The Scarlet Cloak

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Story of Little Red Riding Hood...with a twist.

Submitted: February 06, 2009

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Submitted: February 06, 2009



The Scarlet Cloak
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 over again.
“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 finally managed.
“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 for flowers.
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 savage animal.”
“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 flowers.
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 out here?
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 her!
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 his promise.
“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 door.
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 work.
“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 creature.”
“Will the King accept me in his hunt you think?”
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 captured.”
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 Scarlet cloaks.” 

© Copyright 2017 Kyelynn Clare. All rights reserved.

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