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The Big Bad Wolf
In the midst of the darkness of the woods, few things could be seen. In fact, without the keen eyesight of the various animals lurking underneath the shadows of the trees, one would certainly find themselves lost. That being the case, the humans living outside the forest generally avoided entering the disquieting darkness of the trees. The forest had a bad reputation to it: tales of great man-eating beasts, poisonous ivies, and even thieves and robbers. However, aside from a few patches of poison ivy, the stories were far from accurate. Even the carnivorous animals of the woods had a kind disposition. One of the most misunderstood animal lying in these woods, is the grey wolf.
The forest was quieter than usual. The birds were not up yet. Smaller animals still remained in their burrows. Even the larger bears were asleep. The only noise that could be heard came from the snapping of twigs on the forest floor. The animal responsible for the breaking of these twigs was none other than a large grey wolf. This particular wolf was quite different from his counterparts. He was known to kill as little as possible, only when hunting was absolutely necessary. Moreover, he was lively and interacted will all aspects of life in the forest. But, this day, the wolf roamed the forest with a solemn look on his face. Year after year the wolf had been exposed to the same pine bearing trees, the same underwhelming diversity, and the same abysmal darkness of the shrouded forest. He had grown weary of forest life, and longed for interaction with the species outside the woods. However, he had heard that his kind had a poor history with humans, and this notion saddened the wolf because he knew that entering the nearby village would be poorly received. Thus, in a state of wallowing, the wolf continued to roam the forest floor. Suddenly, he heard a noise – a noise he was not accustomed to. His canine ears sprang up in response, and the wolf raced the find the origin of this noise. He was getting closer, and now his nose began to ring as well, for he was approaching a sweet smell. He ran, quickly but quietly for he did not want to scare this potential source of entertainment away. Finally, the wolf discovered the source of the sound and smell. It was a little girl, oddly dressed in red clothing, whistling a tune, carrying a basket of freshly made food.
The wolf was intrigued. He had never seen a human before, so he hid careful not to reveal himself before studying the odd creature. As his bright yellow eyes peered through the darkness, the girl in red continued to whistle and skip through the forest. The wolf wondered what a girl like this could be doing in the woods. So he followed her. Making sure to keep his distance, his animal instincts kicked in, and the wolf continued to lurk in the shadows. Slowly, but steadily, the wolf drew himself closer and closer to the girl, until finally the girl heard an animal breathing behind her and turned around abruptly. In her sight, stood a large wolf, towering over her. His fur was deep and dark, only slightly lighter than the surrounding black of the woods. Interestingly enough, the girl was not scared. She had never seen a wolf before, and for some reason, bypassing the natural instinct to run away, randomly blurted, "I am going to see my grandmother and carry her a cake and a little pot of butter from my mother."
The wolf faltered after hearing the girl speak. Her words were so sudden and unrelated that all the wolf could manage to say in response was, "Does she live far off?”
"Oh I say," answered the girl in the red very innocently; "It is beyond that mill you see there, at the first house in the village."
The wolf had not known that a woman lived in the forest. Curiosity getting the better of him he decided to see the woman for himself. However, appealing to the playful nature which shone from the girl and even his own innate boredom, the wolf decided to make a game out of the scenario. He told the girl eagerly, “"Well, I'll go and see her too. I'll go this way and go you that, and we shall see who will be there first." So the wolf ran as fast as he could. He took the shortest way he knew, while he pointed the girl in a roundabout direction. The girl in red took her time getting to her grandma's house. She collected nuts she came across on the forest floor, flowers which seemed pretty, and played with the butterflies that were fluttering around.
It was not long before the wolf arrived at the grandmother's home. Immediately, he tapped at her door. There was no response. He tapped again. Still, there was no response. The wolf tapped yet again. This time, he heard a weak voice. “Is that you dear? Just pull the bobbin, the latch is up.” The wolf opened the door, but the grandmother was nowhere in sight. He ventured into the kitchen, then the living quarters, and then finally made his way into the bedroom. Here, he saw an old sickly woman. She was far from being in good health. The lady, expecting to see her granddaughter opened her eyes and looked towards her bedroom door. Instead of a little girl in red clothing, she saw a large intimidating looking wolf. The woman, let out a shrill shriek, “Ahhhhh!” Unfortunately, in doing so, she excited her weak heart and immediately suffered a heart attack. The wolf stood dumbfounded at the door. A brief moment passed before the blank expression withdrew from his face, and the wolf realized he had to try to resuscitate the woman. He sprinted towards the bed; old floorboards creaked loudly under the weight of his steps. Frantic and nervous, the wolf began chest compressions. Unfortunately, some of the poor woman's ribs broke under the pressure of the wolf's tremendous strength. Alas it was too late. Before the wolf realized he had only been making the situation worse, the old woman had passed. The wolf stood silent at the side of the bed, mouth open in disbelief, gazing upon the dead woman that had been alive only ten seconds ago.
“What do I do? What do I do?” Thought the wolf, frantically to himself. He had never been responsible for the death of human before. He was so shocked, he could not think straight. The wolf did not intend to give the woman a heart attack. He did not intend to kill her. Suddenly, his ears sprang up. He was hearing a familiar tune. It was the girl in red, she was whistling, and her whistling was coming closer. In the heat of the moment, the wolf panicked. He took the gown, cap, and glasses off of the grandmother and put them on himself. Quickly, he hid the body in the closet and jumped into the bed. Knock. Knock. Knock. The girl was banging at the door. “Who's there?” The wolf tried unsuccessfully to hide his gruff voice.
At first the girl was surprised to hear such a deep voice, but believing her grandmother to be sick with a soar throat responded, "It is your grandchild Little Red Riding Hood, who has brought you a cake and a little pot of butter mother sends you."
“Pull the bobbin up honey, and come inside.” The wolf did not know why he was trying to imitate a dead woman. Perhaps the shock from killing her had gone to his head. Perhaps more truthfully, he was afraid – afraid he was responsible for the grandmother's death – afraid of the repercussions of his actions – afraid of any hostel interaction that would result. The girl entered the house and put her basket on the table. She ran into her grandmother's bedroom, and was amazed by what she saw. “Grandma, what big arms you have!”
Being quick on his feet, the wolf responded, “All the better to hug you with.”
“Grandma, what big legs you have!” The girl continued commenting on the girth of the wolf.
The wolf, believing his legs to be normal sized was somewhat hurt. He reluctantly responded, “All the better for running with my dear.”
“Grandma, what big ears you have!”
The wolf was getting annoyed. “All the better for hearing you with my dear.”
“Grandma, what big eyes you have!”
The wolf's temper was rising. He did not appreciate having his physical features made fun of. “All the better for seeing you with my dear,” he responded.
“Grandma, what big teeth you have!” the girl exclaimed.
“Teeth? Big teeth?” The wolf, having always been sensitive of his overbite, snapped. He would not take any more insults. Wanting to scare the girl, he bellowed, “All the better to eat you with!” The wolf jumped out of bed and out of the grandmother's clothes. The girl in red let out a great big scream.
A huntsman had been passing by, and believing it strange to hear such a loud scream from the house of an old woman with heart troubles, approached the commotion. Through the window he saw a girl terrified in the corner, and a great big wolf on his hind legs towering over her growling. The huntsman yelled, “I'll save you!” He threw his ax through the window, and cut off the wolf's tail. The wolf, after taking a moment to register what had just happened, let out a howl in pain.
The huntsman ran towards the girl. She weakly responded, “I think.. I think he ate my grandma.” The huntsman, appalled by the wolf's alleged atrocities, took up his ax and approached the quivering beast.
Still in pain, the wolf attempted to tell his side of the story. “Wait, I didn't eat her. She's in the closet. She had a heart att-” But before the wolf could finish his story, the huntsman, lacking in any veterinary knowledge decided he could remove the grandmother by taking out his ax and cutting open the wolf's stomach. The huntsman was surprised when the only thing he found were a few dead squirrels.
“Ahh.” A quiet moan could be heard coming from the closet. The girl in red ran towards the noise, and opened the closet door, only to see her grandma with her hand over her had in her undergown.
“What happened grandma? Did that big bad wolf hurt you?” The grandmother was still to weak to talk. She did not have a heart attack. In fact, she merely fainted. Besides a slight headache, and some broken ribs, the woman was fine. However, before the grandmother could explain what happened, the girl in red ran outside and found some large heavy stones, and immediately filled the wolf's body with them, as the extent of the girl's knowledge made her believe that by filling the wolf's stomach with stones he would be unable to eat anything again.
When the wolf woke up from his ordeal, he tried to run away. “What on earth did I do to deserve this?” The wolf cried to himself. He tried to run away, but did not get far before he collapsed dead. The loss of blood and abundance of stones within his digestive tract was simply too much for the wolf's body to handle.