One day her mother told her she meant to send her to her grandmother-- a very old lady who lived in the heart [PAGE] [PAGE] of a neighboring wood--to take her some fresh butter and new-laid eggs and a nice cake. Little Red Riding-Hood was delighted at being sent on this errand, for she liked to do kind things, and it was such a very long time since she had seen her grandmother, that she had almost forgotten what the old lady looked like.
The sun was shining brightly, but it was not too warm under the shade of the old trees, and Little Red Riding-Hood went on [PAGE] [PAGE] her way singing and gathering great bunches of wild flowers to give to her grandmother. She sang so sweetly that a cushat dove flew down from a tree and followed her. [SWITCH] Now, it happened that a wolf, a very cruel, greedy creature, also heard her as she passed, and longed to eat her for his breakfast, but he knew Hugh, the woodman, was at work very near with his great dog, and he was afraid they might hear Little Red Riding-Hood cry out if he frightened her, and then they would kill him. So, after following her a little way, he came up to her very gently and said, "Good day, Little Red Riding-Hood, where are you going?"
"To see my grandmother," said the child, "and take her a present from mother of eggs and butter and cake."
"Where does your grandmother live?" asked the wolf.
"Quite in the middle of the wood," she replied.
"Oh! I think I know the house. Good-bye, Little Red Riding-Hood." And the wolf ran off as fast as he could go.
Little Red Riding-Hood was not in a hurry, and there were many things to amuse her in the wood. She ran after the white and yellow butterflies that danced before her, and sometimes she caught one, but she always let it go again, for she never liked to hurt any creature.
[PAGE] And then there were the merry, cunning little squirrels to watch, cracking nuts on the branches of the old trees, and every now and then a rabbit would hurry away through the tall ferns, or a great bee come buzzing near her, and she would stop to watch it gathering honey from the flowers and wild thyme. So she went on very slowly. By-and-by she saw Hugh, the woodman. "Where are you going, Little Red Riding-Hood," said he, "all alone?"
"I am going to my grandmama's," said the child, "Good-bye; I must make haste now, for it is becoming late."
[SWITCH] While little Red Riding-Hood was playing in the wood, the great wolf galloped on as fast as he could to the old lady's house. She lived all by herself, and a neighbor's child came once or twice a day to tidy the house and get her food. Now, grandmother was very feeble, and was often obliged [PAGE] [PAGE] [PAGE] to keep her bed; and it happened that she was in bed the day Little Red Riding-Hood went to see her. When the wolf reached the cottage door he tapped.
"Who is there?" asked the old lady.
"Little Red Riding-Hood, granny," said the wolf, trying to speak like the child.
"Come in, my dear," said the old lady, who was a little deaf. "Pull the string and the latch will come up."
The wolf did as she told him, and went in, and you may think how frightened poor grandmother was when she saw him instead of Little Red Riding-Hood.
Now, the wolf, who was quite hungry after his run, soon eat up the poor old lady. Indeed, she was not enough for his breakfast, and so he thought he would like to eat sweet Little Red Riding-Hood also. Therefore, he dressed himself in granny's night-cap and got into bed, and waited for the child to knock at the door.
[SWITCH] By-and-by, Little Red Riding-Hood reached her grandmother's house, and tapped at the door.
"Come in," said the wolf, in a squeaking voice. "Pull [PAGE] the string, and the latch will come up."
Little Red Riding-Hood thought her grandmother must have a cold, as she spoke so hoarsely; but she went in at once, and there lay her granny, as she thought, in bed.
"If you please, granny, mother has sent me with some butter and eggs."
But when Little Red Riding-Hood saw the wolf she felt frightened. She had nearly forgotten her grandmother, but she did not think she had been so ugly.
[SWITCH] "Grandmother," she said, "what a great nose you have."
"All the better to smell with, my dear," said the wolf.
"And, grandmother, what large ears you have."
"All the better to hear with, my dear."
"Ah! grandmother, and what large eyes you have."
"All the better to see with, my dear," said the wolf, showing his teeth, for he longed to eat the child up.
"Oh, grandmother, and what great teeth you have!" said Little Red Riding-Hood.
"All the better to eat you up with," growled the wolf, and, jumping out of bed, he rushed at Little Red Riding-Hood, and would have eaten her up, but just at that minute the door flew open, and a great dog tore him down. [PAGE] [PAGE] The wolf and the dog were still fighting when Hugh, the woodman, came in and killed the wicked wolf with his axe.
Little Red Riding-Hood threw her arms round the woodman Hugh's neck, and kissed him, and thanked him again and again.
[PAGE] [PAGE] "Oh, you good, kind Hugh, she said, how did you know the wolf was here, in time to save me?"
"Well," said Hugh, "after you had passed, I remembered that a wolf had been seen about the wood lately, and I thought I would just come after you and see if you were safe. When we came near your grandmother's house, Trim sniffed and ran to the door and whined, and then he pushed it open--as you had not shut it close--and rushed in; and I followed him, and between us we have killed the wolf."
Then Hugh took the child home, and her mother and father could not thank him enough for saving their Little Red Riding-Hood, who was immediately clasped in her delighted mother's arms.