Many years ago there lived a dear
little girl, who was beloved by everyone who knew her; but her
grandmother was so very fond of her that she never felt that she
could think and do enough for her.
On her grand-daughter's birthday she presented her with a red silk
hood; and as it suited her very well, she would never wear anything
else; and so she was called Little Red Riding Hood. One day her
mother said to her, "Come, Red Riding Hood, here is a nice piece of
meat, and a bottle of wine: take these to your grandmother; she is
weak and ailing, and they will do her good. Be there before she gets
up; go quietly and carefully; and do not run, or you may fall and
break the bottle, and then your grandmother will have nothing. When
you go into her room, do not forget to say 'Good-morning'; and do
not pry into all the corners." "I will do just as you say," answered
Red Riding Hood, bidding good-bye to her mother.
The grandmother lived far away in the wood, a long walk from the
village, and as Little Red Riding Hood came among the trees she met
a wolf; but she did not know what a wicked animal it was, and so she
was not at all frightened. "Good-morning, Little Red Riding Hood,"
"Thank you, Mr. Wolf," she said.
"Where are you going so early, Little Red Riding Hood?"
"To my grandmother's," she answered.
"And what are you carrying under your apron?"
"Some wine and meat," she replied. "We baked the meat yesterday, so
that grandmother, who is very weak, might have a nice strengthening
"And where does your grandmother live?" asked the Wolf.
"Oh, quite twenty minutes' walk further in the forest. The cottage
stands under three great oak trees; and close by are some nut
bushes, by which you will at once know it."
The wolf was thinking to himself, "She is a nice tender thing, and
will taste better than the old woman; I must act cleverly, that I
may make a meal of both."
Presently he came up again to Little Red Riding Hood and said. "Just
look at the beautiful flowers which grow near you; why do you not
look about you? I believe you don't hear how sweetly the birds are
singing. You walk as if you were going to school; see how cheerful
everything is around you in the forest."
And Little Red Riding Hood opened her eyes; and when she saw how the
sunbeams glanced and danced through the trees, and what bright
flowers were blooming in her path, she thought, "If I take my
grandmother a fresh nosegay she will be much pleased; and it is so
very early that I can, even then, get there in good time:" and
running into the forest she looked about for flowers. But when she
had once begun she did not know how to leave off, and kept going
deeper and deeper among the trees looking for some still more
beautiful flower. The Wolf, however, ran straight to the house of
the old grandmother, and knocked at the door.
"Who's that?" asked the old lady.
"Only little Red Riding Hood, bringing you some meat and wine;
please open the door," answered the Wolf.
"Lift up the latch," cried the grandmother; "I am much too ill to
get up myself."
So the Wolf lifted the latch, and the door flew open; and without a
word he jumped on to the bed and gobbled up the poor old lady. Then
he put on her clothes, and tied her night-cap over his head; got
into the bed, and drew the blankets over him.
All this time Red Riding Hood was gathering flowers; and when she
had picked as many as she could carry, she thought of her
grandmother, and hurried to the cottage. She wondered very much to
find the door open; and when she got into the room, she began to
feel very ill, and exclaimed, "How sad I feel! I wish I had not come
to-day." Then she said, "Good morning," but received no reply; so
she went up to the bed, and drew back the curtains, and there lay
her grandmother as she imagined, with the cap drawn half over her
eyes and looking very fierce.
"Oh, grandmother, what great ears you have!"
"All the better to hear you with," was the reply.
"And what great eyes you have!"
"All the better to see you with."
"And what great hands you have!"
"All the better to touch you with."
"But, grandmother, what very great teeth you have!"
"All the better to eat you with;" and hardly were the words spoken
when the Wolf made a jump out of bed and swallowed down poor Little
Red Riding Hood also.
As soon as he had thus satisfied his hunger, he laid himself down
again on the bed, and went to sleep and snored very loudly. A
huntsman passing by overheard him, and said, "How loudly that old
woman snores! I must see if anything is the matter."
So he went into the cottage; and when he came to the bed, he saw the
Wolf sleeping in it.
"What! are you here, you old rascal? I have been looking for you,"
exclaimed he; and taking up his gun, he shot the old Wolf through
But it is also said that the story ends in a different manner; for
that one day, when Red Riding Hood was taking some presents to her
grandmother, a Wolf met her, and wanted to mislead her; but she went
straight on, and told her grandmother that she had met a Wolf, who
said good-day; but he looked so hungrily out of his great eyes, as
if he would have eaten her up had she not been on the high road.
So her grandmother said, "We will shut the door, and then he cannot
Soon after, up came the Wolf, who tapped, and exclaimed, "I am
Little Red Riding Hood, grandmother; I have some roast meat for
you." But they kept quite quiet, and did not open the door; so the
Wolf, after looking several times round the house, at last jumped on
to the roof, thinking to wait till Red Riding Hood went home in the
evening, and then to creep after her and eat her in the darkness.
The old woman, however, saw what the villain intended. There stood
before the door a large stone trough, and she said to Little Red
Riding Hood, "Take this bucket, dear: yesterday I boiled some meat
in this water, now pour it into the stone trough." Then the Wolf
sniffed the smell of the meat, and his mouth watered, and he wished
very much to taste.
At last he stretched his neck too far over, so that he lost his
balance, and fell down from the roof, right into the great trough
below, and there he was drowned.