“Don’t forget to put away your shoes,” said Little Red’s mother, but Little Red didn’t listen. She left her shoes in the middle of the hall, and her puppy chewed them to pieces.
“Chew with your mouth closed,” said Little Red’s mother, but Little Red didn’t listen. She gave her father a lovely view of her half-eaten food and got sent away from the table before she was finished.
“Don’t draw on the walls,” said Little Red’s mother, but Little Red didn’t listen. She slipped behind her bedroom door and drew an extra large wolf in red crayon on her wall.
Her mother never even noticed it was there.
That night, while Little Red slept, the wolf’s round eyes began to glow. Bit by bit he peeled himself off the wall and padded on silent feet across the toy-strewn floor to stand over Little Red’s bed. For a long time he stood there, watching her sleep until he was startled by the click of the furnace turning on and darted noiselessly to the door and out into the night.
“Take this basket to your grandmother,” said Little Red’s mother, “and listen carefully to the rules.” But Little Red just yawned as the words washed over her, and waited for her mother to tie on her hood.
The forest was misty and cold as Little Red walked, and she didn’t like the crunch of the stones on the path beneath her feet. “Stay on the path,” her mother had said, but Little Red was wearing her old shoes that pinched, and the grass looked so much more comfortable for walking. She wandered among the trees and never noticed that someone was watching her from their shadows.
“Don’t open the basket,” her mother had said, but Little Red was hungry from missing her supper the night before, and delicious smells were rising up through the cover. She opened it up and began to nibble the cake inside. Soon nibbling turned to gobbling, and the cake was all but gone before she was halfway to her grandmother’s house. She never looked behind to see who was sniffing hungrily at the crumbs.
“Don’t talk to strangers,” her mother had said, but when the wolf approached, Little Red thought he looked oddly familiar. She told him her name and where she was going, and never noticed the ravenous look in his eyes when he saw that her basket was empty.
“Call me when you get there,” her mother had said, but Little Red never did.