Little Red Riding Hood (Jessie Wilcox Smith) - Airplanes and RocketsLittle Red Riding Hood

"Little Red Riding Hood" is a famous European fairy tale that has been told and retold in various versions over the centuries. It's believed to have originated in France and was later popularized by the Brothers Grimm in their collection of folktales.

The basic story revolves around a young girl named Little Red Riding Hood who sets off through the woods to visit her grandmother. She wears a red riding hood or cloak, which gives her the name. Her mother warns her to stay on the path and not to talk to strangers. However, she encounters a cunning wolf who tricks her into divulging information about her destination.

The wolf, with the knowledge of Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother's location, arrives at the grandmother's house first. He disguises himself as the grandmother and proceeds to eat her, then takes her place in bed. When Little Red Riding Hood arrives, she is initially puzzled by her "grandmother's" strange appearance but is eventually devoured by the wolf as well. The story often ends with a heroic woodsman or huntsman arriving in the nick of time to rescue them, cutting open the wolf's stomach and freeing both Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother.

The tale is often interpreted as a cautionary story about the dangers of talking to strangers and straying from the path, as well as a metaphor for the transition from childhood innocence to the awareness of the dangers of the world. Over time, the story has been adapted in various forms of media, including books, films, and cartoons, making it a central part of Western folklore.