The Tale of Red Riding Hood…Part III

The Tale of Red Riding Hood Part I

The Tale of Red Riding Hood Part II

When last we left our heroine, she was running from a pack of vengeful wolves in the company of her mysterious travel companion, Rummy…

On Red Riding Hood ran, feeling the same panic she felt as a little girl facing down a wolf in her grandmother’s gown. There was no woodsman to save her now, but the thought jolted her memory. Still running, she fumbled with her cape feeling the familiar heaviness of the ax. Her concentration was so focused on freeing the weapon from the billowing fabric, that she didn’t notice the exposed root of an oak in front of her. She landed with a crash, but quickly grabbed up the ax.

The wolves were now in a tight circle around her, snapping and salivating. Rummy was close behind, still laughing at the foolish girl on the ground.

“This is the family of the two wolves you killed. The fairies promised to make me one of them if I could help a creature who is reviled. Nothing is more hated than a wolf lurking in the woods. Now they shall have their revenge and I’ll have my reward.”

Red had little time to think about his words for before long she was beset by teeth and claws. Her ax was her only defense, which she used in short, hacking strokes. The wolves had not expected Red to be armed, but their blood lust and need for revenge fueled their attacks. Two of them continued to lunge even after sustaining terrible wounds and another three tried plunging under the arc of the ax.

Her arm began to feel heavy, but Red continued in fear for her life. The attacks were becoming clumsy on both sides. The two fiercest wolves were beginning to succumb to their injuries and the other three were losing the rhythm of her hacks. Soon all of them were in a heap of fur and blood and Red, bloodied and bruised herself, was the victor. An enraged Rummy stomped his feet and railed against the silence.

“I did as you asked. It’s not my fault they weren’t able to revenge themselves!” he yelled at the heavens. Red raised her ax keeping a safe distance from herself and the man shrieking in front of her. Through the trees a voice whispered on the wind.

“Helping those in need is not hurting others. This is your third such offense. You may not join us and what’s more you will become a figure of ridicule until you can find a soul to love you,” said the voice and Rummy was transformed into small wizened man with scant hair and a pointy face. He looked like an angry man child stomping his feet and then running away from the forest.

“To you Red of the Riding Hood, we give our good wishes. If there is anything you want, please name it.”

Red thought long and hard about her wish and was inspired by the events of the day. The fairies honored her request and sent her back to her cottage in the woods from which an ax shaped sign swung reading, “Red of the Riding Hood, Forest Escort”.

As for Rummy, he found another who needed his help. A miller’s daughter with a room full of straw…

 THE END?

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