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The Book of Fables and Folk Stories by  Horace E. Scudder

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LITTLE RED-RIDING-HOOD

[1] ONCE upon a time there lived in a certain village a little girl. Her mother was very fond of her, and her grandmother loved her even more. This good old woman made for her a red cloak, which suited the child so well that ever after she was called Little Red-Riding-Hood. One day her mother made some cakes, and said to Little Red-Riding-Hood:—

"Go, my dear, and see how grandmother does, [2] for I hear that she has been very ill. Carry her a cake and a little pot of butter."

Little Red-Riding-Hood set out at once to go to her grandmother, who lived in another village. As she was going through the wood she met a large Wolf. He had a very great mind to eat her up; but he dared not, for there were some wood-choppers near by. So he asked her:—

"Where are you going, little girl?" The poor child did not know that it was dangerous to stop and talk with the Wolf, and she said:—

"I am going to see my grandmother, and carry her a cake and a little pot of butter from my mother."

"Does she live far off?" asked the Wolf.

"Oh, yes. It is beyond that mill, at the first house in the village."

"Well," said the Wolf, "I will go and see her, too. I will go this way; do you go that, and we will see who will be there soonest."

At this the Wolf began to run as fast as he could, taking the nearest way, and Little Red-Riding-Hood went by the farthest. She stopped often to chase a butterfly, or pluck a flower, and so she was a good while on the way. The Wolf was soon at the old woman's house, and knocked at the door—tap, tap!

[3] "Who is there?"

"Your grandchild, Little Red-Riding-Hood," replied the Wolf, changing his voice. "I have brought you a cake and a pot of butter from mother." The good grandmother, who was ill in bed, called out:—

"Pull the string, and the latch will go up."

The Wolf pulled the string, and the latch went up. The door opened, and he jumped in, and fell upon the old woman, and ate her up in less than no time, for he had not tasted food for three days. He then shut the door, and got into the grandmother's bed. By and by, Little Red-Riding-Hood came and knocked at the door—tap, tap!

"Who is there?"

Little Red-Riding-Hood heard the big voice of the Wolf, and at first she was afraid. Then she thought her grandmother must have a bad cold, so she answered:—

"Little Red-Riding-Hood. I have brought you a cake and a pot of butter from mother." The Wolf softened his voice as much as he could, and called out:—

"Pull the string, and the latch will go up."

Little Red-Riding-Hood pulled the string, and the latch went up, and the door opened. The [4] Wolf was hiding under the bedclothes and called out in a muffled voice:—

"Put the cake and the pot of butter on the shelf, and come to bed."

Little Red-Riding-Hood made ready for bed. Then she looked with wonder at her grandmother, who had changed so much, and she said:—

"Grandmother, what great arms you have!"

"The better to hug you, my dear."

"Grandmother, what great ears you have!"

"The better to hear you, my dear."

"Grandmother, what great eyes you have!"

"The better to see you, my dear."

"Grandmother, what great teeth you have!"

"The better to eat you."

And at this the wicked Wolf sprang up and fell upon poor Little Red-Riding-Hood and ate her all up.


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