I’ve cheated again and given you a digital drawing instead of a “real” one. This is, however, what’s been occupying most of my time for the past few days … also, I had planned to post a mongoose and bee-eater I’d drawn but I forgot to photograph them. The bee-eater went to a co-worker who of late has been oddly plagued by bees and their kin (I’m not helping by having my office supplies in a mug with bees on it, right next to her desk). The mongoose went to another desk, for someone who was similarly inundated with spiders (I couldn’t think of any analogous dedicated spider-eaters, and mongooses have the added benefit of being non-picky invertebrate-gobblers and great with snakes to boot).
Oh right, I should explain the drawing that’s actually here.
I was basically thinking of variants on “hood” for a cobra drawing, and then I discovered that cobras come in red. Fantastic news as that is in its own right (it’s a lovely color), it was also quite helpful for the “red riding hood” angle. There’s some artistic license going on here, obviously, but the inspiration is the Red Spitting Cobra, Naja pallida. They do not typically live in the woods (or inhabit picnic baskets, or have any way to move a picnic basket while sitting in it), but see previous sentence. To be fair, Little Red Riding Hood didn’t typically live in the woods either, and there are definitely some weird plot holes in that story.
I had the design thought up most of the way before I even found what manner of cobra I was dealing with — knowing that it’s a species that spits at its assailants makes this picture so much better, in my opinion. Regular cobra, you’re looking at a wolf that freaked out and ran because he wasn’t quite charmed to meet a snake in a basket. Spitting cobra? That’s right, Little Red Hood decided to spit in Big Bad’s eye and sent him scrambling. I’m not sure I quite succeeded in telling the wolf’s side of the story with the transition from walking to running prints (I’m rubbish at drawing animal tracks), but showing him running off in the distance seemed — much as Gary Larson fretted with that “Dog Threat Letters” comic — a little redundant since the prints are there.
I overthink these things, I know. But hey — somebody has to. Right? No? Oh well, that’s never stopped me.