When a Little Rain Matters a Lot

“Where are you going?” the wolf asked with a charming smile.

“I’m taking this basket of goodies to Grandma’s house,” Little Red said, carefully tucking the cloth back in place over the treats.

“What a nice thing to do,” the wolf said. “I’m sure she’ll be grateful. Well, I’ll probably see you later.”

Little Red nodded. “Bye.”   She waved as the wolf loped away down the path.

Several minutes later, Little Red felt a drop of rain hit her cheek. She looked up and held out a hand. The clouds were dark gray. She felt another drop hit her palm, and then another hit her chin. It was raining.

She paused and looked down the path. She still had a long way to go to get to Grandma’s house. The rain was starting to come a little faster, making little dark spots on the dusty path. She turned and started to hurry home.

Meanwhile, at Grandma’s house, Grandma heard the rain tapping at the window.   “Oh dear. I have all of the laundry still out on the clothesline.”   She pulled on a coat, picked up the basket by the door, and hurried outside.

The rain was starting to come down a little harder and she unpinned the clothes as fast as she could and dropped them into the basket. Suddenly, something dark and furry crashed through the underbrush and ran straight through her front door. Was that a wolf?

It was a wolf. He’d taken a few shortcuts once it started raining, so even if Little Red had been running, he knew he’d arrive at Grandma’s house first. All that running made him hungry. Luckily, Grandma was somewhere around here. He’d eat her as soon as he could find her. Where could she be hiding?

Just as the wolf looked under the bed, Grandma peeked in through the window.   She decided that maybe it was a good time to go visit her granddaughter. She left the basket of laundry on the porch and hurried down the path to Little Red’s house through the pouring rain.

When she arrived, sopping wet, they rushed to run a warm bath for her.   Then, she was given warm, dry clothes to wear and blankets to wrap up in and goodies to eat. They all decided to play charades. They had a pleasant evening. They decided to ask the local woodcutter to check Grandma’s house for wolves in the morning.

The wolf, tired of running and hunting for Grandma, decided to dress as Grandma and wait for Little Red in Grandma’s bed. The pattering of raindrops on the window lulled him to sleep.   He slept through the afternoon and the night. He woke up hungry.

“She said she would be here,” he muttered to himself. “She had a giant basket of goodies, and she said she was bringing it here. It’s the right house, but she didn’t come. Grandma wasn’t even here. She lied to me.”

The more the wolf thought about it, the angrier he got. How could she lie so convincingly? She was obviously very practiced at it. Was it now acceptable behavior for children to lie to random passersby? What was the world coming to?

The wolf resolved to eat all the children he met right away without asking any questions first. And any goodies they were carrying, of course. And their grandmas too, if he could manage it. That would show them.

He grumbled to himself as he slunk back into the underbrush. His tummy grumbled an angry duet. He needed to go find something to eat for breakfast.

The woodcutter didn’t find a wolf at Grandma’s house. But, concerned for her safety, Little Red’s family convinced her to move in with them. Her stories about scary wolves convinced Little Red to stay far away from wolves, no matter how friendly they seemed. Little Red and her grandma never saw the wolf again.

This was because he tried to eat a leprechaun that he thought was a child.   The leprechaun did not appreciate this.   The leprechauns ate the wolf for dinner instead.