Four writers for the price of one blog
Little Red Riding Hood
An Erotic Re-Telling by Redbud
My home is the same that I was born in. Imagine a cottage, painted white, geraniums hanging from the porch beams and the steps a tulip’s hue of red. The yellow perfume of carnations drifts into the rooms from flower boxes. My neighbors live in houses like my own. Every house in my town keeps a garden enclosed by a picket fence and every yard is warm with the sun. My name is Mary Riddling, but today, everyone calls me Red Riding Hood. Many stories have been told about me, but I will tell you the story has it happened: how, once upon a day, everything changed.
She gave me a basket and list, like always, and warned me not to tarry or dilly-dally. I never understood the reason why, but I never tarried or dilly-dallied. I took the basket and picked two daisies as I walked from my yard into town.
“Hello Miss. Riddling!” said Mr. Jones, an old friend of my father’s.
His son, Jack, had been my childhood playmate until the worldly affairs of men occupied him.
Until that day, Mr. Jones had never called me ‘Miss’. I had always been Mary. I smiled and then saw something else – a small but hideous transformation. A wolf’s snout grew where his mouth and nose had been. I saw him glance at places he had never looked before. I smiled awkwardly and shyly averted my eyes to the path ahead. I walked another few steps and, still walking, glanced back at Jack. He was raking again and his snout was gone.
I was wearing the same blouse I always did. I buttoned the top button. I was frightened but also felt something I didn’t understand. In the yard across from mine I heard the slap of a jump rope and young girls’ rhyming:
I hurried and reached the center of town. The strange visions continued even if they were fleeting. I car would pass by and I thought I would see a wolf’s eyes glancing at me (always and only the men). I wanted nothing more than to hurry to my grandmother’s. When I reached the farmer’s market I was greeted by Father Trimble accompanied by Mrs. Lavaat – my childhood Sunday School teacher. I curtsied to them both.
“Good Sunday, my Child!” said Father Trimble. “How is your mother?” Rather than greet me in his usual manner he walked beside me. I saw a fine fur on the back of his hand as he moved it to the small of my back. I told him my mother was very well. He next asked after my grandmother, pressing at the small of my back as if to guide me safely here or there. I answered that my grandmother was very well, his hand having a peculiar effect on my posture.
Than I saw that the fur of his hand had thickened to a coarse wolfish bristle when we parted.
I curtsied again. Mrs. Lavaat, who had never been far behind, glared at me. I turned my gaze awkwardly to my feet. How was I to know? I fumbled for my list and felt Mrs. Trimble’s hand lightly on my forearm. She said without looking at me, “Enjoy it while it lasts, my ‘child‘.” But there was no kindness in her voice – only malice and envy?
I looked up, confused, but she had already walked on as if she’d said nothing.
My heart raced. What had happened? What had changed? I closed my eyes, wishing away the world’s strange transformation. I could smell the comfort of oranges and lemons ripening just steps away. I could smell the stronger smell of the apples – and all the fruit and vegetables ripening and ready to be taken. There was also the smell of rising dough and freshly baked breads. I opened my eyes to the list in my hand and nothing else.
My fingers lingered over the onions, enjoying how the papery skin slid over the smooth bulb beneath. I gently squeezed the avocados, feeling their readiness.
“Little Mary Riddling?”
I looked up, startled, then smiled gladly, seeing my neighbor’s son, Jack! I leaped and hugged him. He was home! — my playmate, my trusted companion and childhood friend. He was home! After a year’s absence, he was taller and his shoulders were broader. He wore the weathered cloak of a soldier and a sword hung at his side. He carried himself like a man.
“I hardly recognized you!” he said.
“Why?” I asked. “I am the same as ever!”
And then I felt a feather’s tickle in my stomach. No sooner had I said that than the eyes of my dear childhood friend became the bluish gray eyes of a wolf, yet his familiar smile made me forget.
“To my grandmother’s house.”
“And what are you carrying under your apron?”
“Tell me, dear Mary, just where does your grandmother live?”
“Her house is a good quarter hour from here in the woods, under the three large oak trees. There’s a hedge of hazel bushes there. You must know the place,” I answered.
Then he said: “Listen, Mary, haven’t you seen the beautiful wares the one-eyed gypsy sells? Why don’t you go and take a look? And I don’t believe you can hear how beautifully the birds are singing. You are walking along as though you were on your way to school in the village. It is very beautiful in the woods. Go to the woods, climb over a fence, and you will find where the gypsy sells breads and wines. Here is 50 cents for a loaf of bread.”
I mustn’t notice.
I stood on tiptoe and thanked him with a kiss on the cheek.
But when I kissed him I smelled the dark musk of the wolf more strongly than I ever had; and I tasted the taste of a wolf on my lips. My breath fluttered and I quickly fell back to my heels, wide-eyed and gazing. A fine gray fur grew on his cheeks, his chin and his ears were strangely pointed. I could not take my eyes from the piercing joy in his eyes; but Jack was my childhood playmate and as quickly as the tall, broad-shouldered wolf had appeared, he disappeared.
Jack bowed with a smile and left me.
I lifted my finger to the corner of my lips. I watched him go and tasted him as I did so. A dread fear and something else curled like a sinewy smoke in my belly. But I was all too happy to leave the market. I smelled the thick scent of wolves from every man that passed me by. I felt the lean gaze of wolves as if I walked in the secret shadows of the forest – under a hat, in the midst of a word, behind the backs of their wives.
I left the market and went to the woods.
I saw sunlight breaking through the trees and the beautiful flowers of the forest floor. And though my mother had told me not to tarry or dilly-dally, I paused to pick some flowers. I thought to myself: “If a take a bouquet to grandmother, she will be very pleased. Anyway, it is still early, and I’ll be home in time.”
And in this way, tarrying from one flower to the next, I went further and further into the woods until I found my way to the gypsies. Little did I know that Jack had gone straight to my grandmother’s house. He knocked at the door.
“Who’s there?” asked grandmother.
“Just press the latch,” called out my grandmother. “I am too weak to get up.”
Jack pressed the latch and opened the door. He stepped inside, went straight to my grandmother’s bed, and said:
“The birds are a’ gossip,
You foolish old quail,
Why do you sleep
When old wives make their tales?”
Jack held out his finger and my grandmother flew out of bed. She had turned into a magpie alighting on his finger. An old wife is never too old or too weak to gossip. Jack opened the window and out flew my grandmother. Then he took her bed-clothes, put them on and put her cap on his head. He got into her bed and pulled the curtains shut.
After I had gathered all the flowers that I could carry I found the fence and then the one-eyed gypsy and her daughter.
Her house was a carriage with a stove pipe top. Her fruits, her breads and wine were spread on a blanket. “What would you like, me dear?” asked the old gypsy.
“Then this will do.”
“The bird is in the bower
The bee is in the flower
Take a bite,
Take a bite
And tell me if it’s ripe!”
She held a pomegranate to my lips. I curtsied and took a small bite. The fruit burst! The juices ran down my chin and between my breasts, soaking my blouse and red skirt. I gasped in surprise and stared at the fruit, an empty rind in the gypsy’s hand. The old one-eyed gypsy cackled:
“Put the pie
In the oven when the oven is hot!
Put the pie
In the oven before the oven is not!
One, baker, two, put in the flour!
Three, baker, four, put in the milk!
Put it in, take it out
Put it in, take it out
Mix it all around and pull a baby out!”
“Whatever shall I do?” I asked the one eyed gypsy Then she laughed again and she and her daughter began unbuttoning my blouse and skirt. They chanted.
Tra-la-la boom de ay
I met a wolf today
He gave me 50 cents
To go and climb the fence
She climbed so very high
It made her belly rise
Her father jumped for joy
She had a baby boy!
The crooked gypsy’s fingers brushed my nipples. I gasped and her daughter pulled down my skirt. I stood naked. Then I shuddered as the silken scarlet of a hooded cloak passed between my thighs, pulled softly through the cleft between my legs. I inhaled and moaned! I placed one hand on the shoulder of the daughter who knelt at my feet and tangled the fingers of my other hand in the one-eyed gypsy’s patchwork dress. I steadied myself as I arched my back and widened my legs. I could not help but throw my head back as the red cloak was pulled upward, over my belly and my nipples. A strange spasm caused my knees to knock.
“Here is some wine,” said the gypsy daughter. She gave me a drink, then put the wine in my basket.
“Here are some apples,” said the gypsy girl’s mother.
Today they are ripe,
Tomorrow they are not.
Eat the fruit
Put in the seed
Before the apples rot!
She moved a hand over my belly than over each of my breasts as she said this. My head swam with wine and the wet smell of the fruit.
“What has happened to the world?” I muttered.
“‘Tis not the world has changed,” said the one-eyed Gypsy. “But you!”
Then the one-eyed gypsy said to me, as her daughter answered:
“My, but what large breasts she has!”
“All the better she’ll milk.”
“My, but what long legs she’s grown!”
“All the wider they’ll go!”
“My, but what a narrow waist she has!”
“All the better to hold her by.”
“My, but look at the hips she’s grown!”
“All the more they’ll sway!”
“My, but how flat her belly is!”
“All the better to fill!”
I fled the gypsies, having only a scarlet cloak (my red riding hood) to cover my nakedness. Every leaf tickled my thighs. The slender twigs of the trees brushed my nipples and belly. No matter how I tried to draw the scarlet cloak around myself, there was some part of my nakedness I could not hide. I hurried to my grandmother’s and vowed not to tarry or dill-dally again. When I arrived I found to my surprise that my grandmother’s door was open. I walked into the parlor and everything looked so strange that I thought: “Oh, my God, why am I so afraid? I usually like it at grandmother’s.” Then I went to the bed and pulled back the curtains. Grandmother was lying there with her cap pulled down over her face and looking very strange.
“Oh, grandmother, what big ears you have!”
“All the better to hear you with.”
“Oh, grandmother, what big eyes you have!”
“All the better to see you with.”
“Oh, grandmother, what big hands you have!”
“All the better to grab you with!”
And then grandmother threw back the covers and I saw that it was Jack. He threw off my grandmother’s clothes and I saw him naked. But for his shape, which was the shape of a man, no part of him was human. Or almost no part of him. Jack’s manliness rose from his belly, red and impossibly large – such as I had never known was possible or seen before.
My red riding hood offered no protection at all. I was just a girl, skin, curves and breasts, but not just a girl – a young woman. Though I turned to flee, Jack’s large hands were around my waist. He held me by my hips. I could not escape. He stood behind me, broad-shouldered, powerful, and a man – transformed from the boy I knew. One hand moved to my belly, the other to my breasts. “I trusted you!” I said.
“You still can.”
“You were my best friend!”
“I still am.”
“I was your playmate!” my voice shook.
“You are not a little girl any more,” he growled with wolf’s growl.
“What have you become?”
“What your ripeness makes me,” he answered, “your hips, your breasts, and your belly.”
“What can I do?”
“Be what you are.”
I felt his largeness, that part of a man I had never known, press between my thighs, forcing them apart. I saw the slick bulb that was the tip of him also slick with me! The heat of it pushed through my thighs, then drew back. The tip pressed upward between the lips of my thighs. I inhaled, smelling the rich and wolfish smell of my childhood friend. I also smelled myself. I trembled. Without understanding, I pushed my buttocks backwards against the muscles of his belly. I felt his soft fur and the coarser fur of his arms forbidding me to move.
He drew back and I understood the purpose of a man’s largeness as he entered my body from behind. He filled my breath with his largeness. I had been mounted and mastered. I offered him my opening, submitting and pressing my nipples into his hands. I arched. He took me quickly, ravenously and impatiently. My own cries joined his as the brief spasm I had experienced with the gypsies became a breathless thrumming. My belly gripped its invader again and again and I accepted what I had become. He made me his. The world turned black and that, the fairy tale will tell you, is when Little Red Riding Hood became the wolf’s – when she was consumed by the wolf and by the world.
In such manner are all women consumed. Then I heard my master cry out and felt his own thrumming deep in my belly. He made me his wife.
When he withdrew I was like the ripe fruit that had burst.
I ran with juices that had never before dripped from my belly. I fell to my knees, but the wolf was not done with me. His manliness was still swollen and my mouth was soon upon it. His hand, in my hair, guided my lips. The taste of both of us filled my mouth and senses. Feathers raced through my belly and tickled my widening thighs.
The wolf lifted me and threw me on the edge of my grandmother’s bed so that I was on my back.
He pushed my legs open and my knees back, then was in me again. His thrusts were quick, deep and powerful. He arched and I arched. He filled me a second time. But even then he was not done. Ravenous, thirsting, unquenchable, he rolled me to the center of my grandmother’s bed so that I was on my hands and knees. My hood fell over my head. The scarlet cape bunched at the small of my back. He crouched behind his new-made wife on wolf-like feet. He possessed his wife’s belly a third time and drew a final, submissive cry from her. Then he filled her womb one more time.
The wolf had finished his tasty bite. He lay down on the bed beside me. He fell asleep and began to snore very loudly. The wolf was gone. My beloved Jack lay next to me. I gently licked the part of him that had been inside me, tasting and smelling. Then I licked his muscular belly. I lay my head at his broad chest and listened to the beating of his heart. I smelled his armpits and licked. I tasted the salt at his neck and pressed my lips to his. Then I fell asleep next to him, my arm over his shoulders, my leg over his warm and soft sex.
It is said that he slew the wolf, and surely he did.
He roused us both and made us vow to be man and wife, which we gladly did.
From that day forth, Jack was never a wolf.
Or I should say: He was never a wolf unless in pursuit of me; and he was never more so than when I wore my Little Red Riding Hood and nothing else.
When my grandmother returned, alive and well, the four of us – myself, my husband, my grandmother and the huntsman – ate fresh bread, drank the gypsy wine and split the fruit among us. In short measure I felt the first stirrings of my daughter in my belly. I knit her a little red riding hood and made the same vow my mother had made: “As long as I live, I will tell my daughter to never leave the path and run off into the woods by her self.”
Outside my window, I heard the children play:
Under the bramble bushes, down by the sea, boom, boom, boom.
True love for you, my dear, my true love for me.
And we’re gonna get married in California.
How many children will we have?
turn around, touch the ground, do
the splits, wiggle your hips, ten!
September 18, 2010
Especially attractive, well bred young ladies,
Should never talk to strangers,
For if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf.
I say wolf, but there are various kinds of wolves.
There are also those who are charming,
Quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet,
Who pursue young women at home and in the streets.
And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves
Who are the most dangerous ones of all.