LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD
IN a great wide forest, full of beautiful trees, and
green glades, and thorny thickets,
Her real name was Maisie; but the neighbors round about
all called her "Little Red
She was a happy, merry little child, with a smile and a
gentle word for everybody, and so you may easily believe that everybody loved her, and was
glad to catch a glimpse of her golden curls and her scarlet cloak as she tripped along,
singing, under the green boughs.
Now, this, let me tell you before I forget, was at the
time when all the birds and beasts, or very nearly all, could speak just as well as you or
I; and nobody was surprised to hear them talk, 'as I suppose one would be nowadays.
Well, as I was saying, Little Red Riding-Hood lived with
her parents in a little white
It was on a bright spring morning early in May, when
little Red Riding-Hood had just
"Here's a to-do," she said. "Farmer Hodge
has this very minute told me that he hears your Grannie isn't quite well, and I can't
leave the cheese-making this morning for love or money! Do you go, my dear, and find out
how she is--and--stay--take her this little pot of sweet fresh butter, and these two
new-laid eggs, and these nice tasty little pasties. Maybe they'll tempt her to cat a bit.
Here's your basket, and don't be too
So little Red Riding-Hood pulled her hood over her curls,
and set off down the sunny green slope, with her basket in her hand, at a brisk pace. But
as she got deeper into the forest, she walked more slowly. Everything was so beautiful;
the great trees waved their huge arms over her, the birds were calling to one another from
the thorns all white with blossom, and the child began singing as she went, she could not
have told why, but I think it was because the beautiful world made her feel glad.
The path wound along through the trees, and, as it grew
wider after turning a corner, Red Riding-Hood saw that she was likely to have company on
her walk; for, where two cross-paths divided, there sat a big gray Wolf licking his long
paws, and looking sharply about him. And "Good morning, Red Riding-Hood," said
"Good morning, Mr. Wolf," she answered.
"And where may you be going, sweet lass ?" said
the Wolf, as he walked beside her.
"Oh, Grannie isn't very well, and mother cannot
leave the cheese-making this morning, and so I'm taking her some little dainties in my
basket, and I am to see how
"And," said the Wolf, "where does your
good Grannie live, little lady ?"
"Through the copse, and down the hollow, and over
the bridge, and three meadows
"Does she indeed?" cried he. "Why, then, I
do believe she is a very dear old friend
So the Wolf trotted off one way, and Red Riding-Hood went
the other; and I am sorry to say that she lingered and loitered more than she ought to
have done on the
Well, what with one thing and another, the sun was right
up in the very mid-most middle of the sky when she crossed the last meadow from the mill
and came in sight of
"Oh! dear, how I must have lingered !" said the
child, when she saw how high the sun had climbed since she set out on her journey; and,
pattering up the garden-path, she tapped at the cottage door.
"Who's there ?" said a very gruff kind of voice
"It's only I, Grannie dear, your little Red
Riding-Hood with some goodies for you in
"Then pull the bobbin," cried the voice,
"and the latch will go up."
"What a dreadful cold poor Grannie must have, to be
sure, to make her so hoarse,"
It seemed very dark in there after the bright sunlight
outside, and all Red Riding-Hood could see was that the window-curtains and the
bed-curtains were still drawn, and her grandmother seemed to be lying in bed with the
bed-clothes pulled almost over her head, and her great white-frilled nightcap nearly
hiding her face.
Now, you and I have guessed by this time, although poor
Red Riding-Hood never
And where was Grannie all this time, you will say ? Well,
we shall see presently.
"Come and sit down beside my bed, dearie,"
wheezed the Wolf, "and let us have a
"Oh!" said Red Riding-Hood, "what great
arms you have, Grannie !"
"All the better to hug you with," said the Wolf.
"And what great rough ears you have, Grannie!"
"All the better to hear you with, my little
"And your eyes, Grannie; what great yellow eyes you have!"
"All the better to see you with, my pet,"
grinned the Wolf.
"And oh! oh! Grannie," cried the child, in a
sad fright, "what great sharp teeth you
"All the better to eat you with!' growled the Wolf,
springing up suddenly at Red
"But where is Grannie?" asked Little Red
Riding-Hood, when she had thanked the
And she began to cry and sob bitterly-when, who should walk in but Grannie herself, as large as life, and as hearty as ever, with her marketing-basket on her arm! For it was another old dame in the village who was not very well, and Grannie had been down to visit her and give her some of her own famous herb-tea.
So everything turned out right in the end, and all lived happily ever after; but I promise you that little Red Riding-Hood never made friends with a Wolf again!
FROM THE BOOK:
<THE YOUNG FOLKS TREASURY>
THE UNIVERSITY SOCIETY INC. 1909