Note: Originally appeared on Quail Bell Magazine on November 11th, 2014
Over the hills, just past the holler
Up the stairs til’ she reached the banister
To pay a visit to dear old Grandmother.And knocked on the door once or twice
She could already smell the sugar and spice.
And all the things that made her home smell nice
Little did Red know she was rolling the dice.
She cracked open the door and entered the room
Lingering smell of grandmother’s perfume.
Of course Little Red so innocently assumed
That a visit to her grandmother would not leave her doomed.
Alas, there grandmother was awaiting
Licking her lips very strangely.
Then Grandmother stated VERY impatiently,
“How long were planning on keeping me waiting?”
“Sorry I’m late!” Red said apologizing.
“The long wait was certainly agonizing.”
That’s not her voice… thought Red realizing
It was not her grandmother in the bed that was arising.
Because this mysterious figure was covered in hair,
An unsettling set of amber glowing eyes with a ferocious glare.
All Little Red could do was hopelessly stare
It was a monstrous wolf with its sharp teeth bared!
“What big eyes you have g- grandmother!” exclaimed Red, clutching her basket tight.
“All the better to see your pudgy little fingers, isn’t that right?
And those chubby cheeks and plump legs are quite the sight!
It’ll be a pleasure to devour you in just one bite!”
Just as the Wolf was preparing to feast
A lumberjack knocked down the door and lunged at the beast.
And after begging for its life the Wolf was released.
Red Riding Hood was relieved, to say the very least.
But even though the wolf had fled,
Red could not forget what he had said.
Every day she was haunted with dread.
Just how long before another wolf will want to be fed?
“My fingers are fat and my legs are large.
And suppose my whole body looks kind of enlarged
It’s now or never that I begin to take charge!”
Her former self she vowed to discard.
So the next time she visited her grandmother at her home,
She would drink just water and water alone;
Would smile in delight when her stomach groaned
And soon enough she was all skin and bones.
Her mother and grandmother begged her to eat
But Red was much too proud of her feat.
And the same process each day she’d repeat
Though she was never satisfied enough to feel complete.
But Little Red wouldn’t give up, not now not ever.
For how could she know this was the wolf’s endeavor?
Because Red did not realize the wolf intended to sever
Her body, mind, and soul forever.
He took delight in seeing her shrink
With her abstaining from any food and drink.
Dragging her closer and closer to the brink,
Until her mind and body were no longer in sync.
That was the day she collapsed on the floor,
Her mother caught sight of her and soared
Towards Red screaming loudly, more and more,
Until her mother couldn’t feel Little Red’s pulse anymore.
They buried her six feet under, next to her kin;
Her family came and all her close friends
Who picked up Red’s habits because they too desired to be thin,
And the Wolf resurfaces again and again.