Little Red Riding Hood
Once upon a time there was a great forest.
By the forest there was a small house. And in the house lived a man, a woman and their little daughter.
One day, the woman—who was an extremely handy seamstress—made her daughter a beautiful scarlet cloak and hood. The girl loved the cloak. She wore it so often that, from that day forward, she became known as Little Red Riding Hood.
“Little Red Riding Hood,” said the mother, “would you be so kind as to take some freshly baked bread, butter and a fruit cake to your Grandmamma?”
“I’d be delighted to, Mother,” said Little Red Riding Hood, “but it has been such a very long time since I have seen Grandmamma. I fear that I shall not recall where she lives or even what she looks like.”
“My dear,” replied the mother, “once you get going you’ll be sure to remember the way.”
Little Red Riding Hood set off into the heart of the forest. She carried a wicker basket—lined with a red and white checkered cloth—filled with her Grandmother’s goodies.
She sang softly as she hopped along the forest path and watched the world go by.
A beastly wolf heard Little Red Riding Hood’s sweet song. The wolf was a nasty, greedy creature and it longed for nothing more than to gobble up Little Red Riding Hood for his breakfast.
But he daren’t.
You see, a woodman was working close by with his dog. The dog looked a little timid and moth eaten, but, by jove, could it be ferocious—especially when it caught a sniff of a beastly wolf. So, instead of pouncing and risking a commotion, the wolf crept up to Little Red Riding Hood very gently and said,
“Hello, Little Red Riding Hood. To where are you going this fine morning?”
“To see my Grandmamma,” she said, “and take her the gifts from my basket—bread, butter and cake.”
“Where does your Grandmamma live?” asked the wolf.
“In the heart of the forest,” she replied.
“Ah, yes. I know that house,” said the wolf, in a low gruff voice, “but I must be off now. I bid you farewell little girl. Do take good care of yourself out here. The forest can be a mighty dangerous place for little girls to be all alone.”
Before Little Red Riding Hood had time to reply, the wolf was gone.
Little Red Riding Hood was in no hurry. She loved the forest and could happily play there alone for hours.
She followed a butterfly.
She watched a squirrel crack open a nut.
She saw a rabbit hop through the ferns and a bee collect nectar from the wild flowers.
She even bumped into a woodman cutting logs.
“Where are you going all alone, Little Red Riding Hood?” said the woodman.
“I am going to see my Grandmamma,” she said. “But I must hurry along now or I will be late.”
While Little Red Riding Hood was playing, the nasty wolf ran as fast as he could to the heart of the forest and found her Grandmother’s house.
The Grandmother lived alone. She was dreadfully weak and rarely rose from her bed. And, as it happened, she was in her bed that very day.
The wolf crept up to the front door.
Tap tap tap.
“Who’s there?” asked the old lady.
“Little Red Riding Hood, Grandmamma,” said the wolf, trying to put on a child’s voice.
“Come in, my dear,” said the old lady. “Pull the string and the latch will lift up.”
The wolf went inside.
You can imagine the old lady’s shock at the sight of the wolf standing in front of her. She froze in fear and, moments later, the beastly wolf—hungry from his run through the forest—gobbled her up in a single bite.
But the wolf was not satisfied.
He wondered what it would be like to have a taste of sweet Little Red Riding Hood. So he put on the old lady’s night gown and cap, got into the bed and waited for a tap at the door.
An hour or so passed.
Little Red Riding Hood then reached the house.
Tap tap tap.
“Come in,” said the wolf, trying hard to sound as much like the old lady as possible.
“Pull the string and the latch will lift up.”
Little Red Riding Hood thought to herself,
“I don’t remember Grandmamma’s voice sounding so gruff.”
But she went in and saw her Grandmother lying in bed, just as she was expecting.
“Grandmamma,” said Little Red Riding Hood, “mother has sent me with bread and butter and cake for you,”
“Oh, you are kind,” said the wolf, “come here and let me kiss you.”
Little Red Riding Hood—who, remember, had not seen her Grandmother for some considerable time—approached the bed.
“Grandmamma,” she said, “what a great nose you have.”
“All the better to smell you with, my dear,” said the wolf.
“And, Grandmamma, what large ears you have.”
“All the better to hear you with, my dear,” said the wolf.
“And what large eyes you have.”
“All the better to see you with, my dear,” said the wolf.
The wolf was now getting impatient. His lip curled up slightly revealing a huge set of sharp white teeth.
“Oh my, Grandmamma, and what great teeth you have!” said Little Red Riding Hood.
“All the better to EAT you with,” growled the wolf. He could wait no longer and pounced out of bed towards Little Red Riding Hood.
At that exact moment, the door flew open with a bang. The woodman’s dog darted in and jumped on top of the wolf. The wolf made a whimpering sound as he fell backwards onto the floor.
Seconds later, the woodman dashed in, wielded his tremendous axe high above his head and brought it down with a thud—chopping the beastly wolf’s head clean off in a single blow.
“Oh, thank you, kind woodman,” cried Little Red Riding Hood, “how on earth did you know the wolf was here and that I was in danger?”
“Well,” said the woodman, “I had seen a nasty looking wolf lurking in the forest recently. When we met earlier, I wanted to make sure you were safe, so I followed you. My dog caught scent of the wolf when we approached the house and we rushed in to save you.”
“Oh, how brave and clever you are, dear woodman” said Little Red Riding Hood, “a thousand thank yous again.”
The woodman walked Little Red Riding Hood home and explained the nasty happenings to her parents. They were eternally grateful to the woodman—and his dog—for saving their precious Little Red Riding Hood from the beastly wolf.
Can you read this story for free?
Yes! You can read this modern retelling for free. Our story retellings closely follow the original storylines and add modern twists in the illustrations.
Is this story read aloud?
You can choose to experience this story read aloud or you can read it yourself.
Who wrote Little Red Riding Hood?
The earliest known version of this story was written by Charles Perrault, a French author and writer who published his version in 1697.
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