Little Red Riding Hood Redux

Our story opens in medias res, no "Once upon a time," no "Il y a une fois," nothing, with a young girl in a red hooded cape skipping jauntily through the forest. She was going, of course, to her grand- mother's house. Unnoticed by her, a shadowy figure sped past her through the dark scrub of the forest floor -- the wolf, of course. (Don't get ahead of the story, now). Having unsuccessfully attempted to waylay our heroine earlier, he was now hurrying to dispatch her gray grandmum and ambush Little Red.

He reached the small hut at the end of the path through the woods and slinked down through the cellar doors. He quickly found the house- alarm box and, with one swipe, the hovel went quiet. He darted up the stairs and finished of the old woman with a great gnashing and wanton slathering. Ach, what a mess! He then searched her bureaus until he found one of her nightgowns and a bonnet, putting them on with perhaps a bit more enjoyment than one might expect. In anticipation, he dimmed the lights and and waited for his prey in the old woman's bed.

Little Red emerged skipping from the forest and bounced up to the rickety hut. As she entered the room, her light mood evaporated. `Something's not right,' she thought, breathing deep and smelling the scent of dirty fur and carnivore breath filling the small space. Cautiously she crept toward the bed.

``Granny, is that you?''

``Yes, child,'' the wolf replied in the frailest old-woman voice he could muster. ``Come closer and give your dear old grandmother a kiss.''

Even in the dim light of the hovel, Little Red could see the wet, black nose and long yellow canines that refused to resolve into any semblance of Granny's face.

``That's one helluva nose you've got there, Granny. And those teeth -- Yowsa! Why haven't I noticed those before?''

The wolf, sensing that his ruse was not working and his luscious dinner was nigh to escaping, threw back the covers and leapt theatrically into the air, aiming to paralyze his prey with fear with his melodramatic menacing. Much to his suprise, Little Red was aiming too, having just pulled a 9mm Beretta from her picnic basket.

``Not so fast, bucko,'' she snarled as she unloaded a full clip of hollow-points through the business end of the Beretta. The smoke cleared and she saw a red Rorshach blot of wolf bits littering the room. As tufts of wolf fur wafted down, she turned to face the door, which was being earnestly chopped to pieces. Finally, a thick-set woodsman wedged himself through the destroyed door, at first beaming a heroic smile.

``Not to worry my dears!'' he bellowed, ``I've come to -- uhh...'' His bravado disappeared as he saw the carnage in the room. ``Um, what happened? I'm supposed to save you...''

``Hey bub, wake up!'' she snapped back. ``It's the `90's --- I can take care of myself, patriarchy-breath!'' She strode past him and out the door, leaving him standing there still bewildered.

Little Red left her home on the edge of the forest and moved to the city, where she teaches a women's self-defense class. The woodsman also left the woods and is enrolled in a men's sensitivity group, Male White Oppressors Anonymous. And they all lived interestingly ever after, save for the wolf and Granny, who both snuffed it.

The End