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Little Red Cap

Many years ago there lived a dear little girl who was beloved by every one who knew her; but her grand-mother was so very fond of her that she never felt she could think and do enough to please this dear grand-daughter, and she presented the little girl with a red silk cap, which suited her so well, that she would never wear anything else, and so was called Little Red-Cap.

One day Red-Cap's mother said to her, "Come, Red-Cap, here is a nice piece of meat, and a bottle of wine: take these to your grandmother; she is weak and ailing, and they will do her good. Be there before she gets up; go quietly and carefully."

The grandmother lived far away in the wood, a long walk from the village, and as Little Red-Cap came among the trees she met a Wolf; but she did not know what a wicked animal it was, and so she was not at all frightened. "Good morning, Little Red-Cap," he said.

"Thank you, Mr. Wolf," said she.

"Where are you going so early, Little Red-Cap?"

"To my grandmother's," she answered.

"And what are you carrying in that basket?"

"Some wine and meat," she replied. "We baked the meat yesterday, so that grandmother, who is very weak, might have a nice strengthening meal."

"And where does your grandmother live?" asked the Wolf.

"Oh, quite twenty minutes walk further in the forest. The cottage stands under three great oak trees; and close by are some nut bushes, by which you will at once know it."

The Wolf was thinking to himself, "She is a nice tender thing, and will taste better than the old woman; I must act cleverly, that I may make a meal of both."

Presently he came up again to Little Red-Cap, and said, "Just look at the beautiful flowers which grow around you; why do you not look about you? I believe you don't hear how sweetly the birds are singing. You walk as if you were going to school; see how cheerful everything is about you in the forest."

And Little Red-Cap opened her eyes; and when she saw how the sunbeams glanced and danced through the trees, and what bright flowers were blooming in her path, she thought, "If I take my grandmother a fresh nosegay, she will be very much pleased; and it is so very early that I can, even then, get there in good time;" and running into the forest, she looked about for flowers.

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