THE HISTORY OF LITTLE GOLDEN HOOD
OU know the tale of poor Little Red Riding Hood, that the
wolf deceived and devoured, with her cake, her little
butter can, and her grandmother; well, the true story
happened quite differently, as we know now. And first
of all, the little girl was called and is still called
Little Golden Hood; secondly, it was not she, nor the
good granddame, but the wicked wolf who was, in the
end, caught and devoured.
The story begins something like the tale.
There was once a little peasant girl, pretty and nice
as a star in its season. Her real name was Blanchette,
but she was more often called Little Golden Hood, on
account of a wonderful little cloak with a hood, gold
and fire colored, which she always had on. This little
hood was given her by her grandmother, who was so old
that she did not know her age; it ought to bring her
good luck, for it was made of a ray of sunshine, she
said. And as the good old woman was considered
something of a witch, everyone thought the little hood
rather bewitched too.
And so it was, as you will see.
One day the mother said to the child: "Let us see, my
little Golden Hood, if you know how to find your way by
yourself. You shall take this good piece of cake to
your grandmother for a Sunday treat to-morrow. You will
ask her how she is, and
 come back at once,
without stopping to chatter on the way with people you
don't know. Do you quite understand?"
"Yes, mother," replied Blanchette gayly. And off she
went with the cake, quite proud of her errand.
But the grandmother lived in another village and there
was a big wood to cross before getting there. At a turn
of the road under the trees, suddenly "Who goes there?"
He had seen the child start alone, and the villain was
waiting to devour her, when at the same moment he saw
some wood-cutters who might observe him, and he changed
his mind. Instead of falling upon Blanchette he came
frisking up to her like a good dog.
"T is you! my nice Little Golden Hood," said he. So the
little girl stops to talk with the wolf, who, for all
that, she did not know in the least.
"You know me, then!" said she; "what is your name?"
"My name is Friend Wolf. And where are you going thus,
my pretty one, with your little basket on your arm?"
"I am going to my grandmother, to take her a good piece
of cake for her Sunday treat to-morrow."
"And where does she live, your grandmother?"
"She lives at the other side of the wood, in the first
house in the village, near the windmill, you know."
"Ah! yes! I know now," said the wolf. "Well, that's
just where I'm going; I shall get there before you, no
doubt, with your little bits of legs, and I'll tell her
you're coming to see her; then she'll wait for you."
Thereupon the wolf cuts across the wood, and in five
minutes arrives at the grandmother's house.
He knocked at the door: toc, toc.
He knocks louder.
 Nobody answers.
Then he stands upon end, puts his two fore paws on the
latch, and the door opens.
Not a soul in the house.
The old woman had risen early to sell herbs in the
town, and she had gone off in such haste that she had
left her bed unmade, with her great night-cap on the
"Good!" says the wolf to himself, "I know what I'll
He shuts the door, pulls on the grandmother's night-cap
down to his eyes, then he lies down all his length in
the bed and draws the curtains.
In the meantime the good Blanchette went quietly on her
way, as little girls do, amusing herself here and there
by picking Easter daisies, watching the little birds
making their nests, and running after the butterflies
which fluttered in the sunshine.
At last she arrives at the door.
"Who is there?" says the wolf, softening his rough
voice as best he can.
"It's me, granny, your Little Golden Hood. I'm bringing
you a big piece of cake for your Sunday treat
"Press your finger on the latch, then push and the door
"Why, you've got a cold, granny," said she, coming in.
"Ahem! A little, my dear, a little," replied the wolf,
pretending to cough. "Shut the door well, my little
lamb. Put your basket on the table, and then take off
your frock and come and lie down by me; you shall rest
The good child undresses, but observe this: She kept
her little hood upon her head. When she saw what a
figure her granny cut in bed, the poor little thing was
"Oh!" cried she, "how like you are to Friend Wolf,
 "That's on account of my night-cap, child,"
replies the wolf.
"Oh! what hairy arms you've got, grandmother!"
"All the better to hug you, my child."
"Oh! what a big tongue you've got, grandmother!"
"All the better for answering, child."
"Oh! what a mouthful of great white teeth you have,
"That's for crunching little children with!" And the
wolf opened his jaws wide to swallow Blanchette.
But she put down her head crying:
"Mamma! mamma!" and the wolf only caught her little
Thereupon, oh, dear! oh, dear!" he draws back, crying
and shaking his jaw as if he had swallowed red-hot
It was the little fire-colored hood that had burnt his
tongue right down his throat.
The little hood, you see, was one of those magic caps
that they used to have in former times, in the stories,
for making one's self invisible or invulnerable.
So there was the wolf with his throat burned, jumping
off the bed and trying to find the door, howling and
howling as if all the dogs in the country were at his
Just at this moment the grandmother arrives, returning
from the town with her long sack empty on her shoulder.
"Ah, brigand!" she cries, "wait a bit!" Quickly she
opens her sack wide across the door, and the maddened
wolf springs in head downward.
It is he now that is caught, swallowed like a letter in
For the brave old dame shuts her sack, so; and she runs
and empties it in the well, where the vagabond, still
howling, tumbles in and is drowned.
"Ah, scoundrel! you thought you would crunch my little
grandchild! Well, to-morrow we will make her a muff of
 skin, and you yourself shall be crunched,
for we will give your carcass to the dogs."
Thereupon the grandmother hastened to dress poor
Blanchettte, who was still trembling with fear in the
"Well," she said to her, "without my little hood where
would you be now, darling?" And, to restore heart and
legs to the child, she made her eat a good piece of her
cake, and drink a good draught of wine, after which she
took her by the hand and led her back to the house.
And then, who was it scolded her when she knew all that
It was the mother.
But Blanchette promised over and over again that she
would never more stop to listen to a wolf, so that at
last the mother forgave her.
And Blanchette, the Little Golden Hood, kept her word.
And in fine weather she may still be seen in the fields
with her pretty little hood, the color of the sun.
But to see her you must rise early.