By Grimm Brothers
Once upon a time, in a small village in a land not that far away, there lived a very sweet little girl, with her mother and father. Her grandmother lived about half an hour’s walk away, outside the village, in a clearing in the forest that covered the whole area. The grandmother as especially fond of the little girl, and she had made her a cute little red hat, out of velvet. The girl loved that hat so much that she wore it all hours of the day and night, and so people had started calling her Little Red Cap.
The grandmother was getting very old, and she had become bedridden and infirm. One day Little Re Cap’s mother called her over, and gave her a parcel to take to her grandmother. There is some meat here, and a bottle of wine, which will no doubt cheer her up no end. Now be nice and polite when you get there, say, Good morning, Grandmother when you come in, and don’t go snooping about the place, upsetting her. Go straight there, and don’t linger on the path through the forest, make sure you don’t run and skip, and don’t drop the bottle. Have you got all that?” Little Red Cap assured her mother that she understood perfectly, and would do everything just as mother told her to.
So off she went, down the village lane, toward the track through the wood leading to her grandmother’s house. After she had gone some distance, she heard a rustling in the undergrowth and there appeared before her the wolf. Now this wolf was not a very nice creature, but Little Red Cap, being young and naïve, always assumed everybody she met was just as nice, sweet and honest as she was, so she stopped and greeted the wolf in her usual friendly way.
“Good morning, Wolf”, she said.
“Good morning, replied the wolf. You are looking very dainty today. Where would you be going so early in the morning?”
“I’m on my way to see my grandmother, replied Little Red Cap.
“your grandmother indeed, said the wolf. And what is that you are carrying I that little basket? Some nice presents for your grannie, I guess?”
That’s right, said Little Red Cap. My mother roasted some nice beef yesterday, so that my grandmother might have something nourishing, and I have some wine to lift her spirits. She has not been very well, recently, she added.
And where does this grandmother of yours live? Asked wolf.
Little Red cap gave a detailed description of where grandmother’s house was, down the track a while longer, near some oak trees, and behind some bushes, with a brightly painted front door. A little crooked chimney and a thatched straw roof. “you can’t miss it!”
Now you may not know this, because in the times that we live we don’t really encounter many wolves when we go for walks, but in those days, wolves were notorious for their ginormous appetites, and they were as likely to gobble up a few chickens as a small human being. So this wolf was eying up Little Red Cap, and thinking about her grannie at the same time, working out the best way to make sure he could have them both. He sauntered along the path a little, keeping up with Little Red Cap, and then he spoke again; “You see how beautiful this place is, with all the beautiful wild flowers growing amongst the tree trunks and the bushes. Why don’t you have a little look around, and pick some of the flowers for your grannie, then she will not only have something nice to eat and drink, but she will have something nice to look at as well!” Little Red Cap forgot all her mother had told her about not lingering on the path, and she walked into the woods, amongst the trees, and started picking some of the delightful wild flowers that grew there in such abundance.
Our friend wolf, in the meantime had rushed as fast as he could to grannie’s cottage which he found without any difficulty at all. He knocked on the door, and heard grannie’s weak voice call out: “Who’s there?”
“it is I, Little Red Cap, I’ve brought you some meat and wine from my mother. Please open the door for me, grannie”, replied Wolf, making his voice sound as high pitched as he could to deceive the poor grandmother. “Just push up the latch, called grannie, I’m so weak I just can’t get out of my bed!”
So the wolf lifted the latch, threw open the door, and rushed to the bedroom, where he jumped on the bed, and without any further ado, gobbled up the poor grandmother. He then put her cap on his head, and got into her bed, covering himself as much as he could with the bedsheets. There he waited.
He did not have to wait all that long before Little Red Cap appeared outside the cottage. She had collected a nice little bunch of wild flowers and was looking forward to see her grannie’s eyes light up. She was a little surprised to see the front door wide open, she thought that perhaps grandmother had felt a bit better and had been up and about. She stepped into the room, and she thought there was a slightly odd smell about, but she shook off this feeling and called out to her grannie: “Good morning, grannie! Where are you?”
She heard some grumbling coming from the bedroom, so she walked inside there. It was quite dark in the room, as the curtains were still drawn, so she walked across, and opened the curtains and a window, to let in some fresh air. Then she turned toward the bed, where she saw what she thought was her grandmother lying down, her covers almost covering her whole face. She could see her ears and her eyes, both looked much larger than she remembered.
“Oh grandmother, said Little Red Cap, what great ears you have!”
That’s so I can hear you better, answered wolf.
“And what great eyes you have, grannie!”
“That’s so I can see you properly!” answered wolf, keeping his mouth covered.
“And what great hands you have, grannie!” exclaimed Little Red Cap.
“That’s so I can lift you up!” said wolf.
“But grannie, what great teeth you have!”
“That’s the better to eat you with”, shouted wolf, and he immediately threw aside the bed covers, and jumped out of bed to gobble up poor Little Red Cap.
Having now feasted on both the grannie and her little gran daughter, wolf felt particularly satisfied, and he decided he might as well enjoy the home comforts of grannie’s cottage a little longer, and spread himself on the bed. Before long he was fast asleep, emitting very loud snoring noises. Just then, a huntsman passed by the cottage, and he heard the strange noise coming from the bedroom window. His curiosity awakened, he decided to check out the source of this noise, and looked into the window. He immediately recognised the wolf he’d been hunting now for a number of weeks, and cocking his rifle, he stepped into the cottage and made his way to the bedroom. Taking careful aim, he shot the wolf dead.