Are you up for a little story? Today, I’m going to share a different kind of article. However, it is not so different, after all, just new for my site. I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m a writer as well and I have published several books. My other website, Write-topia, is all about writing and helping other authors.
I have wanted to write a short story like this for a long time, and perhaps right now while we’re staying at home you may find the time to read my vegan fairytale 🙂
So now, I am going to combine story-telling with some vegan tips, a free course, and perhaps even a recipe 🙂 which you will find in the links. I decided to revive Little Red Riding Hood and add a little twist. I hope you enjoy it as much as I had fun writing it.
Listen to Your Mother
“Little Red Riding Hood, now put on your cape. It is cold outside,” Mother said as she packed a wicker basket with oranges, apples, walnuts, flax seed bread rolls, pears, homemade vegan chocolates, and for good measure she added some toilet paper. Lately, it had been difficult to buy toilet paper, and she didn’t want grandma to be all alone in the woods without having at least one roll in her bathroom.
Little Red Riding Hood hopped into the kitchen and waited patiently for her mom to finish.
“Do I need a face mask?”
“No, dear, there’re only wolves and rabbits in the forest, no risk of running into anyone who might be ill.”
“I read so much about coronavirus right now … articles everywhere, I don’t know what to believe anymore.”
“Believe me on just one thing, go straight to grandma’s house, and do not stray from the path.”
“But you said, I won’t run into anyone.”
“The wolves are dangerous too. You stay on the path, you hear me?” Her mother gave her one of those stern looks that promised a reckoning which would be worse than the wolf if she didn’t obey.
The girl nodded and grabbed the basket after her mother covered its contents with a checkered cloth. It was surprisingly light.
Follow the Road
Little Red Riding Hood went on her way. She loved the forest. She never got enough of gazing up at those tall trees, wondering how old they were, how many decades they had lived. Perhaps even centuries? When she had the chance to spot a squirrel or a rabbit, she was especially delighted. Sometimes she ran after them, not to chase them, but just to see where they were off to. Of course, she could never keep up.
“Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” she sang, swinging her basket while traveling on the path, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road …” She stopped. “Oops, wrong story.” What song was she supposed to sing? Confused, she scratched her head and looked around. There, two rabbits sat at the base of a thick tree. It seemed as if they were having their own little conversation. She wondered how animals talked.
The moment the rabbits spotted her, they ran off. “Wait,” Little Red Riding Hood said, and she hurried after them. It was a good thing the basket was so light. She was relieved her mother had not added any chocolate cakes, because then she would have to be much more careful carrying this basket. It was easy to smash a cake … She had found that out before … much to mom’s chagrin.
In the Forest
The rabbits were long gone and Little Red had ventured deep into the forest. Now she had no idea how to find her way back to the road. For a while she stood there, looking around. Everything looked so similar here, tall thin trees with thick crowns, allowing just few rays of sun to venture into this darkness. They were golden rays that struck through the gloom. She didn’t like this part of the forest much …
“Hey, little girl, are you lost?”
Startled, she turned and looked upon a gray wolf. He was unusually large, and he had a long, bushy tail. He was quite beautiful. His wise, gray eyes fixated on her. ‘Not much flesh on this one’ – he thought.
A wolf! And her mother had warned her not to stray! Little Red was worried sick, she did not know what would be worse, her mother’s anger or the wolf’s teeth … She wasn’t looking forward to either of them. Was there a way she could escape both?
“You can’t speak?” The wolf inquired.
“Uh … yes, I can, but why can you?”
“Ah,” he scoffed, “human arrogance. You think we cannot communicate?”
“I didn’t say that.” Uh oh, now that she had finally found her speech, she had unwittingly challenged the animal. Not a good idea … Composing herself, she added, “Yes, I got lost. I don’t know where the road is.”
“I can take you there.”
Really? Wasn’t he nice? Perhaps her mother was wrong and not all wolves were dangerous. Maybe this one had already eaten and was not hungry. Little Red smiled in gratitude and went with the wolf.
Little Red was relieved when she finally arrived at her beloved grandmother’s house. The wolf had been so helpful. She had even offered him an apple, but he had just given her a funny look and informed her stiffly that he did not eat that. The girl lifted the heavy brass knocker and let it drop on the wooden door. Then she waited.
No one came.
“Grandma!” She called. No answer. Gingerly, she leaned against the door, and it opened a small crack. Had grandma left the door unlocked? Not good, especially because she lived here all alone. She opened the door and walked inside.
“Grandma?” Still no answer …
Little Red placed the basket on the kitchen table and removed the cloth. Strange, something seemed to be missing. Carefully, she went over the contents. Apples were there, pears, walnuts, all the food was accounted for … But … Hey, the toilet paper was gone! Had the wolf stolen it …? Why would he do that?
“Over here.” The voice came from upstairs. Little Red left the basket in the kitchen and walked up the stairs. She found her grandmother in her bedroom. She was in bed, the blanket pulled up to her chin. She looked quite bulky. The woman had always been thin, but now it seemed as if she was hiding considerable weight beneath that blanket.
“It’s so good to see you, my dear Little Red.”
“But you look so different.”
“A little pale from staying indoors. All the more to stay safe from coronavirus, my dear.”
“But how did you get so fat?”
“I’m not fat.”
The girl stared at her. The bulk shifted under the covering. Curiously, she pulled at the blanket. Grandma pulled back, not wanting to reveal what she was hiding, but the girl was insistent, and when the blanket was torn out of grandma’s brittle hands, rolls and rolls of toilet paper fell on the floor. There had to be nearly a hundred of them …
A Hungry Wolf
The wolf sneaked up the stairs. His plan was easy. Kill the old woman, step into her skin and pretend to be Little Red’s grandmother, then eat the girl too. Piece of cake.
But wait, he heard voices. Was the girl already there? How could she have been so fast? He remembered her telling him about the delicious plant-based meals her mother prepared for her and how much energy they gave her. Maybe that was the reason why she had arrived here so fast. “It’s a game changer,” she had proudly said. ‘Strange words to come out of a child’, he mused.
When he reached the second floor, he heard a discussion about toilet paper. Uh oh, had the girl discovered his theft of the precious roll? It had just been one roll, and he had not counted on her being here to complain about it. On he went, eager to get his lunch. When he appeared in the doorway, he found granddaughter and grandmother in a heated argument. The girl was accusing the old woman of stealing the village’s toilet paper supplies.
“No! I did not steal!” The old woman protested. “I paid for it all!”
“But we have none. I have to wipe with tree leaves! Mom gave me our last roll for you, and even that one is gone!”
The wolf flinched when he heard that. Both were so caught up in the argument that they didn’t even notice him, but then the old woman saw him. Her eyes widened in fear and she jumped out at the other side of the bed, hoping that the bed would provide some buffer between her and the predator. The girl turned around and recognized the wolf. Not realizing the danger she was in, she pointed her finger at him and said accusingly, “You stole my toilet paper!”
“Come here, Little Red,” grandma pleaded.
The wolf grinned, revealing his impressive fangs, and Little Red now understood why he had come. Filled with fear, she ran towards her grandmother, hiding behind the bed.
“That won’t do you any good,” he said, and growled for good measure, enjoying the fear in his victims’ eyes.
A Hunter is Needed
‘Great,’ Little Red thought, ‘all that healthy food I ate was for nothing, I can’t fight a hungry wolf …Is this what people meant when they warned me about the dangers of being vegan …?’
Grandma picked up one of the cookbooks she had stashed on the floor and threw it at the animal. The wolf grinned amused. Ah, humans, so fragile …
Below them a door slammed. Heavy footsteps sounded on the creaky stairs. The wolf turned and faced … him …
A large man stood in the doorway. He wore hunter’s clothes and he had a pipe in his mouth. Pointing his rifle at the animal, the man said, “Finally, I found you.”
The wolf had to think fast if he wanted to stay alive. He knew the hunter, he had been searching for him for a long time. He was the biggest wolf in the area and his capture would bring the man grand recognition among his species. If he leaped backwards to take the old woman and child hostage he might stand a chance, but the hunter could shoot him as he jumped …
Quickly, the wolf picked up as much toilet paper as he could, using his teeth and fore legs, managing to hold at least nine rolls. It would have to do for now. He knew how much humans prized them at the moment.
“I will rip this toilet paper to shreds if you shoot me,” the wolf said.
“Nooo!” Grandma shouted.
“It’s just one roll,” the hunter scoffed.
“I will rip and tear as much as I can. Even while I’m dying I can destroy these rolls, I can roll over them, bite them, smear them – I have been rolling in some dung on the way here.” He suddenly realized that this could have been the reason why Little Red had come here before him. He had been having too much fun with that dung.
The hunter hesitated.
“Perhaps we can work something out,” Grandma said.
The wolf sat on a roll, wiping his butt on the paper, left and right, left and right. Grandma’s eyes met the hunter’s, begging him to do the right thing.
“There’s nothing in the village,” Little Red said. “Grandma took it all …”
The wolf began to roll on the rolls and with his magnificent teeth he ripped the one in his mouth, deliberately slow.
The hunter was torn. The grand prize … the recognition of fellow hunters … but what about the toilet paper …? Sweat ran down his face. He was at an impasse. Knowing when to admit defeat, he lowered his gun. The wolf stopped his toilet roll vandalism and got up, unable to hide the triumph in his eyes. For good measure, he grabbed two rolls and he hurried outside. He would not be back here soon. Time to find new hunting grounds.
The toilet paper rolls lay on the ground, besides a few casualties they were safe for now. Grandma and Little Red came out from behind the bed. Grandma rested her hand on the hunter’s shoulder and said, “You made the right decision.”
“I will take some of them back to the village,” Little Red said, “and distribute them among our neighbors. Cinderella has been having a hard time wiping dust with her hands, she could use some toilet paper for that.”
“I hear that Snow White has struggled to keep the bathroom of the seven dwarfs clean,” the hunter offered. “Imagine, seven bu …”
“Yes, yes!” Grandma interrupted impatiently, “I get the picture. Take the rolls.”
While the hunter and Little Red picked up some toilet paper, making sure to leave a decent amount for grandma, the old woman added quietly, “And thank you for saving our lives.”