Little Red Riding Hood

adapted by Rick Swallow

Parts (9):   Narrator 1        Narrator 2        Narrator 3       Narrator 4        
             Little Red        Mother            Wolf             Grandmother        Huntsman
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Narrator 1:  Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by every one who looked 
             at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and there was nothing that she would not 
             have given to the child. Once she gave her a little cap of red velvet, which suited 
             her so well that she would never wear anything else. So she was always called Little
             Red Riding Hood.

Narrator 2:  One day her mother said to her, 

Mother:     "Come, Little Red Riding Hood, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine. Take them 
             to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before 
             it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the
             path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get
             nothing. And when you go into her room, don't forget to say, good-morning, and don't
             peep into every corner before you do it."

Little Red: "I will take great care,"

Narrator 3:  said Little Red Riding Hood to her mother, and gave her hand on it.

Narrator 4:  The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as 
             Little Red Riding Hood entered the wood, a wolf met her. Little Red Riding Hood did 
             not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him.

Wolf:       "Good-day, Little Red Riding Hood," 

Narrator 1:  said the wolf.

Little Red: "Thank you kindly, wolf."

Narrator 2:  said Little Red Riding Hood in her sweetest voice.

Wolf:       "Whither away so early, Little Red Riding Hood?"

Narrator 3:  asked the wolf.

Little Red: "I'm going to my grandmother's."

Narrator 4:  said Little Red Riding Hood with a smile in her voice.

Wolf:       "And what have you got in your apron?"

Narrator 1:  asked the wolf in as kindly a voice as he could muster.

Little Red: "Cake and wine. Yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have 
             something good, to make her stronger."

Narrator 2:  explained Little Red Riding Hood politely.

Wolf:       "Where does your grandmother live, Little Red Riding Hood?"

Little Red: "A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood. Her house stands under the three 
             large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below. You surely must know it."

Narrator 3:  The wolf thought to himself, 

Wolf:       "What a tender young creature. What a nice plump mouthful, she will be better to eat 
             than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both."
Narrator 4:  So he walked for a short time by the side of Little Red Riding Hood; then he said,

Wolf:       "See, Little Red Riding Hood, how pretty the flowers are about here. Why do you not 
             look round. I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are 
             singing. You walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else
             out here in the wood is merry."

Narrator 1:  Little Red Riding Hood raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing here 
             and there through the trees, and pretty flowers growing everywhere, she thought, 

Little Red: "Suppose I take grandmother a fresh nosegay. That would please her too. It is so early
             in the day that I shall still get there in good time."

Narrator 2:  And so she ran from the path into the wood to look for flowers. And whenever she had
             picked one, she fancied that she saw a still prettier one farther on, and ran after 
             it, and so got deeper and deeper into the wood.

Narrator 3:  Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother's house and knocked at the door.

Grandmother: "Who is there?"

Wolf:        "Little Red Riding Hood "I am bringing cake and wine. Open the door."

Grandmother: "Lift the latch," 

Narrator 1:   called out the grandmother, 

Grandmother: "I am too weak, and cannot get up."

Narrator 2:  The wolf lifted the latch, the door sprang open, and without saying a word he went 
             straight to the grandmother's bed, and devoured her. Then he put on her clothes, 
             dressed himself in her cap, laid himself in bed and drew the curtains.

Narrator 3:  Little Red Riding Hood, however, had been running about picking flowers, and when 
             she had gathered so many that she could carry no more, she remembered her 
             grandmother, and set out on the way to her.

Narrator 4:  She was surprised to find the cottage-door standing open, and when she went into the 
             room, she had such a strange feeling that she said to herself, 

Little Red: "Oh dear, how uneasy I feel to-day, and at other times I like being with grandmother 
             so much."

Narrator 1:  She called out, 

Little Red: "Good morning," 

Narrator 2:  but received no answer. So she went to the bed and drew back the curtains. There 
             lay her grandmother with her cap pulled far over her face, and looking very strange.

Little Red: "Oh, grandmother," 

Narrator 3:  she said, 

Little Red: "What big ears you have."

Wolf:        "The better to hear you with, my child,"

Narrator 4:  replied the wolf.

Little Red: "But, grandmother, what big eyes you have," 

Narrator 1:  Little Red Riding Hood said with surprise in her voice.

Wolf:       "The better to see you with, my dear."

Little Red: "But, grandmother, what large hands you have."

Wolf:       "The better to hug you with."

Little Red: "Oh, but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have."

Wolf:       "The better to eat you with."

Narrator 2:  And scarcely had the wolf said this, than with one bound he was out of bed and 
             swallowed up Little Red Riding Hood in one bite.

Narrator 3:  When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the bed, fell asleep 
             and began to snore very loud. A huntsman was just passing the house, and thought to 
             himself, 

Huntsman:   "How the old woman is snoring. I must just see if she wants anything."

Narrator 4:  So he went into the room, and when he came to the bed, he saw that the wolf was lying 
             in it. 

Huntsman:   "Do I find you here, you old sinner?" 

Narrator 1:  said the huntsman. 

Huntsman:   "I have long sought you."

Narrator 2:  Then just as he was going to fire at him, it occurred to him that the wolf might have
             devoured the grandmother, and that she might still be saved, so he did not fire, but 
             took a pair of scissors, and began to cut open the stomach of the sleeping wolf.

Narrator 3:  When he had made two snips, he saw the Little Red Riding Hood shining, and then he
             made two snips more, and the little girl sprang out, crying, 

Little Red: "Ah, how frightened I have been. How dark it was inside the wolf."

Narrator 4:  And after that the aged grandmother came out alive also, but scarcely able to breathe.
             Little Red Riding Hood, however, quickly fetched great stones with which they filled 
             the wolf's belly, and when he awoke, he wanted to run away, but the stones were so 
             heavy that he collapsed at once, and fell dead.

Narrator 1:  Then all three were delighted. The huntsman drew off the wolf's skin and went home
             with it. The grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine which Little Red Riding Hood
             had brought, and revived, but Little Red Riding Hood thought to herself, 

Little Red: "as long as I live, I will never by myself leave the path, to run into the wood, when 
             my mother has forbidden me to do so.

Narrator 4:  It is also related that once when Little Red Riding Hood was again taking cakes to 
             her old grandmother, another wolf spoke to her, and tried to entice her from the 
             path.  Little Red Riding Hood, however, was on her guard, and went straight forward
             on her way, and said to her grandmother,

Little Red: "Grandmother, I met another wolf wolf,  he had said good-morning to me, but with such
             a wicked look in his eyes, that if we had not been on the public road she I am 
             certain he would have eaten me up. 

Grandmother: "Well," 

Narrator 1:  said the grandmother, 

Grandmother: "We will shut the door, that he may not come in."

Narrator 2:  Soon afterwards the wolf knocked, and cried, 

Wolf:       "Open the door, grandmother, I am Little Red Riding Hood, and am bringing you some 
             cakes."

Narrator 3:  But they did not speak, or open the door, so the grey-beard stole twice or thrice 
             round the house, and at last jumped on the roof, intending to wait until Little Red
             Riding Hood went home in the evening, and then to steal after her and devour her in
             the darkness. But the grandmother saw what was in his thoughts. In front of the house
             was a great stone trough, so she said to the Little Red Riding Hood,

Grandmother: "Take the pail, Little Red Riding Hood. I made some sausages yesterday, so carry the 
             water in which I boiled them to the trough."

Narrator 4:  Little Red Riding Hood carried the water until the great trough was quite full. Then
             the smell of the sausages reached the wolf, and he sniffed and peeped down, and at 
             last stretched out his neck so far that he could no longer keep his footing and began
             to slip, and slipped down from the roof straight into the great trough, and was 
             drowned. But Little Red Riding Hood went joyously home, and no one ever did anything 
             to harm her again.