Today's Wonder of the Day takes a fresh look at that vile fairy tale villain, the Big Bad Wolf. You know the one. He terrorized the Three Little Pigs and blew down their houses of straw and sticks.

His big eyes and big teeth also gave Little Red Riding Hood quite a scare when she discovered what he'd done with her poor old grandmother. 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 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. When you get into an argument with your siblings and it's time to explain things to Mom or Dad, there are usually as many stories as there are people involved!

Whether or not the Big Bad Wolf was really that bad or not isn't ultimately important, since he's just a fictional character. But what is important is to remember that every story you hear or read is told from a particular 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 automatically 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. In the past, wolves were dangerous and 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.

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