I’ve been developing a story-book character set of people and animals. Red Riding Hood is needlessly violent and mean. I’ve reworked it with help from public domain images and text. Sort of like that Pride and Prejudice and Vampires. Except with no vampires and not a hint of Mr. Darcy.
In a little thatched cottage, by the side of a wood, Lived an young lass, Little Red Riding Hood.
You would scarce find her equal, the neighbors all tell; so kind and smart, so cheerful and well. The rippling brook, their water from far off mountains brought; and prattled of their summits in icy statues wrought.
For them, the squirrels hoarded their nuts in hollow trees; and pounds of sweetest honey were made them by the bees. To gather these together was work enough to do; Little Red Riding Hood thought so, and so, no doubt, would you.
Blushing beneath her fingers looked up the berries red; The flowers seemed to know her and listened for her tread. Smart, loving, and beautiful as good, with daily acts of kindness, Little Red Riding Hood.
One day this young lass, to her Grandma was sent, a nice pot of butter, for her to present. Along with a cheesecake, and a new loaf of bread, for Grandma was ill and confined to her bed.
Fatigued of rhyming, off our dear Red departed. The sky was clear and the weather fair as our maiden passed peaceful pastures where gentle cows grazed away the day. Red stopped to pick flowers to cheer her grandma. Bunnies hopped along, their noses twitching as they sniffed the flowers. With a choice clutch of primrose and marigolds Red skipped down the path.
Her path led through an ancient forest, its canopy thick. So thick that the bright sun light was dim in the forest. Our Red was nervous yes, but she was also a brave young girl and marched on. For she knew her grandmother was ill and depended upon our Red.
Ahead Little Red saw a figure, but in the dim light could not make be certain who it was. “Grandma? Grandma is that you?” The figure stepped closer and Red saw its big eyes. “Grandma?”
“No dear. I’m not your grandma, I’m a wolf.”
“Oh yes.” Red stopped walking. “I should have known by your big eyes.”
“Yes, I do have big eyes, to better see my children with.” The wolf looked nervously behind her.
“My grandma could use big eyes to see me better. She doesn’t see so well anymore.”
“That is ashame. I’m sorry, but I must be off now. Do look after yourself in these woods, it is not a safe place for young people.”
And in a flash the wolf was gone and Little Red was again alone in the forest. She was a little scared, but continued on. She walked for a time, all the while the forest grew darker, and then another figure appeared. Hesitantly Little Red called out, “Hello, who’s there?” Then wishfully added. “Grandma?”
“No,” called the figure, “it is I, the wolf again.”
“Oh yes of course.” Little Red stopped. “Your ears are much too big.”
“Yes to better hear my children with. I can hear them playing far away. They’re playing quite a distance from us, but my sharp ears can hear them.”
“Oh.” Quietly. “My grandma has much trouble hearing me.”
“Dear, are you all right? I could walk with you to your grandmothers. I mean you no harm. I will again.”
Brave Little Red straightened her back. “Thank you, but I am fine. I have made this journey before.”
“Well, do take care then.” And off the wolf went.
Without incident Red emerged on the other side of the forest to a considerably brighter sky. Less than a mile ahead was her grandmother’s cozy cottage. Feeling quite happy she skipped along the path.
And just around the bend Red saw her grandma’s home, but our brave helper felt someone watching her.
From the bushes perhaps? She stopped, looked, and saw great teeth. “Who, who’s there?”
From the bushes emerged a panting figure, mouth open, and teeth showing – the wolf. “Oh, little dear I’m sorry to startle you again. But I worry. It’s my nature. When I saw you walking alone.” She stopped to catch her breath. “I’ve been running back and forth between you and my children to keep a watch over you both. I only wanted to see you safely to your grandmother’s door. I didn’t want to surprise you again.”
“That is so kind of you. I can see my grandma’s door from here. Perhaps when I make this journey again, you could walk with me and I could meet your children.”
“Yes, what a marvelous idea! I shall look for you, if you will do the same.” Red smiled. “If you’ll excuse me, my ears hear my children calling for me.”
“Certainly.” And off the wolf went.
Little Red soon thereafter had tea with her grandma and relayed the tale of her most exciting journey through the woods.