What Wide Origins You Have, Little Red Riding Hood!
An anthropologist chases down a tale told around the world.
What happens next depends on which version you hear: Was Little Red Riding Hood devoured? Did a passing huntsman cut her from the wolf's belly? Did she trick the wolf into letting her go outside? In parts of Iran, the child in peril is a boy, because little girls wouldn't wander out on their own. In Africa, the villain could be a fox or a hyena. In East Asia, the predator is more likely to be a big cat.
Where did the original story come from? Scholars have been puzzling over that for years. Jamie Tehrani, an anthropologist at Durham University in the United Kingdom, thinks he's found the answer. In a paper published this month in the journal