Greta Arshem is a Business Administration Major with a concentration on Human Resources. Though she enjoys her major, she studies English as her minor to fulfill her creative interests. Greta has always been a fan of various fairy tales, particularly “Little Red Riding Hood.” She enjoys studying the different perspectives and analysis each rendition gives. Greta wrote “Little Boy Blue” as a reverse tale of “Little Red,” playing with gender roles. Her protagonist is no longer a favored, young girl, but is now a passive, bullied boy. Greta aims to fight expectations in gender roles and open up a new perspective to the famed tale, as others did for her. - Reanna Laes
Once upon a time, there lived a troubled young boy with an ailing grandmother. One afternoon, the little boy’s mother instructed him to take a few goods to his bedridden grandmother who lived on the other side of the woods. As the walk was quite long, the young boy’s mother advised for him to wear a blue cloak that his grandmother had hand sewn for his warmth. This cloak earned him his hated title of Little Boy Blue. The young boy grudgingly agreed to take his grandmother the goods and began his journey to her house.
“Little Boy Blue! Little Boy Blue!” the young boy’s classmates would call mockingly as he walked through the village. The cloak he would wear was something a young girl would be seen in, not as much a boy.
“Where are you going, Little Boy Blue?” the classmates would singsong. “Are you going to see your only friend, Little Boy Blue? Your Grandmother!” His classmates would snicker as he passed. The young boy hated this harassment and would often lash out and quickly pass by, redding with embarrassment. There were limited options to fight back for Little Boy Blue as he was much smaller than the rest of his classmates, and with numbers on their side, he only had himself.
As Little Boy Blue continued his walk to his grandmother’s house, he came upon a mysterious being along the path in the woods. This being appeared to be a wolf, standing on two legs…looking as if he was more human-like than animal.
“How would you like to finally get revenge on those classmates of yours?” the wolf asked Little Boy Blue. The young boy questioned how the wolf would be able to help as he was such a small boy, and this animal couldn’t possibly know how to get revenge on a group of children. But, having no other options and being fed up with the recent embarrassment, Little Boy Blue agreed to the wolf’s offer for help.
The wolf’s plan was for the young boy to gather all his classmates up and have them follow him to his grandmother’s house where the wolf will be hiding to jump out and scare the mean children. This way, they will be the ones embarrassed for once and not Little Boy Blue.
“So how should I get my classmates there?” asked the young boy. “They don’t like me and wouldn’t have any reason to come by?” The wolf thought for a while and then came up with a plan.
“You’ll go back into town and tell the children that your grandmother has just baked far too many delicious pies and cakes and that they are all welcome to stop by and enjoy them,” explained the wolf. “This will surely work, as before they saw you, I heard them complaining about how hungry they were.”
Little Boy Blue thought about his part in the plan and decided he had nothing to lose; he accepted the wolf’s plan and started his trek back into town. As the young boy turned to head back, the wolf hurried the rest of the way to the grandmother’s house to hide.
The young boy entered the town square and saw his classmates all huddled in a circle, laughing at someone else’s expense per usual. When they saw him approaching, one by one they started their usual taunting. “Oh look, it’s Little Boy Blue back again.”
“I’m actually here to invite everyone over to my grandmother’s house,” he explained. “She has made far too many pies and cakes and needs somewhere to go with them.” As much as the classmates didn’t enjoy Little Boy Blue, they jumped at the offer of free sweets as they were all ravenous from a full day of picking on others.
The whole group of children, including Little Boy Blue, started their journey over to grandmother’s house where the wolf was standing by, waiting to complete his part of the plan. As they neared the house, the children were all giddy with excitement, not caring who was providing the sweets, just that they were going to be able to indulge.
The children knocked on the grandmother’s door and to their surprise, the wolf opened up, truly terrifying them all. The children ran about screaming simultaneously filling Little Boy Blue with joy as he was finally in on the joke. But, to his astonishment, the wolf began to gobble every single child up. One after another, Little Boy Blue saw his classmates get eaten until he was the only one left.
“This was a perfect plan Little Boy Blue,” the wolf exclaimed. And just like that, Little Boy Blue was gone.