This week we’re taking a look between the lines at another great fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood. I’m very happy to have the heroine of this enchanting story here with me today. I’m talking of course about Red Riding Hood. Let’s see if she has any interesting information to share about her remarkable adventures.
Greg: First of all, I want to thank you for taking some time out to talk with us for a little bit. As you look back upon your adventure, what’s the biggest thing that jumps out in your memory?
Red Riding Hood: Thank you for inviting me. Why, what a big house you have! But I’m sorry. You asked me what stood out about my adventure. Why, the wolf of course. He was such a big, nasty, awful brute. I don’t ever want to meet someone like him ever again.
Greg: I should say not! How did you first meet this wolf? I would think that could not have been a pleasant experience.
Red Riding Hood: It started when I decided to bring my poor little old grandmother something nice for her midafternoon snack. Granny wasn’t feeling at all well and I wanted to do something to cheer her up, the poor dear. So, I packed a basket filled with some goodies—banana bread, grape juice and a small bottle of wine. Granny takes wine of an evening—strictly for medicinal purposes of course.
Greg: Of course. Well, that’s a very nice thing for a grand-daughter to do. How does the wolf enter into this?
Red Riding Hood: You see, my gran lives in the prettiest little cottage nestled in the center of Rootrot Forest. It’s very pretty, but unfortunately the neighborhood’s gone downhill. My daddy has been trying to get her out of there for ages, but she simply does not want to budge—stubborn old thing.
I was walking along the path. My mama told me to stay on the path, you see—better safe than sorry. As I was walking, I could swear I heard noises coming from the forest, almost as if someone were following me. I thought it was just my mind playing tricks on me, so I kept following the path. Suddenly, what should I see up ahead but a large wolf standing right in the middle of the path, blocking my way.
Greg: Oh dear. What did you do?
Red Riding Hood: Well, my mama didn’t raise any shrinking violet, but she also didn’t raise a fool. I approached the wolf cautiously wondering how I could get around him when all of a sudden, he up and spoke.
“Where are you going little girl?” he asked.
“Oh nowhere of any importance,” I said. “I’m just going to visit my grandmother and give her a basket of goodies.”
Well, his big eyes got all sparkly when I mentioned the goodies. He seemed to be quite hungry. I suppose I could have offered him something, but I was told never to feed the animals in the zoo, and I thought this might be like that. His manner became very brisk and he took his leave hurriedly, but not before suggesting a spot where I might pick some flowers to bring to granny.
Greg: Hmmmm, that’s strange. What did you do?
Red Riding Hood: I went to the spot and picked some flowers. Gran loves flowers. They were quite lovely, too. I thought it was worth the delay. I hurried on my way and arrived at granny’s cottage before dark.
The front door was ajar, which I thought was kind of strange. But when I went inside, nothing seemed to be out of place. Granny was in the bed, and I have to say that she did not look at all well. Her nose was swollen and hairy and her big eyes bulged with a hungry look. She was drooling all over her huge false teeth and she licked her lips with a giant pink tongue. She was in a bad way, I can tell you.
I told her she did not look at all well and outlined each of the areas I just mentioned. She replied in a voice that did not sound like granny’s but was vaguely familiar. It was deeper, for one thing and kind of snarly. Then, almost before I could think, do you know what happened?
Greg: No, but I could guess.
Red Riding Hood: Granny jumped out of bed and out of her nightgown. But it wasn’t granny at all, it was the wolf! Yes, a wolf in grandmother’s clothing! I was terrified out of my mind, and I let out a big scream. The wolf rushed at me and I knew he meant to eat me.
Greg: What happened?
Red Riding Hood: Luckily, I was prepared. Like I said before, my mama didn’t raise a fool. I reached into the basket of goodies and pulled out the spray bottle of mace that I kept there for emergencies. Granny does live in a bad neighborhood, after all.
That big, bad wolf did not appreciate being sprayed in the face with mace, and he took of out of granny’s cottage so fast, his tail hardly had time to catch up with him.
Greg: What a relief! I’m glad you were okay. However, there’s one point that I’m hoping you can clear up. I’ve heard accounts that say the wolf ate your grandmother, and others that say he only locked her in a closet. Which are true?
Red Riding Hood: To be totally honest, neither. It’s all a little bit embarrassing, but you see granny was away that week at her timeshare in Aruba. I had totally forgotten that she spends the first week of every March there. So you see, this whole nasty business was really all for nothing.
I felt a little bad for the wolf. I sent him a basket of goodies to try and make it up to him, but for some reason her returned it unopened. I suppose he’d lost his appetite!