Little Red Riding Hood
Once upon a time, there was a sweet and helpful little girl called
Little Red Riding Hood. One fine summer's morning her mother asked
Little Red Riding Hood to take a basket of food to her grandmother who
lived in the woods, as the grandmother was not feeling very well.
Gladly, Little Red Riding Hood did what her mother had told her. She
also kept to the path in the woods because she had heard, and believed,
all those stories about what happens to good little girls if they step
off the path.
Halfway along the path to her Granny's house Little Red Riding Hood met
"Where are you going, little girl?" asked the wolf. Not being too
surprised by the fact of meeting a talking wolf, after all she knew how
fairy stories were supposed to work, Little Red Riding Hood replied:
"Mind your own fuckin' business, dog-breath!" and walked on, musing on
the notion that understanding the conventions of a narrative formula
doesn't mean that one cannot subvert those conventions in order to
frustrate expectation and the conventional form.
The wolf, being a more conventional - if not conservative - fairy tale
character, decided that he could not let Little Red Riding Hood
frustrate traditional folk-tale forms in such an arbitrary manner. "I'm
buggered if I'm going to let some mere slip of a girl indulge in
post-modern textual games with this mode of discourse," he muttered as
he took the short-cut to Granny's house.
He knocked on the door of Granny's house.
"Who is it?" said a voice from inside.
"It's me, the wolf. Come on Granny open up, you've read the
The door opened slowly. "Pah, not much of a part for me, is it?" Granny
said. "Hardly a speaking part. When I first started in this fairy-tale
business I was promised all the big parts: Wicked Queen, Evil Witch,
Wicked Step-Mother, the lot." She smiled at the wolf. "Couldn't we...
y'know... maybe... improvise something. Perhaps bring in some kind of
sub-text... perhaps hinting at society's disregard for the elderly, man
(as symbolised by the wolf) and his callous disregard for womanhood
once she has outgrown the societally-constructed notions of feminine
beauty, the advertising and fashion world's valuation of femininity as
being only one of youth and beauty, the denial of the mature woman as a
complete thinki... aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgghhhh!"
A bit tough, but still the wolf regarded it as one of the better meals
in his life. However, he had always regarded the next part as a bit
problematical. As an embodiment of the macho, the aggressive, the wild,
the untamed and untameable he always found the idea of dressing up in
the old-ladies night clothes as a bit... a bit... well... He heard a
few smans from the undergrowth at the edge of the forest.
"Hey, you squirrels! I heard that," he growled, and grinned as he saw
the grey and red blurs fleeing towards the tree-tops. "I've still got
it, though," he said to himself.
Now he was wearing the nightdress it didn't feel quite as bad as he had
feared. In fact.... Guiltily, but quickly, he entered the cottage, drew
the curtain and slipped into the bed. It still felt slightly warm and
the room smelt of old ladies, lavender and moth balls. Maybe, just
maybe he would have the time, before Little red Riding Hood arrived,
for a quick....
Little Red Riding Hood rapped firmly on the door. This time, she hoped,
perhaps there would be a chance of introducing some variation in what
was now, frankly, a tired and tedious genre. This was the modern, urban
world for christsake! What was the point of these rural and, mostly,
medieval tales at the end of the second millennium?
"Come in." said the voice from inside.
No, still the same old shit: Little Red Riding Hood thought as she
sighed and opened the door. "Why Granny what big eyes you have," She
said without enthusiasm.
"All the better to..."
"Oh, fuck it!" Little Red Riding Hood said and pulled the pump-action
shotgun from her basket. "You bastard! You killed Granny!" She pulled
the trigger. "Bye bye, dogbreath" She grinned at the bright bloody
splatter all over the rose-patterned wallpaper. The wolf's headless
corpse fell over pumping blood all over the pink sheets.
The door burst open and the wood-cutter ran in with his chopper in his
hand. He stared at the girl, blushed, and ran out again. He came back
in a moment latter with his trousers zipped up and an axe in his
"Sorry, I thought we were doing the continental version," he said.
"Shit! What happened to the wolf? I was supposed to...."
"I just thought I would strike a blow for the feminist cause," Little
Red Riding Hood said. "Personally, I'm getting tired of the way how
these tales always seem to end with the women, girl, princess or
whatever getting rescued by some sort of stereotypical male protector
figure." She casually reloaded the still smoking shotgun. "Have you got
a problem with that?"
"No, not at all," the woodcutter said, nervously eyeing the shotgun.
"But won't this damage the traditional image of the fairy story as a
mode of reassurance to children that the world can be restored to order
"Bugger that," Little Red Riding Hood replied. "Think of what Hollywood
will pay, strong-chick flicks are big box-office these days... then
there are the computer-game spin-offs...." She took the woodcutter by
the arm and led him from the room. "We could do sequels; Little Red
Riding Hood II, Dragon Wars, or something... the possibilities are
"Yes," the woodcutter replied as they took the path back through the
"Stick with me and you could end up a rich man," Little Red Riding Hood
said. "No more getting your chopper out in tacky low-budget XXX-rated
videos.... I was thinking, maybe 10\\%?"
The wood cutter eyed the shotgun; she seemed to have a finger resting
on the trigger. He swallowed. "Deal," he said.