Tag: littleredridinghood

The Three Little Pigs Go to Grandma’s House

Once upon a time there were three little piglets who often got into trouble because they didn’t do what they were told. They liked to play tricks on the other animals, and so their mom dressed them in bright red cloaks to warn others they were coming. There were many of their neighbors who appreciated the warning.

One day, they were racing around the house climbing on furniture and yelling loudly. Their mother, tired of scolding them, called them into the kitchen. She gave them each a treat and handed them a basket to take to their grandmother’s house on the other side of the forest. “Make sure she reads the note inside,” she added.

“What does it say?” the oldest pig asked.

“It says that you are allowed to spend the night, and there are cookies for you all to share for after dinner. Leave them be, and don’t talk to strangers.”

The little pigs, thrilled with the idea of an adventure, easily agreed. They put on their bright red cloaks and made the youngest pig carry the heavy basket. They set out, too excited about the road ahead to even remember to look back and wave goodbye to their mother.

She was not surprised, but waved goodbye until they were out of sight anyway.

The youngest piglet was soon complaining about the weight of the basket. “Why do I have to carry it?” he asked. “You are both older and stronger. I shouldn’t have to carry it at all.”

“We’re older, so we’re in charge,” said the oldest piglet. “Besides, I need to have my hands free to fight off pirates. See, I’ve already found a good stick to use as a sword.”

“Maybe we could take turns,” the middle piglet said. “I’ll carry it on the way home.”

“But it will be empty then. That’s not fair!” The youngest piglet began to squeal in anger, but then he paused. “It would be lighter if we ate some of the cookies now.”

“There isn’t much difference between eating them now or later,” the oldest pig agreed.

“They’re our cookies, and we can eat them when we want to. They’ll be better now when we’re hungry than after dinner when we’re full,” the middle pig said.

The three little pigs opened the basket and ate every cookie, leaving none for their grandmother. At the bottom of the box there was a note. The oldest pig read it out loud to his brothers:

“Here are some cookies for after dinner. Thank you for agreeing to keep the boys for the night.”

The oldest pig let pulled a pen from the pocket of his cloak. “I’ll just cross out ‘here are’ and write ‘we need’, and we’ll have cookies for the walk home tomorrow.” The younger piglets cheered. Feeling full of goodwill, he passed the empty basket to the middle pig to carry, and they continued on their way.

Further on the path, they met a wolf. He smiled sharply and complimented their cloaks. Figuring that meant he was a good guy and not a pirate, they stopped to talk. “Where are you going?” the wolf asked.

“To grandma’s house,” the youngest pig said.

“Where does she live?”

“Three miles south in a large cave,” the middle pig said. This was not true, but the little pigs liked to play tricks on people.

While the others were describing the imaginary cave, the oldest pig pulled a small bottle of dye from a pocket in his cloak and poured it all over the wolf’s bushy tail. The wolf didn’t notice, and soon darted off into the underbrush.

The three little pigs laughed and continued their journey to their grandmother’s house. The squirrels and rabbits darted away at their approach, and so they didn’t get another chance to play any tricks or talk to strangers. They smacked the underbrush with their stick-swords and pretended to see pirates instead. It took them quite a while to arrive at the little brick cottage on the other side of the forest.

The youngest pig, once again holding the basket, handed it to his grandmother without any explanation. She brushed crumbs off the note and read it with a sigh. “You ate the cookies on the way here, didn’t you?”

The oldest pig frowned. “Didn’t you read the note? Mom said to make sure you read it.”

His grandmother raised an eyebrow and looked at him and then his brothers. The youngest hunched his shoulders. “They were for us anyway. We were hungry. It was a long walk, and they made me carry the basket almost the whole way,” he whined. The older piglets scowled at him, but it was too late.

“I think you don’t need anymore sweets tonight then,” their grandmother said. She sent them to go play while she finished bringing in the laundry. When she found them less than an hour later, they were cutting up her wool caps to make pirate beards and scrawling funny faces on the mirrors with marker. She wasn’t sure where they’d found the scissors or the markers.

She gave them rags to wash the mirrors and went to start dinner. When she opened the cupboards to make dinner and had a bowl of flour fall on her head, she called the little pigs in and scolded them. She fed them oatmeal for dinner and sent them to bed early for breaking so many rules. Consequently, they missed all the excitement that happened next.

Over a breakfast of leftover oatmeal, their grandmother told them a strange story of a wolf who visited late in the evening, demanding to be let in or he’d blow the house down.

“With dynamite?” the middle pig asked, looking interested.

“No, by breathing on it,” his grandmother said.

The older two piglets laughed. The youngest looked confused. “But this is a brick house. That wouldn’t work.”

“Of course not,” the oldest piglet said. “He didn’t know anything about anything.”

The youngest pig shrugged and turned back to their grandmother. “What did you do?”

“A local woodsman passed by and chased him away. He said the wolf had an oddly colored tail so he’d recognize it if he saw it again, and he’d keep an eye out for it.”

The three little piglets looked at each other and didn’t say anything.

The grandmother set the piglets to clearing the table and washing and drying the dishes. She gave them each a treat, and then she insisted they put on their red cloaks. She handed the basket to the oldest piglet. “You will take turns holding the basket, and you will not look inside until you get home. Make sure your mom reads the note, and do not talk to strangers.”

When they got home, the youngest piglet handed their mom a basket empty except for a note covered in crumbs. She read the note and sighed. Then she asked them about their visit to see their grandmother. They talked about oatmeal and early bedtimes and didn’t mention the cookies or the wolf or pirate beards or markers or flour at all.

Their mother somehow knew about it anyway. She scolded them for breaking rules, hugged them, and after an evening of their pranks she gave them cabbage soup for dinner and an early bedtime. The next morning they woke up early, well-rested and ready for a new adventure. Their mother made sure they wore their red cloaks to give the neighbors plenty of warning. The little piglets made sure to fill the pockets with useful things.

They lived happily ever after.

Little Red and Miss Shiny

Little Red had fleece as white as snow. So, it may seem a little strange that her name was Little Red, when she wasn’t red at all. But she was red once, for a short time, and sheep have long memories, so even now she is still called Little Red.

She got her nickname because she was curious. Little Red was always curious. Her mother said that Little Red bleated why long before she ever said ma.

So, when the farmer began putting a new coat of red paint on the big barn doors, Little Red rushed over to take a closer look. She examined the doors and the paint can and the farmer’s paint splattered shoes before the farmer had even finished a down stroke with his paintbrush.

And just like that, she was splashed and speckled red all over. It took quite a while for the last of the paint to fade. The other lambs all still teased her months later, but even that didn’t cure her curiosity.

Little Red’s grandmother was sold to the farmer the next farm over. When the flock drifted over by the fence, sometimes her grandmother was on the other side of the fence and her mother and grandmother would catch up.

“Did you know that Dandelion had a lamb this spring?” Mother said last week.

“Little Red will have to look out for her new cousin,” Grandmother said.

They both looked at her, but Little Red pretended not to hear them. Babies were boring. She wanted to go on an adventure. She was old enough now to spend time away from her mother and see the world. There was so much to see!

So, a week later, when the sheepdog was herding the sheep towards the pasture closer to the barn, Little Red turned and bolted. She thought about squeezing through the hole in the fence and visiting her grandmother. But, in the flat pastures, she’d be spotted soon enough. Besides, Grandmother would just scold her and send her home.

Little Red looked around. The shadows in the nearby forest looked cool on the hot day and very mysterious. It looked like the perfect place for an adventure. She raced towards the forest and soon was hidden in its shadows.

It just so happened that, in the forest by the pasture, there lived a little wolf with pretty shiny fur. Her fur was so shiny that her mother called her Little Miss Shiny Fur, and the name stuck. Her friends, family, and other wolfish acquaintances all called her Miss Shiny.

The day before Little Red’s adventure, Miss Shiny’s family had a big barbecue and invited all the neighbors. Unfortunately, they ended up with lots of leftovers. And so, just as Little Red slipped into the shadows of the forest, Miss Shiny’s mother sent her with a basket of leftovers to her grandmother, who lived on the other side of the woods.

It wasn’t long before they crossed paths. Little Red, ever curious, asked, “What do you have in that basket?”

Miss Shiny, startled, turned to find a little white sheep with sticks and leaves in its wool looking closely at her basket. “It’s treats for my grandmother. She lives at the other side of the forest.”

Little Red nodded. “I have a grandmother, too. But I don’t need to bring her treats. The grass is always greener on her side of the fence.”

“All right then.” And Miss Shiny turned and continued on her way.

Little Red decided that visiting someone else’s grandmother would be a grand adventure, and she was curious to see what was in the basket. She followed her all the way to her grandmother’s house. To her delight, Miss Shiny didn’t notice. While Miss Shiny knocked on the front door, Little Red snuck in the back door and started to explore.

Miss Shiny’s grandmother was a little old wolf whose fur was going white with age. She squinted in the sunlight as she answered the door. “Miss Shiny? Is that you?”

“I’ve brought you some treats, Grandmother.” Miss Shiny held up the basket.

“Did I miss the barbecue again? Oh dear. Come in and have a cup of peppermint tea and tell me all about it.”

Miss Shiny followed her grandmother to the kitchen. But all the dried herbs that usually hung from the cupboards were gone. Only a few well-chewed twigs remained. Grandmother gasped. “Someone’s eaten all my herbs!”

They rushed out of the kitchen and into the living room. Grandmother’s rocking chair was overturned and smashed. Grandmother hurried over and picked up the pieces. “Someone was rocking in my chair and broke it!”

Miss Shiny followed her grandmother to the bedroom. Grandmother yelped and pointed at the bed. “There is someone sleeping in my bed!”

Miss Shiny looked. Whoever was in the bed had their back to them. “Grandmother,” she said. “Isn’t that your nightgown?”

Grandmother growled. “She stole it!”

“And the fur is white as yours, too.”

Grandmother narrowed her eyes. “Mine was never that messy.”

“And…”

But, just then, Little Red turned to see where the noise was coming from. While she had never seen a wolf before, the angry grandmother with the sharp claws and teeth made her a little nervous. The growls, deeper and scarier than the sheepdog’s, decided it.

Little Red darted out of bed, jumped out the window, and ran home, losing the nightgown in the bushes somewhere along the way. She decided that now that she’d seen the forest, it was boring, and she never needed to explore there again. At least that’s what she told all her friends. Secretly, she often wondered what was in the basket. She never did find out.

Grandmother Wolf had to pick and dry all new herbs. She started with chamomile and made it into tea to steady her nerves. She washed her bed sheets and bought a new nightgown. She never left her back door unlocked again.

Miss Shiny learned to not talk to strangers, even if they seemed harmless. Even strange sheep. Especially strange sheep.

The Gingerbread Tower

Once upon a time, the three bears sat down to eat breakfast.  Unfortunately, their porridge was too hot.  So, they went for a walk in the woods while they waited for it to cool.  While they were walking, they wandered into an area of the woods that they’d never visited before.

They paused as they heard voices up ahead.  Peering through some conveniently placed bushes, they saw a strange sight.  A woman dressed all in black was standing at the foot of a gingerbread tower.

“Rapunzel, I said to let down your hair.  I forgot something, and I’m going to be late.”  The woman stomped her foot.

A window opened at the top of the tower and a younger woman looked out.  “What did you forget? I’ll toss it down to you.”

The woman in black stomped her foot again.  “Just let down your hair.  I don’t have time to describe it to you.”

The woman at the window tossed out a very, very long, blond braid.  The woman in black used it to climb the tower.  She climbed back down a few minutes later and pointed a stick at a pumpkin in the garden next to the tower.

The pumpkin turned into a carriage.  With a few more flicks of her wand, some mice nibbling at the tower became horses.  The bears, hidden in the bushes, shuddered.  They were glad they’d decided to remain hidden.  It could have been them turned into horses!

The witch, for what else could she be, hitched the horses to the carriage and rode away.  The bears looked at each other.

“If she’s not home, it might be safe to look a little closer,” Mama bear said.

“The gingerbread smells heavenly,” Papa bear said.

“Did you forget what happened to the mice?” Baby bear said.  “They were turned into horses.  We might be turned into pigs.  Then we’ll be eaten!”

“Nonsense,” Mama bear said.  “With all this gingerbread, who would want bacon?”

Papa bear shook his head.

And so, with Baby bear trailing behind them and looking around suspiciously, they approached the tower.  Because they hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, they were all quite hungry.  Soon there was a large hole eaten from the side of the tower.

“Oops,” Mama bear said. “I just meant to taste it to see if I could bake something like it at home.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Papa bear said.  “They needed a door anyway.  Now they won’t have to climb out the window.”

“I could go in and bake them a door to put in the hole,” Mama bear said. “I have a nice brownie recipe.”

“That’s a terrible idea,” Baby bear whispered loudly.  “We should run away now!”

But they went inside anyway, and Baby bear followed them in.  Inside, seven very short men were busily working in a kitchen that filled the base of the tower.  One of the men looked up and scowled.

“It looks like we need a five by six patch.”

“Five by six?” The man in glasses next to him put down his mixing bowl and took out a notepad and pencil. He wrote on the pad and then tore the page out and handed it to the bears.

Papa bear took the page.  “Is this a bill?”

The man in glasses nodded. “We charge by the square foot.”

“I thought I could bake you a door,” Mama bear said.  “I make great brownies.”

“Brownies are terrible construction material.  Too soft,” the scowling man said.  “And we don’t need a door.”

“But the witch…” Mama bear began.

“She’s just overly efficient,” said a voice behind them.

The bears whirled around.  The blond woman was behind them.  Baby bear squeezed himself between his parents and tried to wish himself invisible.

“Weren’t you trapped in the tower?” Papa bear asked nervously.

“No, I just spin in there.  My hair grows unnaturally fast, so I spin it and braid it into ropes.  The witch is my product tester.  She insists on using my hair ropes to enter and leave so that product testing is built into her day.  If she was really in a hurry, she’d ride her broom.”

“So if you wanted to leave…” Mama bear began.

“There is a door on the other side of the tower.”  Rapunzel yawned.  “Wow.  Spinning sure makes me sleepy.  One of these days, I’m going to fall asleep at the wheel and prick my finger on the spindle.”

Papa bear pulled out his wallet and paid, and the bears went home.  Inside their house, they found that the porridge was eaten, a chair was broken, and a little girl was asleep in Baby bear’s bed.  Baby bear woke up the girl.

She looked at her watch and leaped out of bed.  “You’re late!” she threw on a red cloak and picked up a basket that was waiting by the bed.  “I’m going to be late getting these goodies to grandma’s house.”

“Just don’t stop to talk to strangers this time,” Baby bear said.

The little girl made a face at him, then jumped out the window and ran away.  The bears looked at each other.

“That was different,” Papa bear said.  “But it’s fun to try new things.”

“It was fun,” Mama bear said.  “We should go back to the tower again.  I want to taste a window.  Just to see if I could make one at home, of course.”

Baby bear sighed.  “That was stressful and exhausting.  I need a nap.” And hew went upstairs and went to bed.

“Should we have told him about the magic beans?” Mama bear asked.  “Maybe he needs a bit of warning.”

“I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Papa bear said.  “Just toss them out the window.  Let’s see if they grow.”

The Little Read Story

Once upon a time, there was a short story that bravely set out to change the world. It was certain that it had something important to say. The story knew there was a reader waiting for it, all it needed to do was find its way there.

Its lines were carefully packed with goodies sure to delight. There were silly puns and thoughtful metaphors and underneath it all there was an enduring message of hope. It was not too sweet and not too sour. It was just right.

Unfortunately, the story had to cross the dark forest of the editorial process in order to reach the reader. The author sent the story on its way with a word of caution. “Be careful who you listen to in the woods. Not everyone has your best interests at heart.”

“I’ll be fine,” the story said. “The woods don’t scare me.”

But the woods were scarier than the story thought. It was dark in the woods, and very confusing. Sometimes the story wasn’t sure which way to go. The story remembered hearing rumors that stories could be lost in the editorial process forever, never reaching any readers at all. Suddenly, the short story was terrified.

Just then, a friendly amateur editor greeted the story. “Little story, what are you doing in the woods?”

“I’ve come to deliver goodies to my reader. She’s waiting for me at the other end of the woods.”

The editor smiled a wide smile, “That’s wonderful. But did you know that you have a comma out of place right there? And are you sure that’s the right word choice? It implies entirely the wrong thing for the context. In fact, I think you are headed in entirely the wrong direction. Let me give you a few pointers, or you’ll never make it out of here.”

The little story took notes. Then, just as it looked down to check the comma, the amateur editor slipped away, and changed all the road signs as he went. The short story quickly lost its way.

It got stuck in unexpected swamps of indecision, and second guessed all its metaphors. Thorny bushes of self-criticism tore up the silly puns. The story clung desperately to its hope and trudged its way through the long paths of grammar and spelling checks.

It was not the same story once it emerged from the woods. And the little house on the other side of the woods was not the house that the short story expected to see. Had the reader moved?

The short story straightened its lines and knocked on the door. “Hello?” it called. “Were you expecting a story?”

“Come in,” called a strange voice.

The story hesitantly entered the not-quite-familiar house. “Where are you?” the story asked.

“Just in here, dear.”

The story followed the voice and found the reader tucked away in bed, already wearing her reading glasses. But she didn’t look quite right. In fact, everything about her seemed a little bit off.

“Reader, what big eyes you have,” the story said nervously.

“That’s just the glasses. They magnify things, you know.”

“Reader, did you always have pointy ears on top of your head?”

“Silly story, how could I keep my reading glasses on without ears?”

The story looked at the reader again. Something was really wrong here. “Reader, why are your teeth so sharp?”

“The better to criticize you unfairly,” the reader roared, and sprang out of the bed. But it wasn’t the reader at all. It was the friendly amateur editor. But the editor wasn’t looking so friendly any longer.

The story gasped. “What did you do to the reader?”

“What reader?” The amateur editor laughed. “I think you need to be set aside. You just don’t really have the potential you used to have. Maybe someday the writer can figure out what went wrong. For now, there aren’t any readers waiting for you at all. You are just a terrible story.”

With a cry of dismay, the short story prepared itself to be shut away in a drawer, little read and little remembered. And that’s just what happened. Fortunately, the story still had its message of hope to keep it company in the dark drawer.

A long time later, the writer came across the story again. “Oh, dear. This little story certainly met an unfriendly editor. Look at all the changes. It’s hardly the same story at all. And it had so much potential. Its heart is still good. I think I can revive it.”

The little read story was rescued from the dark drawer and set on its feet. Its goodies were restored, better than before. The next time through the woods, it stayed focused and didn’t get distracted or lost. The short story found its reader and delivered its metaphors and puns and message of hope. It was no longer little read or little remembered. It was loved. The story and the reader lived happily ever after, and the world was just a little bit better.

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