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Saturday, March 05, 2005

To Grandmother's: A Cautionary Tale

She was a good girl, and she loved her grandmother. Her mother called her away from the TV, and said, "Your grandmother is sick. Please go over there and take this basket for her. I'll call and tell her to unlock the door for you."

She took the basket, which had bananas, chocolate candy, and other attractive goodies, and went through the alleys and the empty lots to her grandmother's house.

On the way, she met a wolf. Now, she hadn't read the right stories, and so she didn't know he was a wolf, but he had, and he was. He politely asked her where she was going. She gave him the address. The wolf said, "Have a nice walk!" and scooted off to the address by way of a couple of dark shortcuts.

Now, depending on whether you have read this story in the KJV or the NIV*, the wolf either:
1) ate the grandmother, and put on her nightclothes, or
2) scared the grandmother into enough health that she ran out of the house, grabbing her cell phone on the way out.

The wolf scrounged around in a drawer or two until he had something to wear that looked like what the grandmother had been wearing. When she came to the door, and, like the wolf, found it open, she came in. The wolf was lying in the bed, pretending to be her grandmother.

Well, the stories say that he told her that his voice was low because he was hoarse from being sick, that his eyes were big so he could see her, and that his ears were big so he could hear her, and that his teeth were big so he could eat her. After that, either he did eat her (KJV) or she ran away, and got a cop to come in and finish off the wolf (NIV). The cop was already on the way there, after 911 was finally convinced that the grandmother, though hysterical, had called in a real emergency.

Did you ever hear anything so ridiculous? What granddaughter with an IQ higher than that of a pickled pig's foot would confuse her grandmother and a wolf, under any circumstances? None, that's who. So what did go on in Little Red Riding Hood's brain? (Whoops--I gave it away . . . ) What went on in Little Red Riding Hood's brain is that she found the wolf strangely attractive. If she hadn't, she would have known that it wasn't her grandmother after the first question, even if the bedroom was totally dark. So she just hung around, when she should have run out of there at top speed.

James says that we are "drawn away of . . . [our] own lust, and enticed." (1:14, KJV) That's what really happened to Little Red Riding Hood. May I be certain that it never happens to me.

This post combines (sort of) two series, one on colors, and one on temptations. I plan to continue both.

*See here for one version of the story, in which LRRH is surgically released from the wolf, after being swallowed. Here's another, in which the wolf just eats her.

* * * * *

Our youngest daughter suggested that I would be interested in the James Thurber and Roald Dahl versions of LRRH. I was. Both of them involve pistols, which is not characteristic of our pacifist daughter. She also suggested the Steven Sondheim "Into the Woods" lyrics, which have LRRH speaking here. (Scroll the text, or search for LRRH). Thanks!

I also made one correction above, and am reposting and changing the date and time.

1 comment:

Glenn said...

I told my son the KJV version when he was about 5. We hadn't done a lot of fables and such, and this was the first time he had heard the story. He broke out into tears when the wolf ate Grandma. My heart still breaks when I recall his reaction to what happened to Little Red.