For this year’s Halloween party at the school where I teach, I was put im charge of preparing a suspense story to tell the students – according to the American style of sitting in a circle by the fire. Then I remembered something a history teacher had told me years before, about the original versions of some child’s tales, and I decided to go from there. In my opinion, the most interesting of these stories is Red Riding Hood, so I did a little more research. I soon found out that the first versions of this story were either too “nice” or too heavy to tell the kids. Hence, I opted for adapting the traditional story by myself. I’m not talented in writing fictional texts – not meaning to imply that I’m that talented with non-fiction either – so don’t hope for much. And tell your daughters, if they misbehave too much, hehehe.
Red Riding Hood – Halloween version
Once upon a time, there was a small village, close to a forest. In that village lived a beautiful little girl. She had many friends, and her parents were very proud of her. She was very happy. One day, her grandmother gave her a red hood, and from that day on, she would wear that hood everyday. So she became known as the Red Riding Hood.
But time went by, and things started to change. She noticed that her parents were more nervous, more worried. Sometimes, they even looked scared. One day, her mother said she needed to talk to her.
– Your father and I are very worried – she said.
– Why, mom?
– There’s a monster that lives around us. He’s terribly ugly, and the thought of him makes me shiver. You should never leave the village at night, and you shouldn’t trust your eyes.
– Don’t worry, mom. I’ll be ok.
As the days and weeks passed, Red Riding Hood would spend more and more time with her friends. Sometimes, she’d stay out until after the day was over, and the moon was high in the sky.
In one afternoon, the girl was walking around, close to the forest, when she saw a young man. She didn’t remember seeing him before. But she thought he was very handsome. He didn’t say anything, so she asked:
– Hi, are you from around here?
– I live on the other side of the forest – was his answer. And he said that with a big, friendly smile on his face.
– Nice to meet you, stranger.
At this moment, she realized that he had something in his hand. She couldn’t see what it was, because he was standing under the shadow of a tree. She came a little closer to him and looked hard at his hand. She was feeling curious. As she approached, he said:
– I have something for you.
And he moved his hand into the light. She saw many flowers, yellow, blue and red, and she thought they were beautiful. She stepped closer to him, reached out her hand and took the flowers.
– Do you like them? He asked.
– Yes, very much. These are the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen.
– Well, there are many more of them in a field near here. So many that, when you’re at that field, the entire world seems colorful. I could show you where it is, if you want.
Then Red Riding Hood remembered her mother’s words. But her mother had said that the monster was very ugly, and that she should only be careful at night. It was still afternoon, and she was talking to a handsome boy. So she said yes. They went into the woods and started walking. After some time, the path got harder, and he held her hand and helped her walk. Eventually, they went into a field where the girl saw many flowers, hundreds of flowers. All the ground was covered with colors red, green, blue, yellow and pink. She felt like she was in paradise. She walked through the field smelling and observing the flowers, and after she had gotten to know all of them, she started picking some. “These will be a great present for my grandmother”, she thought.
She was so excited about the flowers that she didn’t notice time pass by. When she looked up, she saw that the sun was gone, and there was a big round full moon in the sky. A dark night had surrounded her. She looked around, trying to find the boy who took her there. When she turned to the path through which they’d come, she saw him. But something was different about the man now. His body was shaking, and apparently there was hair growing in his arms, legs and neck. His hands looked more and more like claws, and his teeth were becoming long and sharp. She was so scared she couldn’t move. After a few moments, the boy had turned into a hideous creature that looked like a wolf. It looked at her with big red eyes and howled loudly. She screamed, but it was too late. It came towards her and…
The next day, the people of the village went looking for her. They searched all day long, in every part of the forest that they knew, but the only thing they found was her red hood.
P.S. 1: when I wrote this story, I was so caught up in work that I didn’t even know there was a movie being made telling a dark version of the tale. Red Riding Hood will be played by Amanda Seyfried.
P.S. 2: this was the first entry in English in the blog (though not entirely) and also the first one in English to be published before its equivalent in Portuguese. When I decided to start publishing in English as well as Portuguese, I translated the portions of this entry that were in Portuguese.