***Narrative essay I had to write for my English 101 class several years ago. The topic is about what really happened in the Little Red Riding Hood tale. Enjoy this Mini Molly Tale!***
Back in the day, I was a young fur-trader, traveling country to country with furs that a lovely lady should not be seen without. It was a very cold winter when I was passing through the dense forest in the mountains, having to use my own furs to keep me warm. That was when I crossed paths with a little girl wearing a bright red hood. A young girl, probably between ten or eleven, was carrying a large picnic basket in one hand and a map in the other.
Since she was wearing only a puffy dress and a pair of snow boots on, it would explain her pale skin and bright red nose under these cold conditions. Asking her what she was doing out in this cold weather, she explained that she was heading to her grandmother’s house. Since she had never seen the house before, she was using a map that her mother had given her to guide her through the forest. After a quick chat, she continued on her way, holding the map, I swear, upside-down.
It was near the end of day when a heavy blizzard stormed in, forcing me to find shelter wherever I could find it and put on my favorite wolf coat with its head as my hood. Continuing down a path that I had been following, I came across a house made of straw. Fearing I would put a hole in the door if I knocked, I merely shouted for the occupant’s attention.
“No one is home, wolf!” shrieked a pig-like voice, “Not by the hairs of my chinny-chin chin will I let you in!”
“But I am not a-!” I tried to explain but a terrible sneeze came over me and I ended up blowing away the house. Flabbergasted at what I have done, I quickly continued on my way through the deep snow, not glancing once back at the abolished house.
The second house I came across was made of sticks. As I wondered who was the contractor building these ridiculous houses, a cold, sharp wind blew me sideways and reminded me of how much I needed shelter. Knocking softly, I shouted over the roaring wind, “I am a passerby in need of a place to stay for the night. Would you be so kind and let a poor man in and away from this cold, harsh weather?” Before there could be a reply, a heavy pile of snow fell from one the branches of a nearby tree and collapsed onto the feeble home. Cold and exhausted, I continued to follow the barely visible path through the heavy rain of snow.
Thankfully, the third house I came to belonged to an elderly woman who welcomed me into her warm and cozy living room. As I sat next to the fireplace, I felt the immediate effect of the heat as it took away the cold numbness from my hands and feet. Glancing around the room, I found the carpet and the wallpaper covered with designs of pumpkins and a large glass case filled with many pairs of glass slippers. The woman told me as she poured me a hot cup of tea that she worked as counselor for poor girls with abusive step-parents. Seeing my weariness, she offered me one of her guestrooms, containing a simple bed and a nightstand. Not bothering to take off my wolf coat, I fell asleep before I even hit the pillow, and a sweet smell of pumpkin pie came into my dreams.
Around this time, the little girl appeared before the house while the old woman was in the bathroom. Letting herself in and covered from head to toe in snow, she called out for her grandmother and looked around until she found the bedroom where I was sleeping. The thin blanket was covering my whole body except for the head of the wolf coat, where she saw the eyes, the nose and the teeth of the animal. When she got out of the bathroom, the old woman noticed the girl’s footprints heading to my room and hid beside the entrance. While the girl asked questions about the facial features, the elderly woman thought it would be humorous to answer her questions with “The better to hear you with, my dear!” teasing her granddaughter.
The voices of the little girl and the woman began to wake me from my sleep when I heard a loud, “The better to eat you with, my dear!” and heard the scream of the girl when I tilted my head toward the sound of her voice. Forgetting that I was still wearing the wolf coat, I heard her run out of the room. Feeling guilty for frightening her, I quickly got up from the bed and took off the coat. Not a moment later did the girl return with the old woman, who was laughing hysterically at her prank and explaining that it was a joke. They looked to see me holding the wolf coat by its neck, which led the girl to believe that I had killed the hungry beast.
In the end, the impressionable Little Red Riding Hood spread the tale of my heroic deed that continues to be told from one generation to the next. I fear it is no use to tell believers that a simple fur-trader was the strong, courageous hunter who slayed the evil wolf that was merely a coat for sale.