LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD
 In the long ago days, when there were so many wild beasts
prowling about the forests that no one was surprised to meet
a wolf or a bear at any moment, there lived a little girl
called Red Riding-Hood. This was not her real name, but
every one called her that, because she wore a red cloak and
hood which her kind grandmother had made for her.
Red Riding-Hood lived with her mother in a cottage quite
close to a wood, and her father, who was a wood-cutter, went
every day into the forest to cut down trees. Now the kind
grandmother, who had given little Red Riding-Hood the
scarlet cloak, lived all by herself in a dear little cottage
all covered with roses, further off in the wood, and there
was nothing Red Riding-Hood loved better than going to see
So one day when she had been a very
 good child her mother
said to her: "You shall have a holiday to-day, my dear, and
go to visit your grandmother. See, I have put a little pot
of honey and a pat of butter in this basket, and two fresh
eggs for tea. Carry them carefully, and do not loiter on the
Red Riding-Hood promised to carry the basket most carefully,
and to go straight to the cottage; so her mother tied on her
little red hood and kissed her good-bye, and off she went.
At first she walked very properly and carried the basket
most carefully, but when she got into the wood her feet
began to dance a little, and she longed to put down the
basket and pick the flowers that smiled up at her, and to
chase the sunbeams that danced across her path.
Just then a great grey Wolf came loitering along the path,
and seeing Little Red Riding-Hood he stopped to speak to her.
"Good-morning," he said; "where are you going to this fine
"Good-morning, Mr. Wolf," said Red
 Riding-Hood, politely
dropping a curtsey. "I am going to see my grandmother, to
take her a pot of honey and some butter and eggs."
"And where does your grandmother live, my dear?" asked the
Wolf in his sweetest voice.
"She lives all by herself in a little cottage covered with
roses not far from here," answered Red Riding-Hood; "you
take the second turning to the right and the first to the
left, and there you see the cottage."
"And when you arrive at the cottage,
how do you get in?" asked the Wolf.
"Oh, I just tap at the door," said Red Riding-Hood, "and
then grandmother says, "Lift the latch and come in."
"Well," said the Wolf, "it does seem a shame that you must
walk so slowly and carefully. Why don't you put down your
basket and gather a bunch of flowers for your kind old
grandmother? You can do that easily before tea-time."
Then the Wolf trotted off, and Red Riding Hood thought it
was a very good idea to gather some flowers for her
 So she put down her basket, and quite forgot that she had
promised her mother not to loiter, as she wandered further
and further away from the path.
Now as soon as that wicked old Wolf was out of Red
Riding-Hood's sight, he turned round and went back by
another way as fast as he could.
"The second turning to the right and then the first to the
left," he said to himself. "Aha! I shall gobble up the old
grandmother first, and then have Red Riding-Hood for
And in a few minutes he came in sight of the little cottage
covered with roses, and going up to the door he tapped as
gently as he could.
"Lift up the latch and come in," cried an old voice from
So the Wolf lifted the latch, and the door flew open and in
he rushed and gobbled up the poor old grandmother at one
mouthful. Then he took one of her big frilled nightcaps out
of a drawer, and tied it on his sinful, old, grey head and
jumped into bed, taking care to pull the clothes well up
under his chin.
He had not long to wait, for by this time Red Riding-Hood
had picked enough flowers and came running quickly to the
cottage to make up for lost time.
"May I come in, dear grandmother?" she cried as she tapped
at the door.
"Lift the latch and come in," said the Wolf in his softest
voice. But his softest voice was nothing but a growl, and
Red Riding-Hood looked quite anxious when she walked in.
"I have brought you a pot of honey and a pat of butter and
two fresh eggs," she said as she put the basket on the
table; "but grandmother, how strange your voice sounds, and
why are you in bed?"
"I have a cold on my chest," answered the Wolf. "Come here,
my dear, and sit on my bed."
Then Red Riding-Hood came to the foot of the bed, and her
eyes grew rounder and rounder with surprise.
"Grandmother, grandmother, what great eyes you've got!" she
said as she saw the hungry gleam in the Wolf's eyes.
"Grandmother, grandmother, what great eyes you've got"
 "All the better to see you with, my dear," answered the
"But grandmother, grandmother,
what great ears you've got!"
"All the better to hear you with, my dear."
"But, O grandmother, grandmother, what great teeth you've
"All the better to eat you up with, my dear." And the old
Wolf threw off the bedclothes, and with one bound sprang at
Little Red Riding-Hood. She turned and ran screaming to the
door, but the Wolf was after her, and had just caught her
little red cloak in his mouth when the door burst open, and
Red Riding-Hood's own dear father came rushing in. He lifted
his axe, and with one blow struck the wicked old Wolf dead,
and then caught up Red Riding-Hood in his arms.
"Oh, I think he must have eaten up poor dear
grandmother," sobbed Red Riding Hood.
"We'll soon see if he has," said her father, and took out
his knife. Then he carefully ripped the old Wolf up, and
there was the
 old grandmother safe and sound, for the Wolf
had swallowed her so hastily that his great teeth had not
So they boiled the kettle and had tea together, and ate up
the honey and the butter and the fresh eggs, and never was
there a merrier feast. And Little Red Riding-Hood promised
that she would never, never, never talk to any wolf she
might meet, or loiter on her way when sent on an errand by
her dear mother.