Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Second Millennium Fairy Tale

by Claudia Rey

‘Hi, pretty little thing’
growled the wolf
jumping on the path
from behind a bush.
‘Going for a picnic?’
The girl batted her long lashes
and adjusted her red bonnet.
‘A big bad wolf… how interesting’
she said with a smile.
‘Aren’t you afraid of me?’
said the wolf, disappointed.
‘Er… no. Should I?’
‘Of course you should.
Ever heard about the big wolf
who eats tender little girls
and their grandmothers as well?’
‘Aw, come on’ laughed the girl.
‘No one believes this any more.
And speaking of eating,
are you sure you could manage?
I’m not as tender as I look,
actually I’m pretty tough.
As for my grandma, poor thing,
she’s so old and bony…
not that much to chew there.’
The wolf stared at her, confused.
‘But… but look at me!’
he insisted. ‘Yellow, scary eyes…
sharp fangs… strong claws…
I mean, the works!
You should be terrified!’
The girl examined him critically
from head to tail.
‘Scary eyes, you say?
My dear, they are not scary at all,
they only look sort of red
as if you didn’t get enough sleep.
Try eye-drops, they do wonders.
Fangs? Hum. Not so sharp
and rather yellow in fact.
You should see a dentist!
Now, show me your claws.’
She took his paw in her hand.
‘But Wolfie, you have a problem here!
You see here? A badly broken one.
And there? Broken as well.
Wait a minute, not exactly broken…’
She frowned. ‘Say, do you bite you nails?
The wolf stooped his head
and burst into tears.
‘I’ve been so depressed lately…
no one is afraid of me any more,
can’t find a single goat or lamb,
rabbits and mice regularly outrun me,
I often go to bed hungry…
and now little Red Riding Hood’
he sobbed ‘makes fun of me!’
Red Hood put her arm round him.
‘Now, now, don’t cry. You know what?
I’ll buy you a drink. A beer,
a brandy, a whisky. You choose.
There must be a bar over there
just round the bend.’
‘But… a drink?’ said the wolf.
‘Little girls don’t drink!’
‘Wolfie’ grinned Red Hood
‘don’t be so daft.
I’m no little girl, I’m twenty-eight!
But I had to keep my job, you see,
so I got myself a nip and tuck.
And you know what,
you should do the same.’

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