The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids

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Illustration by Hermann Vogel

"The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats" is a fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 5.[1] It is Aarne-Thompson type 123,[2] but has a strong resemblance to The Three Little Pigs and other Aarne-Thomspson type 124 folktales, and to the variant of Little Red Riding Hood that the Grimms collected, where she is rescued.[3]


A mother goat leaves her seven children at home while she ventures into the forest to find food. Before she leaves, she warns her young about the Big Bad Wolf who will try to sneak into the house and gobble them up. The wolf will pretend to be their mother and convince the kids to open the door. The young children will be able to recognize their true mother by her white feet and sweet voice.

The mother goat leaves and the seven kids stay in the house. Before long, they hear a voice at the door that says "Let me in children, your mother has something for each and every one of you". His gruff voice betrays him and the kids do not let him in. A little while later, they hear another voice at the door: "Let me in children, your mother has something for each and every one of you". This time the voice is high and sweet like their mother's. They are about to let him in when the youngest kid looks under the crack in the door and notices the wolf's big, black feet. They refuse to open the door, and the wolf goes away again.

The wolf goes to the bakery and buys some flour, smearing it all over his coat, turning his black feet white. He returns to the children's house, and says "Let me in children, your mother has something for each and every one of you". The kids see his white feet and hear his sweet voice, so they open the door. The wolf jumps into the house and gobbles up six of the kids. The youngest child hides from the wolf and does not get eaten.

Later that day, the mother goat returns home from the forest. She is distraught to find the door wide open and all but one of her children missing. She looks around and sees the wolf, fast asleep under a tree. He had eaten so much, he could not move. The mother goat calls to her youngest child to quickly get her a pair of scissors, a needle and some thread. She cuts open the wolf's belly and the six children spring out miraculously unharmed. They fill the wolf's belly with rocks, and the mother sews it back up again. When the wolf wakes up, he is very thirsty. He goes to the river to drink, but falls in and drowns under the weight of the rocks. The Family lived happily ever after.


  • In one of Richard Scarry's versions of the story (adapted in 1975 for Richard Scarry's Animal Nursery Tales, he had previously adapted it in 1953 for a Little Golden Book), the wolf was supposed to eat the kids when he gets into their house. Instead, he puts them into a large sack and tries to take it back to his cave. While the wolf is napping the mother goat cuts the sack open and frees the kids. She then fills it with stones. When the wolf returns home and finds he's been tricked, in the book version, he merely packs his things and heads over to his mother's for supper and never returns. When the story was adapted by Golden Book Video in 1986 on the videocassette "3 Richard Scarry Tales," the ending was modified so after finding the stones, the wolf vows to return, but a police officer arrives to interrogate him about his earlier thieveries. He goes out to his well to ditch the stones, but ends up falling down the well with them. Notably, this same wolf appeared in Scarry's version of The Three Little Pigs as well.
  • There are three 1976 fairy tales and versions of the story, Die Geiß und die sieben Wölflein (English version as "The Goat and the Seven Young Wolves") by Iring Fetscher, in which a male goat assumes the role of the wolf, a mother wolf assumes the role of the mother goat, and the mother wolf's seven young wolf pups all assume the role of the seven young kids, Der Wolf und die sieben Geißlein (English version as "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids") by Rolf Krenzer, and Der Wolf und die sieben Geißlein (English version as "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids") by Doris Mühringer, which are part of the children's book Update on Rumpelstiltskin and other Fairy Tales by 43 Authors, which is compiled by Hans-Joachim Gelberg, illustrated by Willi Glasauer, and published by Beltz & Gelberg.
  • There is movie based on this fable[citation needed] called Rock'n'Roll Wolf in English, and "Ma-ma" in Russian and Romanian.
  • There is children's tabletop game based on this tale, The Uncatchables (Nicht zu fassen),[4] designed by Fréderic Moyersoen and originally published in Germany in a multilingual edition by Zoch Verlag in 2009.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jacob and Wilheim Grimm Household Tales. "The Wolf and the FIVE Young Kids". 
  2. ^ D. L. Ashliman, The Grimm Brothers' Children's and Household Tales"
  3. ^ D. L.Ashliman, The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids
  4. ^ "Nicht zu fassen German game description" (in German). Zoch Verlag. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  5. ^ "The Uncatchables English game rules" (PDF). Zoch. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 

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