Little Red Riding Hood checked the contents of her basket: bread, cheese, milk, fruit, cigarettes and gin, ticked them off her list, and trundled off to deliver them to her Granny who lived in the forest. It was a long walk from the village where she lived, so when her legs began to ache, she decided to rest awhile in the skimpy shade of the autumn trees.
She picked up handfuls of dead leaves and formed them into a cushion to sit on. While collecting them, she came across some small brown mushrooms with pointy caps. She gathered them up, and put them in her basket for Granny to have with her dinner.
When she finally reached the ivy clad cottage, Granny hobbled to the door and let her in. She was very pleased with the mushrooms, but instead of putting them in the larder with her food, she put them in a teapot and brewed up some tea.
Little Red Riding Hood thought it tasted horrible, but forced it down to be polite. The strange tea made her feel sick at first, but she was persuaded it would pass, and after having a biscuit to get rid of the taste.
She crawled out and climbed into his lap, shaking and sobbing. He picked her up and gave her a hug, then placed her gently on the ancient sofa. When she finally calmed enough to be able to speak, he asked her what had happened to frighten her so badly. Her blue eyes grew wide, and her jaw began to tremble.
"It's all right. I'll protect you," he said, though he could see nothing to worry about in the room.
On the bed lay a very old lady, fast asleep. He went closer, to check that she was normal and not wolf like in any way. Lots of wrinkles, plaited white hair, and breath like stale vegetables,convinced him that she was definitely not a wolf.
While he drank the tea, she drank orange juice, and slowly returned to normal again. He drained his cup, sent the girl home, and went to check her Granny was alright, before leaving her to go home. He was concerned that she might have heard his voice, and thought she had an intruder.
In her bed was a beautiful shapely young woman, with long blond hair and laughing blue eyes, giggling happily to herself. He stood by the doorframe and stared. She was the most desirable woman he had ever seen, including models and film stars.
Outside,the birds had stopped singing, and the sun descended towards the horizon, creating a magnificent show of oranges, pinks and purples to finish off the day. Darkness arrived, and in the bedroom many candles were lit for comfort.
He had wondered briefly, very briefly, where the old woman had gone, but decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth, and pushed all thoughts aside, as he got down to the serious business of pleasing the lady who was there.
The candle lit hours passed like a dream, with much energy, and many fantasies being fulfilled on both sides. Several sweaty hours later, after enjoying each other thoroughly, they drifted off to sleep.
When he woke the next morning the woodcutter felt bruised and aching, his head hurt, and he wondered what on earth he was doing in the old lady's bed. He vaguely remembered something about a wolf and a little girl.
When his head stopped throbbing long enough for him to think, he decided that he must have saved the girl from a wolf, and fallen asleep in the grandmother's cottage. Though he was very surprised that she had let him use her bed. 'She must have been very grateful for me saving her grand-daughter', he thought, and allowed himself to feel smug for a while.
He could hear the old lady pottering about in the kitchen, and closed his eyes again, considering taking a day off after his exertions with the wolf that made him ache. There was something that bothered him though, if only he could remember.
Heavy boots clumped across the kitchen floor, shuffled along the hallway, and paused outside the bedroom door. Granny knocked on it softly.
She shuffled back to the kitchen, took bacon,eggs and sausages out of the fridge and put them into the frying pan on the old Raeburn stove, then buttered some bread to go with them, and washed up last night's cups and saucers.
While the breakfast was cooking, and her guest was getting washed, she put the kettle on. As she put fresh mushrooms in the pot she muttered, "It's so nice to have a grandchild who takes care of all my needs."