The morning began like any other.
“Casey,” her mother called across the room. “Eat your porridge.”
Our eight-year-old heroine scowled from the table. She was never one for the warm slop, which she had been caught feeding to the pigs last Thursday.
Her mother arrived at the table with a canister of soup and a loaf of bread. “And when you’re done take these over to Grandma’s. She’s running a fever and I doubt she’s taking caring of herself.”
“Grandma’s?” Casey’s ears perked at the mention of Grandma’s. Grandma was Casey’s favorite playmate, though there wasn’t much competition for the title. She told the best stories.
“Yes, Grandma’s. But don’t wander about the woods. Stick to the path and don’t talk to passerby.”
“Yes, Mom,” Casey said. She ate her porridge quickly (one might even say she wolfed it down) and dashed to the coatrack. On the coatrack hung her riding hood, stained the color of ripe cherries.
Casey loved her riding hood, and people knew her for it. When Clark Kent dons his tights, he becomes Superman; when Casey dons her hero wear, she becomes Little Red Riding Hood.
And so Little Red Riding Hood set off to Grandma’s. Humming a happy hymn, she followed the path she usually took with her mother, not deviating from the path one bit.
Casey had made it into the thick of the woods when she saw a crowd of showy yellow daffodils. Grandma would enjoy the flowers, and they’re only a yard’s length away. Mom said not to go off the path. But it also isn’t good to be overly dogmatic with these things, she reasoned, playing with her pigtails.
Casey inhaled deeply, then in a sudden burst of acceleration, sprinted to the daffodils, picked a few and sprinted back.
We would think our heroine to be in the clear, but as she rounded the bend near the Lake of Shining Waters, a large wolf stood, having followed her from the previous clearing. The wolf hadn’t eaten in three days and the sight of the little girl he salivated, drooling onto the grass at his feet.
“You there, little girl! What a pretty riding hood you have. What brings you to this part of the woods?” Huntsmen were common in this part of the wood, so he would have to lure her elsewhere.
At this compliment, Casey beams. Forgetting her mother’s sage advice, she tells the wolf, “Wolf, I’m bringing my grandma soup and some bread. She’s ill.”
The wolf read this as an buy-one-get-one (bogo) offer.