Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by WonderTeam. WonderTeam Wonders, “Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, WonderTeam!

Today’s Wonder of the Day takes a fresh look at a vile fairy tale villain. You know the one. He terrorized the Three Little Pigs. He blew down their houses of straw and sticks. We’re talking about the Big Bad Wolf!

The Big Bad Wolf didn’t just mistreat the Three Little Pigs. His big eyes and big teeth also gave Little Red Riding Hood quite a scare. Have you heard what he did to her poor old grandmother? Yes, as fairy tale villains go, the Big Bad Wolf has a fairly nasty reputation.

But is he really all that bad? Are all the stories about him true? Or could they be fabrications meant to sully his good name? For example, could the story of the Three Little Pigs be nothing more than pro-pork propaganda pushed by a group with an anti-wolf agenda?

Jon Scieszka’s 1989 book, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, makes a good case for giving the Big Bad Wolf a closer look. Perhaps his run-in with the Three Little Pigs was nothing more than a misunderstanding. It may have been blown (pun totally intended) way out of proportion.

After all, there are two sides to every story, right? If you have brothers or sisters, we’re sure you agree with that old saying. Think about any argument you’ve had with your siblings. There were probably as many stories as there were people involved!

Whether the Big Bad Wolf was really that bad or not isn’t ultimately important. After all, he’s just a fictional character. But it is important to remember that every story you hear or read is told from one perspective.

Before you believe everything you hear or read, you should carefully consider the source of the information. Do your own research if you need to. Don’t take everything you hear or read as truth just because you see it in print or hear it on the radio or television.

Some people may try to persuade you to believe something because it helps them in some way. Others may not be trying to deceive you, but they may fail to include all relevant information you need to make an informed decision.

So what about the Big Bad Wolf? Was he really that big and bad? Maybe. Some historians argue that these old fables had practical purposes. Wolves can be dangerous. Especially in the past, the risk of attacks in the woods was real. Fables such as the story of Little Red Riding Hood could have served as a warning to children not to explore unknown forests where wolves might live.

Are you afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? How about other folklore villains? When you really stop to think about it, you may find many perspectives that deserve a second look!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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