Sunday, December 6, 2015


"Dusky Wolf" 2 inch high child's mug, ca. 1820/Notice the dead rabbit under the wolf's paw.
I want to tell you a fairy tale about how a wolf became good.  This is a particular wolf, not wolves in general.  I made up the story last year when my four year old granddaughter became separated from her parents at a large International Airport.  I wanted to impress on her the importance of staying close to parents even when you think you know where to go.  Even if you are afraid of nothing (except the dark).  

How the wolf became good – A fairy tale

Once upon a time there was a little wolf.  He liked to pretend how bad he was because his parents thought he was too good!  He decided that he would be the badest wolf ever! 

One day he saw a little girl at the airport.   The wolf noticed that she didn’t listen to her parents, and he thought he could use this to his advantage.  He waited until the little girl’s mother was busy lugging a heavy suitcase and her father was carrying her brother.  The wolf knew the girl would sneak away.  He knew this because he would have done the same.  He watched her go down the stairs and out the door of the airport!   Her parents didn’t even notice that she was gone!  The wolf went after the girl.  He was going to eat her!  He was sure this would please his parents.  However, when he thought how scared the girl would be, he remembered that when he did things that were dangerous he always thought his parents could save him.   The wolf knew the girl’s parents couldn’t save her because they didn’t know she was gone.  He knew he had to save her, and he realized he could never be bad.  He could be big someday, but not bad.

The wolf took the little girl back to her parents, but they thought he was trying to hurt her!  They yelled at him and made him cry.  The little girl told her parents the wolf saved her.  She explained that she had walked away from them, and the wolf had brought her back.  The wolf was a hero.

The parents, the little girl, and the wolf hugged.  The parents thanked him and said he was always welcome to visit.  The little girl learned it was dangerous to leave her parents at a busy airport (or anywhere).  She promised to listen to them.  She told the wolf he was good.  She  also said she would never believe a fairy tale that said he was bad (only some wolves were bad and some people too!).

Maya asked the wolf to be her pet and live with her, but he explained that he was a wild animal and thus not pet material.  However, he would be her friend.
 The End!

Since you stayed with me this far,  I thought I'd show you more transferware patterns that feature wolves, starting with a gravy boat from one of my favorite series: "Quadrupeds."

John Hall (& Sons) 1814-1832 "Quadrupeds" gravy boat printed with a New South Wales Wolf.  The wolf is copied from a Thomas Bewick print from his "A General History of Quadrupeds," 1790.

Lots of wolves appear in "Aesop's Fables."  The fables are as meaningful today as they were in ancient times.  Is the wolf more like humans than the other animals?

Copeland & Garrett (1833-1847) "Aesop's Fables" series "The Sow and the Wolf."  The series was begun during the end of the Spode period, and continued throughout the 19th century and into the 20th. 

William T. Copeland (& Sons) 1847-1970 "Aesop's Fables" soup tureen with the pattern "The Wolf, the Lamb and the Goat."  It was probably made in the late 19th century.

Spode (1770-1833) "Aesop's Fables" sauce tureen "The Dog and the Wolf."  It probably dates from around 1831.

Spode (1770-1833) "Aesop's Fables" vegetable tureen base "The Wolf and the Crane." It also dates from the end of the Spode period.

Thomas & Benjamin Godwin (1809-1834) "Aesop's Fables" 5 inch child's plate "The Shepherd's Boy."  This fable is also known as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Mintons (1872-1950) Aesop's Fables 6 inch tile "The Wolf & The Lamb at the Spring."

One of my favorite fairy tales is "Little Red Riding Hood."  I have written about it in my blog post "In The Wood Or Little Red Riding Hood Again."  Little Red's wolf is not very nice.  He certainly tricks her.  However, there are good lessons to be learned from the story.  For example, "Listen to your mother!"
"Red Riding Hood Meets The Wolf" 7.12 inch 19th century child's plate.  The pattern illustrates the letter "R" for the word "Red."

Brownhills Pottery (1872-1896) "Red Riding Hood Meets The Wolf" 7.25 inch plate. 

Josiah Wedgwood (1759-2005) "Death of the Wolf" 6 inch tile, late 19th century.  I thought the woodman killed the wolf, but fairy tales have many variations.  I do wonder what killed him.  Perhaps indigestion from eating granny?

There are lots of things to learn from fairy tales and fables.  For example, not everything is as it seems.  The End.

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