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Little Red Riding Hood: A downloadable paper finger puppet storyPrint me!

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was called Little Red Riding Hood for the cloak and hood she always wore.

One day, her mother asked her to take a basket of goodies to her sick granny’s house on the other side of the wood. “Be very careful, and stick to the path,” her mother said. “And whatever you do, don’t talk to strangers.”

Little Red Riding Hood said she wouldn’t, and headed off. Before too long, though, she got distracted, and found herself wandering off.

A wolf, spying her from behind a tree, seized his chance.

“Where are you going, little girl?” he asked sweetly.

Red Riding Hood remembered her manners, but not her mother’s warning. “Why sir, I’m going to take this basket of goodies to my granny’s house,” she answered.

“How nice,” said the wolf. “Does she live on the other side of this forest?”

“Yes, sir,” said Red Riding Hood.

“Well then, I know a shortcut,” said the wolf.

So he told her a big lie. He sent her the wrong way – a winding, twisting way that took her twice as long to get to her granny’s house, while he himself ran as fast as his old gray legs could take him to the little cottage.

Once he got there, he knocked on the door and said, in a high, sweet voice: “Granny, it’s me! Little Red Riding Hood! I’ve got a basket of goodies for you.”

When Granny came to the door, he swallowed her up in one big bite.
Then he put on her nightgown and nightcap, crept into her bed and waited for Red Riding Hood to come.

When the little girl came to the door, she knocked and said “Granny! It’s me! Little Red Riding Hood! I’ve got a basket of goodies for you.”

“Come in, child,” said the wolf.

So Red Riding Hood came in. “Granny,” she said. “You sound terrible.”
“Must be this terrible cold,” said the wicked wolf. “Come closer.”

So Red Riding Hood did. “Granny,” she said. “You look terrible.”

“Must be this terrible cold,” said the wicked wolf. “Come even closer.”

So Red Riding Hood did, and peered at the wolf. “Granny!” she said. “What big eyes you have.”

“The better to see you with, my dear,” said the wolf.

“Granny,” said Red Riding Hood, “what big ears you have.”

“The better to hear you with, my dear,” said the wolf.

Red Riding Hood didn’t like this one little bit.

“Granny,” she said finally. “What big teeth you have.”

“The better to eat you with, my dear!” cried the wolf. He sprung out of the bed and swallowed Red Riding Hood in another big bite.

So there sat Granny and Red Riding Hood, together in the tummy of the wolf.

“What should we do?” said Granny.

While Red Riding Hood thought, the wolf, who was as full as full could be, lay down in Granny’s bed to rest.

“Well,” said Red Riding Hood, “we certainly don’t have to take this lying down. Let’s kick and scream.”

So Granny and Red Riding Hood began to kick and scream, and the wolf began to whimper and howl.

Then Red Riding Hood remembered the basket, which the wolf had swallowed along with everything else. She and Granny pulled out the forks and knives and started poking the wolf as hard as they could.

The wolf started to howl in pain, as loud and wild a sound as you ever heard. Piles of birds fled the nearby treetops, and deer and squirrels raced from the cottage’s backyard as if there were a fire.

A nearby woodcutter heard the noise and stood frozen in mid-swing of his axe. “What was that?” he wondered. “Was it an animal in trouble? Was it a person in trouble? I’ll have to go help. I have to at least see what the matter is.”

The woodcutter was almost run over by all the other animals running past him the other way. He had to hold his ears for all the screeching from the wolf.

When he got to Granny’s house, he saw the door open.
He peeked inside, and saw the wolf, holding his big belly, making a big noise.

The woodcutter heard the cries for help of Red Riding Hood and her Granny. He knew what to do. With one swoop of his axe, he cut open the wolf’s belly and set them free.

Granny, who felt sorry for the wolf, used her sewing kit to sew him back up again. The wicked wolf was nowhere near sorry enough for what he had done, but he was sorry enough to stay far away from people for the rest of his days – and to this day, no wolf has ever harmed a human.

Red Riding Hood, however, was plenty sorry for not listening to good advice when she heard it. Not sorry enough to take good advice all the time, but she did try harder from then on.

After all, nobody’s perfect – except maybe for Grannys. Speaking of Granny, after spending all that time in the hot wolf’s tummy, she actually felt much better, and got up to make a big batch of brownies for the woodcutter and Red Riding Hood.

Red Riding Hood took the leftovers back to her mother – and she didn’t stop once along the path, or talk at all to any strangers.


All materials © 2006 Elizabeth Bushey, except where otherwise indicated.
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