Little Redcape and the Wolf

This was written at the same time as yesterday’s Stiletto Cinderella, a time in my life when I was reading a lot of fairytales.

There were once three sweet little girls who were loved by everyone who so much as looked at them. Their grandmother especially loved them but being an ogress she desired to eat the three little girls, and as they grew so did her appetite.

One day the girls’ grandmother phoned their mother and said, ‘Oh, daughter! I feel so ill! If only I had someone to sing to me!’

So the girls’ mother said to her eldest daughter, ‘Daughter, you have the fairest voice in all the land. Go sing for your grandmother so that she will feel better.’ And so the eldest daughter put on her bright red cape and walked through the forest to her grandmother’s hut. On the way she sang beautifully and her singing attracted a big brown wolf.

‘Little girl,’ said the wolf. ‘You have the sweetest voice I have ever heard!’

The eldest daughter was scared by the wolf and shouted, ‘Go away, big bad wolf!’ She ran all the way to her grandmother’s hut – and was eaten by the hungry ogress.

Again the girls’ grandmother phoned their mother and said, ‘Oh, daughter! I feel so ill! The singing helps but, oh, if only someone would play the flute for me!’

So the girls’ mother said to her second daughter, ‘Daughter, you are the finest flautist in all the land. Go play for your grandmother so that she will feel better.’ And so the second daughter put on her bright red cape and walked through the forest to her grandmother’s hut. On the way she played her flute beautifully and her playing attracted the big brown wolf.

‘Little girl,’ said the wolf. ‘Your music moves me to tears!’

The second daughter was scared by the wolf and shouted, ‘Go away, big bad wolf!’ She ran all the way to her grandmother’s hut – and was eaten by the hungry ogress.

Again the girls’ grandmother phoned their mother and said, ‘Oh, daughter! I feel so ill! The music helps but, oh, if only some kind person would make me tea and brush my hair!’

So the girls’ mother said to her youngest daughter, ‘Daughter, you are the kindest girl in all the land. Go care for your grandmother so that she will feel better.’ And so the youngest daughter put on her bright red cape and walked through the forest to her grandmother’s hut. On the way she gathered beautiful flowers in the forest and as she wandered here and there she stumbled across the big brown wolf, who was beginning to feel very hungry himself.

‘Little girl,’ said the wolf. ‘What a kind face you have!’

‘Thank you, wolf,’ she replied.

‘Where are you going so early?’ the wolf asked her.

‘To my grandmother’s,’ she answered. ‘She’s ill and weak and I’m to care for her.’

Hearing this, the wolf raced ahead to the hut where the other two girls had gone. He knocked on the door and it was opened by the girls’ grandmother, who was so astonished to see a wolf that he gobbled her up easily in one huge gulp.

Suddenly the wolf felt very ill, and when the youngest daughter arrived at the hut she found him there writhing on the floor in pain.

‘Oh, wolf!’ she cried. ‘Whatever is the matter with you?’

‘Little girl,’ he replied, ‘I have eaten your grandmother and now I am quite ill.’

‘Serves you right,’ she said. ‘Everybody knows that ogres are poisonous.’ But since she was so kind, she forgave the wolf and cared for him until he was better, and they lived happily ever after.

*

Author’s Note: As the title suggests, this is a take on Little Redcape by the Brothers Grimm rather than Perrault’s more familiar Little Red Ridinghood (which is to be found also in The (first) Virago Book of Fairy Tales, ed. Angela Carter), which I re-read only after writing the above tale; I had the bizarre idea of mixing up Little Redcape with the ogre from Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty and the common fairytale rule-of-three. The irony is that Calvino’s version of the tale, The Wolf And The Three Girls, already has a rule of three, but I did not read this until afterwards.

About Frank

A Sci-Fi & Fantasy author and lyrical poet with a mild obsession for vampires, succubi, goddesses and Supergirl.
This entry was posted in Fiction and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Little Redcape and the Wolf

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Very odd ending indeed! A great story though (well, everyone knows!)

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