Wolf hatred in literature
But eliminating our competitor was not enough. Even as the wolf was vanishing from the countryside, we did something that only Homo sapiens can do: We kept the wolf alive, feared, and hated in literature, especially children's stories.
One of the most famous collections, Grimm's Fairy Tales, was published in 1812 in wolf-free Germany. Yet it contains "Little Red Riding Hood," with its infamous, conniving wolf.
Around the same time - when Europe was almost devoid of wolves - Europeans resurrected Aesop's Fables, originally told more than two thousand years earlier. These stories contain tales such as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," with its wolf that destroys the flock of a lying little boy, and "The Wolf and Dog," with its wolf that refuses to give up its freedom to become a collared, well-fed pet.
In 1886, more than three hundred years after the wolf was exterminated in England, "The Three Little Pigs" was published in The Nursery Rhymes of England. In that tale, a wolf with an insatiable appetite manages to eat two of the pigs before the third kills and eats him.