work that went into making these 16 little scenes – not only are there drawings but each scene is described at the back.

cigar bands - back - explanation of scene

the wolf walks along with Little Red Riding Hood

Obviously, I am not discovering anything new – Little Red Riding Hood has a universal appeal, it is still being re-told, used in advertising  (if you search for ‘red riding hood advertising’ on YouTube you’ll find at least 8 different ones. This chocolate advert:

is one of the latest).

Germany’s ‘No. 1’ Camembert carries the name since 1885!

Red Riding Hood Camembert

I think you have guessed from the items that I am collecting  that I prefer to read the tale as ‘light’ rather than ‘dark’, though you, and many eminent scholars, for example Jack Zipes , might beg to differ. Regardless of your views,  I hope you enjoy this week’s examples!

Postcard - GDR TV-series 'Little Sandman'
Postcard – GDR TV-series ‘Little Sandman’ – no need to be afraid of this cute wolf!


  1. wonderful post and collection you’ve gathered. How cool are the Victor Hugo cigar bands! Well worth expanding each photo to see the little details like the wolf hiding in the forest or leaping about in the background – and the wolf entering the cottage with a snarl and Granny screaming in terror with arms in the air… pretty scary in parts, Wibi, is this an early Halloween post for you 🙂
    Well I do love the tale that is Little Red Riding Hood, and one of my favourite adaptions is the 1984 Neil Jordan fantasy film The Company of Wolves. Beautifully made and not without a few moments of good horror wolf transformations.

    1. Oh, thank you so much – I am really glad you enjoyed it. And yes, The Company of Wolves is one of my favourite films, too (even though I do scare easily… and can’t watch anything much stronger). I admire you for being able to do so (and being able to enjoy it). I look forward to your next post…. I hope it’ll come with a warning for scaredy-cats like me.

      1. Cool. Really glad you know The Company of Wolves and enjoy it. Considering they had such a small budget they managed to make it look lavish, atmospheric and enchanting.
        No ‘horror’ worries, my next post coming up in a couple of hours is a fun fashion thing 🙂

  2. I do love this one…. though I think the little GDR TV-wolf is borderline scary…. lots of sharp teeth ! Cute and scary aren’t mutually exclusive ……

    1. Thank you so much! Not sure if of interest… I recommend Jack Zipes’ The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood: Versions of the Tale in Sociocultural Context – not only for the content, but for the illustrations, too!

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