September 22, 2022

#08-242: Little Red Riding Hood

"She was astonished to see how her grandmother looked"

Note: The familiar tale of a little girl, her granny, a wolf, and--sometimes--a hero.

Get Ready: What do you know about Little Red Riding Hood and the other characters in the story?

Once there was a little girl who wore a red hooded cape, so everyone called her Little Red Riding Hood.

One day her mother gave her a basket containing cakes and wine to take to her grandmother who lived on the other side of the wood.

"But remember," Mother said, "always stay on the path, and never wander off it, not even one step!"

Promising to do as she was told, the girl set out. It wasn't long before she met a stalking wolf, who asked her what was in the basket, and begged a morsel of her. But she refused, saying she had to take what was in the basket to her grandmother's house on the other side of the wood.

The wolf pointed to a meadow of wildflowers off the path and said, "Look at the beautiful flowers! Why not pick some to take to your dear old Granny?" And so she did. But the wolf didn't really care about Granny; he just wanted to delay Red while he ran quickly ahead to the old lady's house.

Arriving there, the wolf knocked on the door, and when Granny called out, "Who is it?" he replied in a high voice, "It's me! Your granddaughter." When the old lady opened the door, he immediately ate her. He then put on her clothes and jumped into her bed under the quilt.

When Red arrived and knocked, he called out, "Come in!" The girl did, but right away commented, "Granny, what a deep voice you have!" The wolf answered, "The better to greet you with, my dear!"

Looking at her face, Red commented, "But goodness, Granny, what big eyes you have!" "The better to see you with, my dear," the wolf replied.

"And what big hands you have!" the girl observed. "The better to hug you with, my dear," the wolf said.

Finally, Red said, "But Granny, what big teeth you have," and shouting "The better to eat you with!" the wolf leaped out of bed and did just that!

Then he fell asleep.

In the earliest versions, the story ends here. But in order to provide a "happy ending," later tellings say that a woodman came along and cut open the sleeping wolf with his axe. To his surprise, both Granny and Red were still alive! In his haste, the wolf had gulped them down whole. They filled his belly with stones, and when he awoke startled, he tried to flee, but the weight of the stones was too much, and he died.


Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. belly
  2. greet
  3. gulped down
  4. haste
  5. meadow
  6. morsel
  7. quilt
  8. stalking
  9. wander
  10. woodman

  1. stomach; insides
  2. a small bit of food
  3. walk without purpose
  4. a person who works in the forest
  5. say hello to
  6. a thick, padded blanket
  7. excessive speed
  8. a clear space in the forest
  9. swallowed without chewing
  10. looking for prey

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for September 22, 2022

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. a; 2. e; 3. i; 4. g; 5. h; 6. b; 7. f; 8. j; 9. c; 10. d