A cottage made of wood and hay contained a family of two was build shortly after I arrived to the village. The village was situated in the middle of an unknown forest or even it was known, I choose not to reveal its name and its whereabouts.
He was a great hunter with remarkable skills according to the villages. “He could shoot a bee blindfolded!” yelled a drunk man in a nearby bar one day. One would not believe it unless I tell my personal account of the matter. Indeed, I saw his talent when he aimed at a spider next to me and without looking at it, he pulled the trigger resulting in an exploded spider.
Nobody knew what was become of him after a week he set his foot there. He literally vanished into thin air. The villagers were talking about it in practically all public meeting places. They gossiped and gave their own versions of his fate. I stood among these groups of people and listened silently and felt amused when they concluded their stories.
Coming back to that cottage, there sat a pregnant lady in her twenties holding a piece of tissue soaked with tears. She was mourning bitterly, trying to accept the harsh fact that her husband will never again return and her child will never be able to see him. I tried comforting her by giving her hope that he would return. I knew that it was useless doing so but I did it anyway. If I did not, I would not get to admire the classic wallpapers she had on her walls.
Years later, the child she bore transformed into a young little girl. She had a bubbly personality and had a face as shiny as the sun. Her hair was always bundled into two and she loved wearing red dresses. She told me the latter during one of our evening meetings which I reluctantly lend my ear to her.
Her grandmother named her Little Red Ridding Hood as she saw her ridding a tricycle, adorning a hooded red dress. The girl’s mother would not give her a name, believing that her husband would do so in the future. Once after her name was made known, the villagers started to talk among themselves. “When she’s twenty-one she I’ll call her Much Red Ridding Hood!” the crowd roared into laughter and then another man shouted, “I’ll call her A Lot Red Ridding Hood!” Right after that everyone took turns to voice out their own ideas about her name.
In her own world, she only did the following activities: Playing by herself, reading a book, visiting her grandmother and occasionally, chatting with me. She would do them in that order, everyday of her life.
“Isn’t it fun? It would become a habit one day and I love playing around, reading, visiting my granny and talking to you!” she exclaimed when asked. Little Red Ridding Hood would play her with her dolls and make up stories when doing so. Then, she would read a different book a day which was collected by her father from his father. After that, she would proceed on to visiting her grandmother who lives alone a few miles away from the village. On the way there, she would pick flowers; roses for her mother, buttercups for her grandmother and daisies for me.
It seemed that she enjoyed chatting with me as she usually talked until the lights are out. She tells me everything from the description of her dolls and the stories she read to her visit with her grandmother. She never fails to tell me different things about each activity she did.
Nothing could make her change the activities she did and the chronology of it until one day, an incident made that happen. As usual, she helped her mother prepare a jar of strawberry jam and a loaf of bread before visiting her grandmother. She tied a red ribbon onto the jar and put the two items into a basket. Off she went on her bicycle after bidding goodbye to her mother.
She normally followed a trail that lead to her destination and half way down the trail, she would pick flowers around an old oak tree. However, on that day, while she was doing so, a wolf appeared from behind the tree. Thinking that she would scream upon seeing him, the wolf was prepared to gag her with a handkerchief which he stole from a butcher. “It seemed like meat. If I can’t have it, I could at least smell it,” was what he said when interviewed.
Little Red Ridding Hood did not appeared scared. Instead, she was pleased to see him and made friends with him. She told him that she was on the way to her grandmother’s house and the wolf told her that he was going to visit a friend. Then they parted on their own separate ways.
Oblivious to the girl, the wolf hurried towards her grandmother’s house and was just in time to reply to her knock. “Come in dear.” She obediently entered and seated herself next to her grandmother’s bed. The wolf, all dressed up in her grandmother’s sleeping gown, greeted her warmly.
“Wow, grandma, what big eyes you have!” she uttered.
“The better to see you with,” was his reply.
“Wow, grandma, what big ears you have!”
“The better to hear you with,” the wolf said.
“Wow, grandma, what big nose you have!” she continued.
“The better to smell you with,” he patiently replied. At this stage, I was informed that he was irritated with her naive questions. He added that he gave a soft growl before she asked him again.
“Wow, grandma, what big teeth you have!”
With this question, the wolf was so annoyed and he shouted, “The better to eat you with!” Consequently, he pounded on her and sunk his teeth into her soft, tender skin. As the wolf devoured her, a hunter who was passing by saw the event and started shooting. Sadly, the wolf managed to run away before the hunter called for help.
The news spread far and wide within the village. Some of the villagers smirked and some grieved. Those who were angry with the wolf gathered together in search for him. A 56 year old man who stayed back said, “Their family deserve this. Her father was a show off and her mother was a whore,” he chuckled and continued, “Let me tell you something...I slept with her every day when she arrived!” And his whole gang laughed heartily.
By night fall, no one manage to find the wolf. They return back to their homes after consoling the widow. This time, I just sat in my couch and doze off. I was tired.
Sun rose from behind the hills and a young boy came knocking on my door. I went to open it and he said, “The wolf is dead but we do not know who killed it.”
Let me tell you the actual happenings behind the whole story. The widow did have an affair with that 56 year old man and Little Red Ridding Hood was his daughter. It was unknown to him until the funeral was held. As for the widow’s husband, he knew about the affair. He immediately took flight to New York and vowed never to return again. However, feeling betrayed, he hired someone to kill the little girl. That person then hired the wolf who threatened the grandmother for her own life. Being her usual selfish self, she exchanged her life for her granddaughter’s.
On that day, she witnessed the death of Little Red Ridding Hood in the cupboard. “I never regretted the decision I made,” she told me when I visited her.
She was then found dead the very next day with a knife sticking out from her stomach. No one could trace the murderer and no one knew the story behind all these happenings. Even if someone knew, that person is the murderer who was hired by the widow’s husband.
Thus, I end this story with an answer to the question of who killed the wolf and grandmother.