Short Stories » Little Red Riding-Hood
Little Red Riding-Hood
THERE was once upon a time, a little country girl, the prettiest that was ever seen. Her mother was naturally very fond of the child, but her grandmother absolutely doated on her. The good old lady had a little riding-hood of red cloth made for her grand-daughter, which fitted so nicely that every body called her " Little Red Riding- Hood."
One day her mother having baked some cakes, said to her : "Go and see your grand-mother; I am told that she is not very well; and take with you a cake and this little pot of butter."
Little Red Riding- Hood immediately set out for her grandmother's cottage which was situated in a neighbouring village. As she was passing through a wood which was in her way, she met Master Wolf, who had a great desire to eat her ; but dared not, for fear of some wood-cutters who were in the forest. He asked her where she was going. The poor child, who did not know that it was very dangerous to stay and listen to a wolf, answered him : "I am going to see my grand-mother, to take her a cake and a little pot of butter from my mother." "Does she live very far from hence ?" said Master Wolf. " O yes," answered Little Red Riding-Hood; "on the other side of the mill you see yonder; it is the first house in the village." "Very well," said the Wolf, "I wish to see her also; so I will take this path, and do you take that, and we will see which of us shall be there first." With that, the Wolf set of as fast as he could run, by the shortest way, and the little girl went by the longest. As she went along, she amused herself with gathering nuts, chasing butterflies, and making nosegays of the little flowers that she met with. The Wolf was not long on his way to the grand-mother's house; he knocked, tap, tap, at the door. "Who is there?" said the grand-mother. "Your grand-daughter, Little Red Riding-Hood," said the Wolf, counterfeiting the tone of her voice, "who has brought you a cake and a little pot of butter which her mother has sent you." The good old lady, who was in bed, being rather unwell, called out : "Pull the string, and the latch will fly up." The Wolf pulled the string, and the door opened. He threw himself on the poor old woman, and devoured her in a minute, for he had been fasting for three whole days : he then shut the door and went into the grand-mother's bed, and awaited for Little Red Riding-Hood, who, after a short time, came up to the door and knockeji tap, tap, tap. "Who is there ?" said Master Wolf. Little Red Riding- Hood, on hearing the Wolf's hoarse voice, was frightened at first; but thinking that perhaps her grand-mother had a cold, she answered : "It is I, your grand- child Little Red Riding- Hood, who brings you a cake and a little pot of butter which my mother has sent you." The Wolf then called out, in a milder tone of voice : " Pull the string, and the latch will fly up." Little Red Riding-Hood pulled the string, and the door opened. When the Wolf saw her enter the cottage, he concealed his head under the bed clothes, and said : " Put the cake and the little pot of butter on the bench, and come to bed to me." Little Red Riding-Hood then undressed herself, and stepped into bed ; but was very much surprised at the strange appearance of her grand-mother in her bed-gown. She said to her therefore : "Grand-mother, what large arms you have!" "They are so much the better to embrace you with, my child." "Grand-mother, what long legs you have!" "They are so much the better to run with, my child." "Grand-mother, what long ears you have!" "They are the better adapted for hearing, my child." "Grand-mother what large eyes you have!" "They are so much the better to see with, my child." "But Grand-mother what large teeth you havef" "They are so much the better to eat you up with," and saying these words the wicked Wolf sprang upon Little Red Riding-Hood, and swallowed her in an instant.