Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived with her parents in a cottage on the edge of the forest. Her father was a woodcutter. He worked all day long in the forest, chopping down trees with his huge axe.
Right in the middle of the forest was another cottage. It belonged to the little girl's grandmother.
The kind old lady loved her granddaughter very much, and one day decided to make her a present. It was a red cloak with a red hood to match.
The cloak looked so nice that the little girl wore it all the time. And that is why everybody called her Red Riding Hood.
One day Grandmother fell ill, so Red Riding Hood's mother baked her a cake and made her some fresh butter, just to make her feel better.
"Red Riding Hood," called her mother. "Take this cake and butter to Grandmother's cottage, a visit from you will cheer her up!"
So Red Riding Hood picked up the basket, waved goodbye to her mother and went off down the path.
She hadn't gone very far when she met a wolf. He trotted up, pretending to be friendly. "Good morning, Red Riding Hood. What have you got in your basket today?"
"I have some fresh butter and a cake," replied the little girl. "They are for my grandmother, who lives in the middle of the forest. She is ill and needs cheering up."
The wolf licked his lips. "How I would love to gobble up this little girl. But is I am clever, I can eat her grandmother as well," he sniggered.
"Red Riding Hood," said the wolf slyly. "We will both go to visit your grandmother and cheer her up. I'll race you there!"
Then the clever wolf said to Red Riding Hood, "You follow this path and I will find another one. Then we'll see who reaches Grandmother's cottage first."
No sooner was Red Riding Hood out of sight, than the wolf ran off at top speed.
As for Red Riding Hood, she wandered slowly along the path picking flowers and wild strawberries for her grandmother. She had forgotten all about the race.
The wicked wolf knew every secret path and short cut in the forest. He ran so fast, the animals and birds didn't even notice him.
Quietly he crept round a clearing in the trees where the woodcutter was chopping wood. On and on he raced until he came to the middle of the forest.
The wolf reached Grandmother's cottage in next to no time. He ran up the path and knocked on the door.
"Who is that?" cried Grandmother from her bed.
"It is Red Riding Hood," replied the wolf, in his softest voice.
"Lift the latch and come right in," the old lady called, "the door isn't locked, my dear."
The wolf bounded in and gobbled poor Grandmother whole!
"That was delicious," sighed the wicked wolf, smacking his lips. "Now for Red Riding Hood!"
The wolf looked around the bedroom. He found one of Grandmother's spare nightdresses and her nightcap, so he put them on as fast as he could.
Then the wolf jumped into bed and waited for Red Riding Hood.
At last the little girl reached the cottage door and tapped very gently. "Who it it?" asked the wolf, trying to sound like Grandmother.
"It's Red Riding Hood and I've bought you some cake and fresh butter."
The wolf grinned. "Lift the latch and walk right in," he croaked. So Red Riding Hood opened the door and came inside.
"You sound very strange," called Red Riding Hood.
"I have a cold my dear!" the wolf replied. "Come here so that I can see you."
Little Red Riding Hood was shocked when she saw her grandmother. "Why Grandmother, what strong arms you have!" she said.
"All the better to hug you with!" replied the wolf.
"Why Grandmother, what big eyes you have!" said Red Riding Hood staring at him.
"All the better to see you with!" the wolf grinned.
"Why Grandmother, what big teeth you have!"
"All the better to EAT you with!" snarled the wolf.
And with that, he threw back the bedclothes and leapt out of bed. Poor Red Riding Hood screamed at the top of her voice as the wolf tried to grab her and gobble her up. She escaped from the bedroom and dashed out of the house, the hungry wolf close behind!
Now Red Riding Hood's father was chopping wood nearby and he heard the little girl's screams.
He grabbed his huge axe and ran towards the cottage. He saw the wolf chasing Red Riding Hood and guessed what had happened. The brave woodcutter raised his axe and chopped the wolf in two with one blow. The wolf fell dead and Red Riding Hood was saved.
The frightened little girl ran to her father and kissed and hugged him.
But what a surprise they got when they turned round ... there stood Grandmother safe and sound! Because the woodcutter had chopped the wolf in two, Grandmother was able to climb out quite unharmed.
So all three went back inside the cottage. They unpacked the basket Red Riding Hood had brought and ate the delicious cake.
Little Red Riding Hood never again went walking in Th. forest alone, and Grandmother took great care to lock her cottage door.