Fairytales Retold For Millennials #2 - Bite right back at you Mr Wolf by @littleredridinghood by Kate Meyer-Currey

Not so long ago and perhaps even

Yesterday, life for girls was dark and

Dirty. Only the smart survived trauma

Or predation. I knew that wolf was a

Faker but I played nice and he fell for it.

Then he got the chop. I wasn’t going

To forgive him and set him free to do

It all over again and shatter another

Child’s life. Why won’t you all realise

That nice girls are killed by their own

Kindness? Ted Bundy saw to that.

I’ve done my best to challenge your

Stereotypes and show you how to

Keep your daughters safe. But you’re

Still stuck in the past. You’d rather

They were good than clever so no-

One can blame your parenting. I’d

Be such great role model if only

You would open your eyes and see

The truth. But you just tiptoe behind,

Scared to wake the internet trolls.


Kate Meyer-Currey lives in Devon. A varied career in frontline settings has fuelled her interest in gritty urbanism, contrasted with a rural upbringing, often with a slipstream twist. She has over a hundred poems published in print and online journals and anthologies in the UK and internationally. Her poem "Gloves" was in the top 100 of the UK’s Poetry for Good competition (2021) and "We got this" was shortlisted for the 2021 Black in White poetry competition. "Boys of Vallance Road" came third in the poetry category of the London Society’s Love Letter to London competition (March 2022). Her chapbooks County Lines (Dancing Girl) and Cuckoo’s Nest (Contraband) are due out in 2022.

Publications include: "Family Landscape: Colchester 1957" (Not Very Quiet, 2020), "Invocation" (Whimsical Poet, 2021), "Dulle Griet", "Scold’s Bridle", "Reconnaissance" (RavenCageZine, 2021), "Fear the reaper" (Red Wolf Journal, 2021), "Stream: Timberscombe" (A River of Poems, 2021), "Not so starry night" (SheSpeaks, 2021), "Dimpsey" (Snapdragon, 2021), "Mask" (Disquiet Arts, 2021), "Magnolia Stellata" (Constellations, Literary North, 2021), "Challenge" (Poetry and Covid, March 2021), "Scorpio rising" (Noctivagant Press, April 2021), "Scrapheap Challenge" (Handyuncappedpen, April 2021), "Scrubber in PPE", (Skirting Around, April 2021), "New perspective" (Planisphere HQ, April 2021), "Daffs" (Blue Heron Review, April 2021), "Hilly Fields", (Pure Slush, Lifespan Vol 2, April 2021), "Supplication to the Morrigan, Wolf Ridge" (Quail Bell, April 2021), "Kintsugi" (Aurora, Kira Kira, May 2021), "Dregs" (Seinundwerden, May 2021), "Trigger" (Collateral, May 2021), "Minimum credula postero" (Ponder Savant, May 2021), "Palisade: Seville Oranges, December" (Odyssey, May 2021), "Morning: A38", "Sunflowers", "Devon Autumn", "Dawn Chorus", "Colours of Stars" (Bloom, May 2021), "Rude awakening" (Granfalloon: A Speculative Fiction Zine, June 2021), "Restless" (Open Door, June 2021), "Purple Jellyfish Shirt" (Mono, June 2021), "Re-emergence" (Her Inside: Women in the Lockdown, June 2021), "Wolf Ridge", "Infinitesimal (1-3)", Dregs" (Poetica Review, June 2021), "Summit and depths", "Hawthorns", (Deep Overstock, June 2021).

Author's note

Both these poems could be described as an intersectional feminist reworking of traditional fairy tales. I was a historian long before I became a poet and take an active interest in current ideas: hence the stylistic reference to articles on Pinterest, for example.

I was sparked by a Radio 4 broadcast on how traditional fairytales were reworked by feminist theory. I discovered that seventeenth century patriarchy (aka Charles Perrault) had sanitised tales like Bluebeard to make the female protagonists passive rather than agents of their own survival. This was in sharp contrast to the reality which underpins folk tales: short lives, child mortality, step-parents, war and starvation (to name but a few). These tales were survival manuals, if you will.

I was born in 1969 and have lived through the realisation society has recently had to accept: that "boys will be boys" means abuse, predation and murder. Savile, Weinstein, Epstein, MeToo, plus institutional misogyny in the UK police force (highlighted by Sarah Everard’s killing last year) tell us that this is wrong on all counts. Never mind internet dating as a new playground for predators.

I have read texts like De Becker’s Gift of Fear which analyse how women’s social conditioning to be pleasant and compliant made them unwitting victims. It made sense to me (backed up by time working in prisons and forensic units). A lot of Hollywood romances feature stalkers as leading men…

I wanted to challenge these assumptions by reminding everyone (not just women) to use their wits and trust their guts in unfamiliar situations because it might just save their life or get them out of a tricky situation. I apologise to fans of Thelma and Louise, but the ending has always bothered me. These poems are my solution to this problem: how do you commit a felony and escape alive with your man?