Whatever Became Of Little Red Riding Hood – A Sestina

There was once a girl with a hood of red
Who would travel through a deep dark woods
to bring food to her dear grandmother
She was warned never to stray from the path
And to watched out for the Bad Wolf
Lest she risked never being seen again

The journey she made again and again
always wearing her hood of red
Never once seeing even one wolf
Or much of anything in that woods
Nothing duller than staying on the path
Well, maybe talking with her grandmother

And what a talker was her grandmother!
Asked the same things over and again
“Did you stay on the path?
Did you do it, my dearest Red?
Did you meet someone in the woods?
Have you seen the Big Bad Wolf?”

The girl wondered why the questions about the wolf
Never failed to send a child through her grandmother
Until she learned the history of the woods
How the grandmother too traveled though it again and again
How she, too, upon her head wore a hood of red
The only difference was that she did stray from the path

When she could, the girl asked the grandmother “What’s it like off the path?
When you did, did you see the Big Bad Wolf?
Was his teeth snow white and eyes blood red?”
“It was long ago, and my memory fails,” said the grandmother
She paused, then said the sentence once again
“But I did meet someone once, out in these very woods.”

“Who was it that you met in the woods?
Who did you meet off the path?”
But the grandmother never spoke of this again
Perhaps it was memory of the wolf
That stilled the tongue of the grandmother
Thoughts of teeth so white, of eyes blood red

Little Red Riding Hood went through the woods
To her grandmother waiting at the end of the path
Twice she met the wolf and never would never forget him again.

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