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NCE there was a little village maiden, the prettiest
ever seen. Her mother was foolishly fond of her, and her
grandmother likewise. The old woman made for her a
little hood, which became the damsel so well, that ever
after she went by the name of Little Red-Riding-Hood.
One day, when her mother was making cakes, she said,
"My child, you shall go and see your grandmother, for
I hear she is not well; and you shall take her some of
these cakes, and a pot of butter."
Little Red-Riding-Hood was delighted to go, though it
was a long walk; but she was a good child, and fond of
her kind grandmother. Passing through a wood, she met a
great wolf, who was most eager to eat her up, but dared
not, because of a woodcutter who was busy hard by. So
he only came and asked her politely where she was
going. The poor child, who did not know how dangerous
it is to stop and speak to wolves, replied, "I am going
to see my grandmother, and to take her a cake and a pot
of butter, which my mother has sent her."
"Is it very far from hence?" asked the wolf.
"Oh yes, it is just above the mill which you may see
up there—the first house you come to in the village."
 "Well," said the wolf, "I will go there also, to
inquire after your excellent grandmother; I will go one
way, and you the other, and we will see who can be
So he ran as fast as ever he could, taking the shortest
road, but the little maiden took the longest; for she
stopped to pluck roses in the wood, to chase
butterflies, and gather nosegays of the prettiest
flowers she could find—she was such a happy and
innocent little soul.
The wolf was not long in reaching the grandmother's
door. He knocked, Toc—toc, and the grandmother said,
"Who is there?"
"It is your child, Little Red-Riding-Hood," replied the
wicked beast, imitating the girl's voice; "I bring you
a cake and a pot of butter, which my mother has sent
The grandmother, who was ill in her bed, said, "Very
well, my dear, pull the string and the latch will
open." The wolf pulled the string—the door flew open;
he leaped in, fell upon the poor old woman, and ate her
up in less than no time, tough as she was, for he had
not tasted anything for more than three days. Then he
carefully shut the door, and laying himself down snugly
in the bed, waited for Little Red-Riding-Hood, who was
not long before she came and knocked, Toc—toc, at the
"Who is there?" said the wolf; and the little maiden,
hearing his gruff voice, felt sure that her poor
grandmother must have caught a bad cold and be very ill
So she answered cheerfully, "It is your child,
Red-Riding-Hood, who brings you a cake and a pot of
butter that my mother has sent you."
Then the wolf, softening his voice as much as he could,
said, "Pull the string, and the latch will open."
So Little Red-Riding-Hood pulled the string and the
door opened. The wolf, seeing her enter, hid himself as
much as he could under the coverlid of the bed, and
said in a whisper, "Put the cake and the pot of butter
on the shelf, and then make haste and come to bed, for
it is very late."
Little Red-Riding-Hood did not think so; but, to please
her grandmother, she undressed herself and began to get
ready for bed, when she was very much astonished to
find how different the old woman looked from ordinary.
"Grandmother, what great arms you have!"
"That is to hug you the better, my dear."
"Grandmother, what great ears you have!"
"That is to hear you the better, my dear."
"Grandmother, what great eyes you have!"
"That is to see you the better, my dear."
"Grandmother, what a great mouth you have!"
"That is to eat you up," cried the wicked wolf; and
immediately he fell upon poor Little Red-Riding-Hood,
and ate her up in a moment.