Literature / Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf

Written in 1955 by English author Catherine Storr, Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf is a collection of short children's stories focusing on the adventures of a bright young girl named Polly and a dim-witted wolf with his heart set on eating her. Most of the stories follow a similar formula: The Wolf, inspired by a fairy story or folk tale, will hatch an overly complicated plan to catch Polly. Inevitably, Polly will already be familiar with the story and foil The Wolf's plan through the use of logic and by reminding him that they don't live in a storybook.

Tropes Appearing in Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: Polly
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Like Each Other: Despite The Wolf's desire to kill and eat Polly, she doesn't seem to mind having him around. In "The Wolf in the Zoo", she even helps him to escape captivity despite the fact that he tells her he "might or might not" try to kill her again the moment he gets out.
  • Civilized Animal: The Wolf. He has an appreciation for fine cuisine. Helped by Derek Griffiths' portrayal of him in the audio recording.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In "The Seventh Little Kid", The Wolf attempts to trick Polly into thinking he is her mother by wearing white gloves and holding a plum stone in his mouth to make his voice higher.
  • Stock Animal Diet: Played mostly straight, as The Wolf is dead set on eating Polly and other children. Averted in a few stories such as "The Wolf in the Zoo", when Polly brings him a Cornish pasty and a stick of rock candy, and "In the Wolf's Kitchen", wherein she cooks a variety of meals which he thoroughly enjoys.
  • Villain Episode: The prologue of "Polly and the Wolf, Again"
  • Why Don't You Just Eat Her? - The wolf keeps coming up with elaborate plans to catch Polly, from disgusing himself as the postman to playing a game of 'touch wood' with her (so long as she's touching the trees she's safe.) One wonders why he didn't merely grab her and eat her.
  • You Can See Me?: "The Visible Wolf"