The muffins were ruined, the pastries
were soggy, and mother's sweet butter nut cookies lay scattered
all over the ground. Red sat in a puddle of her own tears as she
surveyed the mess. Gone! All Mother's hard work! She watched the
thirsty ground suck up the remainder of the tomato soup from an
overturned pot. What was she going to do now?
"What ever is the matter, my Sweet?" a
soft silky voice asked.
Red stood up and wiped away tears with
the corner of her read cloak. She turned a small circle, looking
for the source of the voice. "I tripped over a root and all my
mother's fine work went to the ants." She replied, stifling the
lump in her throat that threaded to rise and make her cry all
"Oh, what a shame." The soothing voice
came again, closer this time. "May I ask who all these fine
treats were for?"
Now Red knew that she was not supposed
to talk to strangers, especially strangers she couldn't see, but
the voice sounded nice. Maybe it belonged to the kind wood cutter
she'd seen a few days ago. With this in mind, Red answered, "They
were going to my grandmother who lives on the other side of the
woods. She's not feeling well, so mother made her a basket of
treats to cheer her up. But now that it's all over the ground, I
have no idea what I should do."
The bushes behind her rustled,
revealing the head of a rather large wolf. "Oh dear, now that is
a problem." The wolf cooed, trotting around her in circles. "If
you would be so kind as to look past my appearances, I might have
a suggestion for you."
Red gulped, catching a glint in the
wolf's golden eyes. Was he hungry? The wolf stopped circling and
sat a few feet in front of her, waiting for an answer.
"What would you suggest I do?" Red
"Pick up the remainder of that broken
pot and then go off into the woods and pick a bouquet of flowers,
grandmothers love flowers. It should cheer her up just as much as
the spoiled goodies would have." He bent his head and snatched up
a muffin. "I wish you luck. Oh, if you chance to run across a
cottage in the middle of the woods, avoid it. It is the home of
some rather bad tempered bears who hate to miss a meal." Without
a good-bye, the wolf sauntered off in a manner that quite matched
his polished tongue.
Red wasted no time in picking up the
broken bits of crockery and stuffing them into her basket. She
wanted to be gone incase the wolf decided the muffin hadn't been
enough to fill him. She skipped off the path and began to search
The ridge came up with no warning and
Little Red found herself tumbling head over heels into the
ravine. She cried out as she fell and closed her eyes. Suddenly,
something caught her cloak and began pulling her back up.
"Honestly," The wolf sighed, for it
was he who had saved her, "Children ought to learn better than to
woolgather in the middle of a forest."
Red said nothing, finding his jaws
uncomfortably close to her face.
"There are, my sweet Little Red Riding
Hood, flowers to the west of here. I could show them too you if
you wish. I'd hate to see such a sweet child get eaten by a
"That would be most kind." Red sighed,
relieved that the wolf was not going to eat her. Yet. She got to
her feet and timidly followed the shiny grey pelt as it wandered
off into the trees.
The wolf had spoken truly. Goldenrod and Queen Ann's
Lace grew abundantly in a small clearing with other red and blue
flowers Red had no name for. She gave a little cry of delight as
she fell to her knees and began to pick handfuls of the beautiful
She had momentarily forgotten about the wolf and was
alarmed when his voice whispered at her elbow, "You better get
moving before the sun goes down." His teeth were a dazzling white
and they looked horribly sharp. Why had she followed this creature
The wolf didn't pay attention to the rapid beating
of her heart. He simply looked into her face with those golden eyes
and said that he could take her to her grandmother if she wished.
Red had no idea where she was, she had no choice but to follow him.
Although she feared that he wouldn't take her to her grandmother's
house at all, but instead drag her to his cave and then eat
With each step she took, dread filled her heart. It
was getting quite dark. She was relieved when she saw the
flickering lights of her grandmother's cottage. The wolf had kept
"Oh wolf!" Red cried, "Thank you so much for
bringing me here."
"It was my pleaser, the wolf replied. "I have a soft
spot for children and I enjoy their company."
"Would you like to stay for dinner? I'm sure
grandmother wouldn't mind your company. It would mean so much to me
to be able to thank you."
Now the wolf loved sweets, so he accepted her offer.
The walked down the hill side by side and Red knocked on the
The door opened violently and a net was tossed over
the wolf's shiny back. He struggled and tore at the net with his
teeth, but he only managed to further entangle himself. The
grandmother and the woodcutter stepped out to survey their
"Oh Little Red," The wolf pleaded. "Please explain
this miss hap and get me out of this net."
The eyes of the little girl, so milky and blue
before, were now steely and cold. "I think not." She said coldly.
She looked up at the woodcutter expectantly.
"Congratulations, Red." He said, patting her on the
shoulder. "You've managed to capture your first fairytale
"Will the King accept me in his hunt you
The woodcutter laughed., "With you on the job, we
shall have empted the forest of fairytale creatures by autumn."
The wolf looked disbelievingly at the humans.
"What?" He cried.
"You've been played." Red sneered. "All of it, this
whole day was a trap set for you. The king does not like fairytale
creatures and I was sent to track you down."
"But," the wolf protested. "You were so innocent
looking and your fear and sadness, I could smell it!" The wood
cutter tied the dazed wolf's paws together with a thick rope,
causing the poor creature yelp in pain.
"It was all an act, dear wolf." Red said with a
curtsey, "You should know better than to talk to little girls in
Scarlet cloaks." With that, she turned her back on him and walked
into the house. Before the door closed, she said, "Oh, and thank
you so much for letting me know the whereabouts of the three bears.
The Princess, Goldie Locks will be most happy to see them
The wolf hung his head. He had been deceived. He,
the wolf, the legend, had been duped and betrayed by a little girl
in a scarlet cloak.
The wolf, my friends, escaped with the help of a
little field mouse who chewed through the ropes that held him. He
and the mouse went to worn the Three Bears and continued on to
worn the rest of the fairytale creatures that the king was set on
capturing them. They all went into hiding until the king gave up
his search for them. To this day, the fairytale creatures still
live in the forest, avoiding humans whenever possible.
As for the girl with the scarlet cloak, when she
discovered her catch had gone missing, she was afraid. For real
this time. During the rest of her days, Red woke in the middle of
the night screaming from nightmares about the wolf coming back for
revenge. She moved to the castle and stayed there, never again
wandering into the woods.
The wolf did not hold a grudge against Red as she
had thought. He was content to stay in the forest, dropping in on
the Three Bears every now and then. He even met a few human
children who squealed with delight when he showed them the patch of
flowers. However, he always steered clear of humans wearing the
color red. For you see, the wolf took Red's last words to him to
heart. "You should know better than to talk to little girls in