Well-Armed Red Riding Hood
A Cautionary Tale for Old-fashioned but Creative Libertarian Realists of all Ages
One day Red Riding Hood was sent by her mother to take a basket of cakes and biscuits to her Grandmother who lived on the other side of the wood. Off she went (Red Riding Hood, not her mother), merrily skipping through the trees in the sunshine.
As she danced along singing loudly, a mean, ugly wolf spotted her. He had bad teeth and smelly fur, since he did not wash properly. “Ha-Ha!” he growled to himself, “Easy Meat!” But he realised that if he pounced on Red Riding Hood there and then, some tough-looking hunters who were chopping wood nearby might hear her screams and come to rescue her.
“I’ll race on ahead using a secret short-cut which only I know about, and get her at her Granny’s house” smirked the wolf. With a toss of his stinky tail he raced off through the woods.
When he reached the cottage of Red Riding Hood’s Granny he banged on the door. “Hey, it’s me, Red Riding Hood!” he shouted in his growly voice. He should have at least pretended to be Red Riding Hood - this had been his wicked plan - but in his excitement he forgot.
Luckily Red Riding Hood’s Granny was a bit deaf, so she heard only the knock on her door and opened it. There was the wolf! With a jump and a ghastly ‘Gulp!” he wolfed her down in one piece.
How best to catch Red Riding Hood? The wolf had what he thought was a clever scheme. He sneaked into Granny’s bedroom and hid under the bedclothes, licking his chops. Granny had tasted a bit dried-out, but Red Riding Hood would be sweet! And juicy! “Yum!”
Soon Red Riding Hood arrived, dancing and singing like a Good Little Girl. She saw the cottage door wide open and immediately realised that something was not quite right, since Granny was very security-conscious. She put down the basket of cakes and biscuits (which included some extra-expensive chocolate ones) and tip-toed up to the door. There was no sound apart from the cheery birds twittering in the trees and the rustle of leaves in the summer breeze.
Red Riding Hood put her head round the door and peeked into the kitchen. Nothing out of the ordinary, except for one of Granny’s slippers lying on the floor with big tooth-marks on it!
Red Riding Hood did not panic. She tip-toed over to a cupboard in the corner where her Granny kept the ironing-board. Only Red Riding Hood and her mother knew that behind the ironing-board Granny had hidden a Stinger missile, complete with shoulder launcher, in case of trouble.
Red Riding Hood quietly strapped on this massive weapon. This was not easy since it was very heavy, but she did not give up until everything was primed and ready in place. Then she walked as quietly as a mouse out into the hallway, carefully making sure that the missile did not bump into the ornaments on the various tables – Granny liked to collect china cabbages, and there were far too many of them everywhere.
Red Riding Hood made her way upstairs. When she reached the top she called out “Granny, where are you?” The wolf this time remembered to use a false, creaky voice. “In here, my dear” he said, trying to sound like Granny.
Red Riding Hood pushed open the door a little way and peered round it. All she could see was a big snuffly nose, a pair of long furry pointy ears, and lots of nasty yellow teeth above the bedclothes. She saw straight away that the nose and ears were not her Granny’s.
“My, what a big nose you have today, Granny!” she said, pretending to be stupid.
“All the better to smell you with, my dear!” said the wolf in a Granny-sort-of voice.
“And what big ears you have today, Granny!” said Red Riding Hood, starting to enjoy herself.
The wolf started getting over-excited. “All the better to smell you with – I mean hear you with – my dear!” he babbled.
“And Granny, what big TEETH you have today!” said Red Riding Hood, tensing herself for action.
"All the better to EAT you with, my dear" howled the wolf, and he jumped out of bed, his eyes wild and jaws slobbering.
“Not so fast!” said Red Riding Hood, leaping into the room and pointing the Stinger straight at the wolf. “Are you feeling lucky? If so, try to eat me up!”
The wolf cringed in terror. He was a coward and a liar. "Don't shoot!" he wailed. "I meant no harm."
“Don’t tell silly fibs!” said Red Riding Hood. “Where is my Granny?”
“Er, er…I ..um.. er.. ate her up…” confessed the wolf, nervously eyeing the Stinger.
“Why?” asked Red Riding Hood, quickly getting to the point.
“Well…I was .. er .. sort of hungry…” mumbled the wolf, sweat streaming down his ugly face.
Red Riding Hood had never much liked that Granny, and there was nothing to be done about it now anyway. Plus Red Riding Hood thought that if she blasted the wolf in the bedroom she might smash some of the cabbage ornaments which were covering all available surfaces.
“Get out, and never come back!” said Red Riding Hood with a fierce look in her eye. The wolf whimpered, then dashed past Red Riding Hood to the door and fled downstairs and out into the woods, pausing only to steal a cake from Red Riding Hood’s basket on the way.
Red Riding Hood sat quietly on the corner of the bed for a while, lost in thought about the wickedness of life.
Then with new determination she carried the Stinger downstairs and put it back tidily in the cupboard. She called her mother on her mobile phone to say that Granny had been eaten, and that she planned to live in Granny’s cottage from now on. Her mother said that that would be OK.
So from then on Red Riding Hood lived happily in that little cottage. No-one messed with her, since the story of how she had terrified the wolf soon spread. She put away all the china cabbages in a cardboard box under the stairs, since she did not like clutter. Luckily the basket of cakes and biscuits she had brought turned out to be a magic basket which filled itself up when it was getting empty, so she could have as many delicious cakes and extra-expensive chocolate biscuits as she wanted for the rest of her life.
As for the wolf, he realised that eating people was not a nice way to behave. So he became a vegetarian and ate leaves and carrots, although he did sometimes eat eggs to make sure that he got enough protein.
Note: please do not republish this, quote from it or appropriate the idea without giving Charles Crawford generous royalties and much favourable publicity. Cinderella and her Uzi are watching you.