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My last post about the “Slant-wise & Slippery” retelling of Little Red Riding Hood reminded me of a fun and sexy song about Little Red by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. It was popular when I was a young teen experiencing those first faint stirrings of lust and longing that comes with sexual awakening. I sensed the power-struggle going on between Red and the Wolf. His lust made him a danger to the unaware Little Red, but his longing for her tamed him in the end. He became captive to his own lust, and Little Red, (still unaware in this retelling), held all the power.

Years later I read (and later watched the film) “In the Company of Wolves,” another retelling of Little Red Riding Hood by Angela Carter from her book of fairy tales The Bloody Chamber. In this story the innocent girl meets a handsome hunter in the forest while on her way to visit Granny. They flirt with each other and then part company to see who can reach Granny’s house first. If he wins, his prize is a kiss. She takes her time getting there, wanting to make sure he wins.

But when she arrives, she’s disappointed that it’s only Granny waiting there for her in bed. But what big eyes she has! What sharp teeth! Eventually she sees though his disguise. He throws off Granny’s clothes and reveals himself to be a man-eating wolf rather than the hunter. But when she sees her old Granny’s bones thrown into the fireplace and realizes she’s next on the menu, she turns the tables on him. She starts removing each of her garments and throws them into the fire until she’s as naked (and dangerous) as he is. When he is about to attack her, she laughs at him, knowing “she was nobody’s meat.” By the end of the story she is sleeping “sweet and sound” between the paws of “the tender wolf.”

Not long ago I came across another fun and sexy overturning of the Red/Wolf power struggle in Leonard Cohen’s song “I’m Your Man.”

All lower love is but a schooling for the highest love,” says mystic Rudolf Steiner.

One last song, having nothing to do with Red or the Wolf, but it beautifully expresses the confusion and inward struggle that comes when transitioning from the lower to the highest form of love. It’s from the musical Jesus Christ, Superstar, and is sung by Mary Magdalene, who has only known love of the lower sort and is trying to understand this new sense of spiritual love for the Beloved.