Red Riding Hood
Red tied her hood under her chin. She probably didn’t need it on this lovely spring morning but, as mum said, it would be a lot cooler in the shady woods. She picked up the basket by the door.
“Bye, mum,” she called as she opened the front door.
“Take care, love,” said her mum as she came through from the kitchen, wiping her floury hands on her flowery apron. “Stick to the path. Only step off the path briefly if you see someone coming the other way. Keep your distance.”
“I will, don’t worry,” smiled Red.
“Say hi to Grannie for me. Ask her if there is anything else she needs.”
Red set off, glad to be outside. She was getting fed up, cooped up indoors for most of the day. She was even missing school.
She hadn’t gone far when she caught sight of a figure on the path up ahead. She approached cautiously, ready to step off the path if necessary. As she got closer she realised it was a policeman. It wasn’t the local ‘bobby’, she didn’t recognise him.
“Hello miss,” he said as she got nearer, “and where are you off to this fine spring day?”
“I’m visiting my grannie at the edge of the wood. She’s over 70 and can’t go out to get her shopping so I have a basket of food for her.”
“Let’s have a look what you’ve got in that basket then,” said the policeman suspiciously. Red held out the basket towards him, trying to keep 2 metres between them. He stretched out a hand and lifted the cloth cover. In the basket was a freshly baked loaf, some homemade cookies, eggs from Red’s hens and two toilet rolls.
“OK then, on your way young lady, then straight back home. No meeting up with your pals.” He stepped back to allow her to pass. As if she would meet up with anyone. Red had listened to all the advice and was determined to keep herself and her family safe.
Eventually she arrived at Grannie’s cottage. She placed the basket on the step and knocked on the door, stepping well back before the door opened.
“Hello, sweetie,” said Grannie, opening the door a crack. “Thank you so much. I’m down to my last crust, and I do love your mum’s baking. How are you both?”
“We’re fine, Grannie. Don’t worry about us. You look well.”
“I’m grand, here on my own. I don’t have any visitors except you, and while it is a bit lonely I know it’s for the best and we will soon have our family get togethers again. I’ll even be able to go to my bridge club again.”
“Mum says is there anything else you need?”
“Actually, next time you come I’d love a jar of your mum’s homemade jam, and maybe a couple of apples if you have any left from last autumn, please.” With that Grannie turned and went back into the cottage to empty the basket. Red sat on an old tree stump to wait. Little did she know that a sly old wolf had been watching the whole time. He now approached her, getting a little too close for comfort.
“Hello, little girl. What are you doing sat here all alone?” he said, licking his lips.
“I’m just waiting for ….” Red began, but broke off in a fit of coughing. “I’m so sorry. I have just started this awful cough, and now I’ve got a headache too. I feel so hot.”
The wolf didn’t wait around to listen. He shot off through the trees with his tail between his legs.
Grannie appeared at the door again.
“Here’s your basket, Red. Did I hear you talking to someone?”
“Nothing for you to worry about, Grannie. Make sure you wash your hands when you go back in.”
“I will. Thanks, sweetie. See you again soon. Love you,” Grannie blew Red a kiss and waved as she watched her walk back down the path.
Red smiled as she skipped along the path back home. She had fooled that nasty old wolf, had a lovely walk in the fresh air, ‘caring for the elderly’, and still had her hour’s exercise to use up. Perhaps she and her mum could go to see the bluebells, they should be just about out by now. Grannie was well and they would get through this.