It’s Mother’s Day in the UK today so I thought I’d share this little tale I wrote for my mother’s birthday last year.
Little Red Riding Hood (Granny’s Version)
Once upon a time there was a fairytale with a fundamental flaw.
It’s true that Red Riding Hood met a big, bad wolf in the forest, and it’s true that she gave the wolf Granny’s address. It’s also true that Granny was in bed, but she wasn’t ill, she’d just knocked back one too many the night before and was taking it easy, listening to Radio 4 and enjoying the peace and quiet. Everyone knew about Granny’s penchant for strong Martinis.
When the wolf knocked at Granny’s door, she wasn’t fooled for a second. She grinned and sprang into action. It was perfect timing, too, since she’d been looking for a wolf skull to add to her collection. The last time a wolf had tried his luck she’d been a little heavy handed with the hammer, although she’d got a nice pelt out of it. This time she’d be more careful.
Poor Mr Wolf didn’t stand a chance.
So what about the rest of the story? Well, Red Riding Hood still had to be taught a lesson about talking to strangers, didn’t she? And what better way to drum the message home than to scare her witless.
So you see, it wasn’t the wolf that dressed as Granny, but Granny that dressed as the wolf dressed as Granny, if you see what I mean. Not the actual wolf who’d just come knocking at the door, of course – he was still a little fresh – so she fetched the skin she’d prepared earlier and slipped on her caftan over the top of the soft furry pelt.
Red Riding Hood was utterly convinced by Granny’s ruse, and screamed her little red heart out when Granny leapt out of bed dressed as the big bad wolf.
Everything went swimmingly until the woodcutter turned up, unannounced and surplus to requirements. With the woodcutter’s axe about to split her open, quick-thinking Granny whipped off the wolf-pelt and showed him her assets, proving how thoroughly unwolflike she really was.
And in true fairytale fashion, they all lived happily ever after.
Of course, Red chose to recount a slightly different version of events, one that didn’t make her out to be quite such a gullible fool. But we can’t really blame her for that. And the woodcutter? Granny won’t tell, but rumour has it that he stayed for supper.
And for breakfast too.