This story was adapted from a tale in Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Illustrator: Minh Nguyen
There was once a dear little girl who was loved by everyone, but most of all by her grandmother. Grannie gave the girl a little riding hood of red velvet, which suited her so well that she became known as ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’
One day, the girl’s mother said: “Your grandmother is unwell. Please take her some cake and wine. Be sure to stay on the path, walk straight there, and don’t dawdle!”
“Yes, Mother,” said Little Red Riding Hood.
The grandmother lived in the woods, not too far from the village. Just as Little Red Riding Hood entered the trees, a wolf met her. Not knowing what a wicked creature he was, Little Red Riding Hood was not worried.
“Good day, Little Red Riding Hood,” said the wolf. “Where are you going?”
“Good day to you, Wolf,” said the girl, politely. “I’m going to my grannie’s.”
“Where does she live?” asked the wolf.
The girl was happy to tell him. While the child chattered, the wolf devised a plan. “Look at those pretty flowers,” he told the girl. “And listen to the birds. Don’t you want to stop and play on such a lovely day? I’m sure your grandma would love a bouquet of wild flowers.”
Looking around, Little Red Riding Hood realised the wolf was right. She saw sunbeams dancing through the trees, and pretty flowers everywhere. So she ran off the path to look for wild blossoms. She found daisies and bluebells, getting further off track.
Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother’s house and knocked on the door.
Who’s there?” called the grandmother.
“Little Red Riding Hood,” replied the wolf. “I have cake and wine to make you feel better.”
“Lift the latch,” called the old woman. “I am too weak to get out of bed.” The wolf did as instructed, jumped through the door, and devoured the old lady. He then put on her night gown and cap, lay in her bed and closed the bed’s curtains.
Her arms full of flowers, Little Red Riding Hood finally remembered her duty and walked to her grandma’s cottage. She was surprised to find the door standing open. Entering the house, she felt uneasy. When she called out to her grandma, no one answered. The girl tiptoed into the room and drew back the bed’s curtains. Grannie was in bed, her cap pulled low over her face. She looked very odd.
“Oh, Grandmother,” said Little Red Riding Hood. “What big ears you have!”
“All the better to hear you with,” came the reply.
“But Grandmother, what big eyes you have!”
“All the better to see you with.”
“Grannie, what large hands you have!”
“All the better to hug you with.”
“Oh! Grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have!”
“All the better to eat you with!”
As soon as the wolf said this, he leapt out of bed and swallowed poor Red Riding Hood whole.
His belly full to bursting, the wolf went back to bed for a nap. He began to snore loudly.
Passing the cottage, a huntsman heard loud snoring. The sound was so strange he decided to go inside and check. Entering the room, he saw the wolf lying in the grandmother’s bed.
“I’ve hunted you for years!” said the huntsman. He raised his gun, ready to fire, when he had a thought – perhaps the wolf had eaten the old lady! If he sliced open the wolf’s belly, she might still be saved! He slashed the sleeping beast’s stomach.
He had made two cuts and saw a shine of red velvet. He made another two cuts and the girl sprang out, crying: “Oh! I’ve been so scared! It was so dark inside the wolf’s belly!”
After that, the aged grandmother came out, alive but shaken. Little Red Riding Hood quickly fetched some big stones. They put these in the sleeping wolf’s belly. When he awoke, he wanted to run away but the stones were too heavy. The wolf collapsed and fell dead.
The huntsman, the girl, and her grandmother were so happy! The huntsman skinned the wolf and took its fur. The grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine, which made her feel much better. And Little Red Riding Hood promised: “As long as I live, I will never leave the path to run into the woods, when my mother told me not to.”