The True History of Little Golden Hood
You know the tale of poor Little Red Riding-hood, that the Wolf deceived and devoured, with her cake, her little butter can, and her Grandmother; well, the true story happened quite differently, as we know now. And first of all the little girl was called and is still called Little Golden-hood; secondly, it was not she, nor the good grand-dame, but the wicked Wolf who was, in the end, caught and devoured.
The story begins something like the tale.
There was once a little peasant girl, pretty and nice as a star in its season. Her real name was Blanchette, but she was more often called Little Golden-hood, on account of a wonderful little cloak with a hood, gold- and fire-coloured, which she always had on. This little hood was given her by her Grandmother, who was so old that she did not know her age; it ought to bring her good luck, for it was made of a ray of sunshine, she said. And as the good old woman was considered something of a witch, everyone thought the little hood rather bewitched too.
And so it was, as you will see.
One day the mother said to the child: `Let us see, my little Golden-hood, if you know now how to find your way by yourself. You shall take this good piece of cake to your Grandmother for a Sunday treat to-morrow. You will ask her how she is, and come back at once, without stopping to chatter on the way with people you don't know. Do you quite understand?'
`I quite understand,' replied Blanchette gaily. And off she went with the cake, quite proud of her errand.
But the Grandmother lived in another village, and there was a big wood to cross before getting there. At a turn of the road under the trees, suddenly `Who goes there?'
He had seen the child start alone, and the villain was waiting to devour her; when at the same moment he perceived some wood- cutters who might observe him, and he changed his mind. Instead of falling upon Blanchette he came frisking up to her like a good dog.
` 'Tis you! my nice Little Golden-hood,' said he.