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The Red Fairy Book

The True History of Little Golden Hood
YOU know the tale of poor Little Red Riding-hood, that the Wolf deceived and
devoured, with her cake, her little butter can, and her Grandmother; well, the true story
happened quite differently, as we know now. And first of all the little girl was called and
is still called Little Golden-hood; secondly, it was not she, nor the good grand-dame, but
the wicked Wolf who was, in the end, caught and devoured.
Only listen.
The story begins something like the tale.
There was once a little peasant girl, pretty and nice as a star in its season. Her real name
was Blanchette, but she was more often called Little Golden-hood, on account of a
wonderful little cloak with a hood, gold- and fire-coloured, which she always had on.
This little hood was given her by her Grandmother, who was so old that she did not know
her age; it ought to bring her good luck, for it was made of a ray of sunshine, she said.
And as the good old woman was considered something of a witch, everyone thought the
little hood rather bewitched too.
And so it was, as you will see.
One day the mother said to the child: `Let us see, my little Golden-hood, if you know
now how to find your way by yourself. You shall take this good piece of cake to your
Grandmother for a Sunday treat to-morrow. You will ask her how she is, and come back
at once, without stopping to chatter on the way with people you don't know. Do you quite
`I quite understand,' replied Blanchette gaily. And off she went with the cake, quite proud
of her errand.
But the Grandmother lived in another village, and there was a big wood to cross before
getting there. At a turn of the road under the trees, suddenly `Who goes there?'
`Friend Wolf.'
He had seen the child start alone, and the villain was waiting to devour her; when at the
same moment he perceived some wood- cutters who might observe him, and he changed
his mind. Instead of falling upon Blanchette he came frisking up to her like a good dog.
` 'Tis you! my nice Little Golden-hood,' said he. So the little girl stops to talk with the
Wolf, who, for all that, she did not know in the least.
`You know me, then!' said she; `what is your name?'
`My name is friend Wolf. And where are you going thus, my pretty one, with your little
basket on your arm?'
`I am going to my Grandmother, to take her a good piece of cake for her Sunday treat to-