Red Riding Hood

By James Christensen

There once was a girl named Red

And in the morning she got out of bed

This was not unusual in any way

But it only happened once a day.

 

One early morning she made to depart

Worried about her sick grandma’s heart

She packed a basket with every sort of goody

And donned her favorite scarlet hoodie.

 

Without a thought of any dangers

And without a warning of speaking to strangers

She skipped down the path and over the hill

To grandmothers house, full of good will.

 

Her happy mood soon turned to dismay

When while picking flowers she lost her way

The shadowy branches caused her fright

Until she caught a dim glimpse of a light.

 

Behind her as she wove through the trees

A wolf caught her scent on the breeze

He wanted to devour her as a snack

But this was too close to the woodcutters shack.

 

Desiring Red to believe him a friend

And go unknowing to her dreadful end

He called, “ Ahoy! Don’t go that way”

“Or with your life you surely will pay!”

 

“Good wolf sir, a question, what do you mean?”

“For I’m lost and following this light that I’ve seen”

The wolf replied with cunning intent

“I’ll explain just exactly what I meant!”

 

“The man who lives in said yonder shack,

Is dangerous and you would never come back.

He’d cut you in half and pull you apart

And then he’d grill and eat your heart.”

 

With horror she gasped, “What shall I do?”

“I must get to my grandma’s house by two!”

“If I don’t, she’ll be fast asleep till four

And I need her to come unlatch the door.”

 

The wolf sensed a chance to double his fare

Instead of just one, he’d get the pair.

“Never fear,” he said, “I know a way!”

“This shortcut will get you there by that time of day.”

 

Of course, the wolf was a cheater

He took the path that would beat her

His wicked teeth were gleaming

At the pleasure of his scheming.

 

He snickered and bellowed and cackled with glee

His intent to do mischief the whole forest could see

But there was one thing for which he was not prepared

He moved slower when hungry than Red did when scared.

 

The wolf arrived first, with little time to spare

He knocked on the door to grandmother’s lair

And with his sweetest voice called “Let me in, let me in”

“It’s your dear granddaughter, your favorite of kin.”

 

“Dear me,” gran replied, “I’m too sick, don’t you know?”

“You’ll have to climb in through the window.”

So the wolf opened the window so wide

That he could climb right up inside.

 

In with a bump, though not hardly bruised,

The wolf found the granny slightly confused

“I was only joking dear,

Now, won’t you fetch my here…”

 

Before he could devour her in three bites or four,

Another knock sounded at the door.

Said the lady, “Now who could that be?”

Thought the wolf, “I must not let her flee!”

 

With a kick and a shove she was under the bed

While the wolf pulled a blanket clear over his head.

He just had to trick the girl into getting near by,

No problem at all for one so cunning and sly.

 

“Granny, I’ve brought you some cakes and some pies”

(Though she failed to mention the pills slipped inside)

“Please open the door, and I think you should hurry

I’ve been lost and endangered and full of worry.”

 

Feigning the voice of a woman of ninety-four

The wolf told her he was too sick to answer the door.

“Just climb in the window like I did–

“I mean, with your pie, kid.

 

Red clambered in over the window sill

 

Not knowing the wolf was luring her in for the kill

But Grandmothers bed was really a sight

So Red suspected something was not right.

 

“Come to granny,” the wolf beckoned her in

The pillow hiding a wicked, hungry grin.

“But Grandma, what has happened to your hand?”

“It’s so big and furry! I just don’t understand!”

 

“Don’t stay away or think that I’m scary”

This horrible sickness makes me big and hairy

The swelling won’t go down no matter the drugs

But bigger hands just mean bigger hugs.

 

Red stepped closer and noticed an ear

Sticking out from the pillow, increasing her fear.

“Grandma, what big ears you’ve got!

That’s hardly something that I forgot.”

 

The wolf replied “They help me to hear,

No more need to repeat yourself, my dear.

Certain side affects of my ailment are handy,

Now come a little closer, and feed me some candy.”

 

As she drew a little closer to the clutch of the bedridden,

The wolf peered out from where he was hidden.

His beady eyes resembled hubcaps of a car

“But granny, how large your eyes are!”

 

“Come now, sweet little deary,

The better to see you and not get weary.

Gone are my glasses, perhaps under the bed,

But I no longer need them perched on my head.”

 

One step closer, and out from the sheath

of his lips drew a mouthful of teeth.

He didn’t care now if she saw remains of a pig

as she exclaimed “Your teeth are so big!”

 

“All the better to eat you!” he said,

As he threw off the blankets and leapt from the bed.

Doomed to a horrid fate, Red’s feet were frozen to the ground,

But her rescue arrived when they hear a knocking sound.

 

The woodcutter had heard the wolf laughing

and suspected some evil was hatching.

He followed a discreet distance behind

to foil the scheming of the wolf’s twisted mind.

 

“Who is it?” the wolf asked, his paw muting Red’s sound.

“Let me in, let me in, or I’ll break the door down!”

“That’s my line,” the wolf snarled, “Take it back, I demand

The woodcutter just squared his shoulders with axe in hand.

 

Suddenly, with a crash, a bang, and a smash

The door was reduced to a splintery hash.

The woodsman stepped in, his eyes dark and cold

Determined to finish the wolf-fiend of old.

 

The fight was gruesome but mercifully short;

The wolf called out insults and the woodcutters retort

Was as sharp as his blade for cutting down trees;

In minutes the wolf had been brought to his knees.

 

“Mercy! Mercy! I’ll never do it again!”

“I don’t trust you as far as I can throw a penguin!”

His axe rose high, the sentence to be enacted

For the sake of those reading, this line is redacted.

 

So in the end, everything turn out great.

Red learned her lesson, and grannies goodies were ate

Shared with the woodcutter, their new best friend,

And that, dear audience, is the end.

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