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U3A Writing: The Wolf In The Forest

Norman Hodghton re-tells a very famous childrens' tale - this time from the wolf's point of view.

I’m walking through the forest feeling sorry for myself, and thinking how tough it is being a wolf these days. I ask you, do I look like some kind of monster? Of course not. Despite that nobody loves a wolf, and most of them are scared of you. If you meet someone and try to be friendly they rush away screaming blue murder, and next thing you know men with guns appear, and there’s bullets flying all over the place. Really unfriendly, some people.

This forest is well stocked with rabbits – well it would be wouldn’t it. I mean, you know what rabbits are like don’t you – always at it – like . . . er . . . rabbits! So there’s plenty to eat on account of them not being the brightest creatures around, but you can have too much of a good thing can’t you?

So today I’m thinking that a change of diet might be nice. A bit of veal, or lamb, or better still a nice tasty child.

In the middle of this big forest I come across a cottage. A pretty looking cottage, all thatched roof, roses round the door, and flowers in the garden. Better still, where there’s a cottage there’s usually food, and this place is a long way from anywhere, so I shouldn’t be disturbed.

Carefully I open the front door and there’s nobody inside; or so it appears until I hear a voice from upstairs.

“Is that you Sharon?” It sounds like an old woman’s voice.

“Sure it is Granny,” I croak, taking a chance about the Granny bit. But there’s no reaction so I guess I’m right about her being Sharon’s Granny.

“I’m up here, in bed, I’ve been waiting for you.”

So I follow the sound and I’m in a bedroom, and there’s this old woman sitting up in bed. She’s thin and scrawny with grey hair, a woolly night-cap and big thick glasses on the end of her nose. For a while she peers at me through these glasses, then she says, “I can’t see your red riding hood Sharon.”

This is too much. I’m too hungry to argue with her.

“That’s because I’m not wearing it!” I say as I leap on the bed and eat her in a couple of mouthfuls. She’s pretty tough and chewy, but better than nothing.

I’m about to leave when I hear the garden gate rattle, and out the window I see this young girl with a basket walking up the path. There’s no other way out of the room so I quickly put on the old girls cap and nightie and hop into bed. I’m just in time because moments later the bedroom door opens and in comes this young girl, who I guess must be Sharon. She’s about twelve years old and is wearing a bright red cloak, and big thick glasses, just like her Granny.

She must be as blind as her Granny because she doesn’t notice anything wrong, which is a bit of luck because she looks good and meaty and I’m still hungry.

“Is that you Granny?” she asks.

“Yes it is my dear,” says I, resisting the temptation to ask who on earth did she expect to find in her Grandmother’s bed.

Now she’s squinting across the room at me and going on about big eyes and big teeth, while I’m remembering how hungry I am. So I let her ramble on for a few minutes then I let out my fiercest growl and leap at her from the bed.

Well at last it dawns on her that maybe this isn’t her Granny after all. Talk about slow on the uptake! She tears off out of the house and away down the path shrieking fit to bust, while I’m all tangled up in this wretched nightie. By the time I’m out of it and down the stairs she’s gone.

I haven’t been in the garden long when I see the young girl coming back – but this time she’s got company – a hulking great forester bloke who’s waving a whacking big axe. And he doesn’t look too friendly either. For a moment I wonder if I could appeal to his better nature, but looking at his face and that big sharp axe I come the conclusion that he hasn’t got one, or not where wolves are concerned.

So I think this is no place for a creature of a delicate disposition like me and I take off as fast as I can. Lucky for me that I can run faster than them.

I think I’ll stick to rabbits in future!

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