Small Crimson Riding Hood

Anneke Ryan | 01/11/2011

Amalia walks from bright sun into cold shadows of trunks and twigs and things such as moss. Pulling folds of brightly spun wool around thin arms, running, sighing; such things bring joy to a girl who is today all grown up.
-A cloak of wool for your birthday,- Mama had said. -A crimson cloak with a warm hood. You must show it to Grandmama this morning.-
Any lass would want this cloak, thinks Amalia, hurrying along a path, touching bright fabric with a cold hand. Any lass would walk all this way in it, would jog, would run, would happily bring fruit buns to Grandmama just to wrap such a cloak around cold arms, just to know such warmth in this wind. Such a cloak; it is a whirl of colour against our dark woods.
Grandmama's fruit buns stay warm from hot coals which Amalia finds difficult to carry. Mama had six buns for Amalia to pack, and six coals for warmth. Amalia had sat grandmama's lunch on a gingham mat and put a small cast-off fruit bun against a fold of fabric. It is important to bring victuals for such a long walk. Amalia shifts a hip and two buns roll out of position. Two coals follow. Fabric shifts too, unnatural crimson bouncing across soft colours of natural things in such woods as this.
A wolf is a natural thing, a natural colour, difficult to pick out amongst animals and plants. As Amalia sits, swallowing fruit bun crumbs, a wolf turns in its tracks. As our lass stands to go on, just such a wolf follows a crimson cloak, craving a warm, tasty body. In fright, Amalia runs quickly, arriving at grandmama's bungalow gasping for air. Amalia knows of six doors, but only two without locks. Amalia's hand clicks a latch and six buns and a grown up lass walk in to visit Grandmama.
Grandmama says naught, simply looks at Amalia's still warm gift.
-Grandmama,- Amalia says, -What big pupils you own today.-
-So grand to look at you,- Grandmama says.
-Grandmama, what big nostrils you own.-
With a laugh and a snort, Grandmama sniffs Amalia's crimson riding hood.
-Grandmama, what big lips you own,- Amalia adds.
-So grand to kiss you with,- Grandmama says.
-Grandmama, what big molars in your mouth.-
That mouth drops and Amalia starts to inch away.
-So grand,- Grandmama says, -to swallow food I must first ch...-
Amalia's hand almost finds door two, but Grandmama is not Grandmama, but a now unnatural-looking wolf. It jumps toward Amalia, who ducks.
At that instant a man who chops wood for Grandmama on Saturdays slips his account through a gap around door four.
A lass may find irritation in a wood chopping man who didn't think to drop an account on a day that wood is cut and thus had to visit again. But though it is Monday, Amalia finds this solicitation calming and is glad to call him in.
-Marcus, it's not Grandmama. It's a wolf in Grandmama's frock and hat. It wants to lunch on a lass in a crimson riding hood. Mayhap it's had Grandmama as it's first swallow.-
Marcus flings back door four and floors Wolf-Grandmama with his handy woodchopping tools.
Amalia runs to Marcus and jumps into his arms. Grandmama's wood chopping man drops his tools, flicks crimson fabric back off Amalia's shining blond locks and looks down onto a small mouth. His own mouth curls into a grin. -I'd thought you'd not want this.-
As if of its own will, Amalia's arm wraps around him. His manly throat swallows, summoning Amalia's lips. Happily, Marcus lifts his lass's chin and brings this sport up to his skilful mouth. Though a grandmama has lost out to a wolf, a wood chopping man and a girl with a crimson cloak shortly marry and find many days in which to kiss... and do various things at which Amalia is unusually willing and Marcus particularly skilful.

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