Little Red Riding Hood


Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by
everyone who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and
there was nothing that she would not have given to the child. Once she
gave her a little cap of red velvet, which suited her so well that she
would never wear anything else; so she was always called 'Little Red-

One day her mother said to her: 'Come, Little Red-Cap, here is a piece
of cake and a bottle of wine; take them to your grandmother, she is
ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot,
and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the
path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother
will get nothing; and when you go into her room, don't forget to say,
"Good morning", and don't peep into every corner before you do it.'

'I will take great care,' said Little Red-Cap to her mother, and gave
her hand on it.

The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village,
and just as Little Red-Cap entered the wood, a wolf met her. Red-Cap
did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid
of him.

'Good day, Little Red-Cap,' said he.

'Thank you kindly, wolf.'

'Whither away so early, Little Red-Cap?'

'To my grandmother's.'

'What have you got in your apron?'

'Cake and wine; yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is
to have something good, to make her stronger.'

'Where does your grandmother live, Little Red-Cap?'

'A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood; her house stands
under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below; you
surely must know it,' replied Little Red-Cap.

The wolf thought to himself: 'What a tender young creature! what a
nice plump mouthful--she will be better to eat than the old woman. I
must act craftily, so as to catch both.' So he walked for a short time
by the side of Little Red-Cap, and then he said: 'See, Little Red-Cap,
how pretty the flowers are about here--why do you not look round? I
believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are
singing; you walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while
everything else out here in the wood is merry.'

Little Red-Cap raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing
here and there through the trees, and pretty flowers growing
everywhere, she thought: 'Suppose I take grandmother a fresh nosegay;
that would please her too. It is so early in the day that I shall
still get there in good time'; and so she ran from the path into the
wood to look for flowers. And whenever she had picked one, she fancied
that she saw a still prettier one farther on, and ran after it, and so
got deeper and deeper into the wood.

Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother's house and knocked
at the door.

'Who is there?'

'Little Red-Cap,' replied the wolf. 'She is bringing cake and wine;
open the door.'

'Lift the latch,' called out the grandmother, 'I am too weak, and
cannot get up.'

The wolf lifted the latch, the door sprang open, and without saying a
word he went straight to the grandmother's bed, and devoured her. Then
he put on her clothes, dressed himself in her cap laid himself in bed
and drew the curtains.

Little Red-Cap, however, had been running about picking flowers, and
when she had gathered so many that she could carry no more, she
remembered her grandmother, and set out on the way to her.

She was surprised to find the cottage-door standing open, and when she
went into the room, she had such a strange feeling that she said to
herself: 'Oh dear! how uneasy I feel today, and at other times I like
being with grandmother so much.' She called out: 'Good morning,' but
received no answer; so she went to the bed and drew back the curtains.
There lay her grandmother with her cap pulled far over her face, and
looking very strange.

'Oh! grandmother,' she said, 'what big ears you have!'

'The better to hear you with, my child,' was the reply.

'But, grandmother, what big eyes you have!' she said.

'The better to see you with, my dear.'

'But, grandmother, what large hands you have!'

'The better to hug you with.'

'Oh! but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have!'

'The better to eat you with!'

And scarcely had the wolf said this, than with one bound he was out of
bed and swallowed up Red-Cap.

When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the bed,
fell asleep and began to snore very loud. The huntsman was just
passing the house, and thought to himself: 'How the old woman is
snoring! I must just see if she wants anything.' So he went into the
room, and when he came to the bed, he saw that the wolf was lying in
it. 'Do I find you here, you old sinner!' said he. 'I have long sought
you!' Then just as he was going to fire at him, it occurred to him
that the wolf might have devoured the grandmother, and that she might
still be saved, so he did not fire, but took a pair of scissors, and
began to cut open the stomach of the sleeping wolf. When he had made
two snips, he saw the little Red-Cap shining, and then he made two
snips more, and the little girl sprang out, crying: 'Ah, how
frightened I have been! How dark it was inside the wolf'; and after
that the aged grandmother came out alive also, but scarcely able to
breathe. Red-Cap, however, quickly fetched great stones with which
they filled the wolf's belly, and when he awoke, he wanted to run
away, but the stones were so heavy that he collapsed at once, and fell

Then all three were delighted. The huntsman drew off the wolf's skin
and went home with it; the grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine
which Red-Cap had brought, and revived, but Red-Cap thought to
herself: 'As long as I live, I will never by myself leave the path, to
run into the wood, when my mother has forbidden me to do so.'

It also related that once when Red-Cap was again taking cakes to the
old grandmother, another wolf spoke to her, and tried to entice her
from the path. Red-Cap, however, was on her guard, and went straight
forward on her way, and told her grandmother that she had met the
wolf, and that he had said 'good morning' to her, but with such a
wicked look in his eyes, that if they had not been on the public road
she was certain he would have eaten her up. 'Well,' said the
grandmother, 'we will shut the door, that he may not come in.' Soon
afterwards the wolf knocked, and cried: 'Open the door, grandmother, I
am Little Red-Cap, and am bringing you some cakes.' But they did not
speak, or open the door, so the grey-beard stole twice or thrice round
the house, and at last jumped on the roof, intending to wait until
Red-Cap went home in the evening, and then to steal after her and
devour her in the darkness. But the grandmother saw what was in his
thoughts. In front of the house was a great stone trough, so she said
to the child: 'Take the pail, Red-Cap; I made some sausages yesterday,
so carry the water in which I boiled them to the trough.' Red-Cap
carried until the great trough was quite full. Then the smell of the
sausages reached the wolf, and he sniffed and peeped down, and at last
stretched out his neck so far that he could no longer keep his footing
and began to slip, and slipped down from the roof straight into the
great trough, and was drowned. But Red-Cap went joyously home, and no
one ever did anything to harm her again.

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