The Tale of Little Red Robin Hood

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young girl from a family of modest means, who received a spiffy new jacket as a gift. It was bright red, and had a big warm hood that she could pull up over her head when she didn’t feel like combing her hair. She was so pleased with this jacket that she wore it around all the time, even in the summer, and because of this, everybody called her “Red Hood,” even her teachers.

One day, she decided to go visit her grandmother, who lived on the other side of the deep dark woods. Her mother said, “As long as you’re going to Grandma’s house, take her this basket of food, because Grandma has been sick, and her Social Security check was late this month. I’d drive you there, but the car’s in the shop, and I’m late for work.”

So Red Hood took the basket of food, and went skipping along the path through the deep dark woods. Just as she entered the woods, she ran into a big bad wolf in an expensive Italian suit, who said “Hey there, little girl, what’s in the basket? Smells yummy.”

“It’s food for my grandmother,” said Red Hood, who was charmingly naive at this point in the story. “She lives in a cottage on the far side of the deep dark woods, and she’s been sick.”

“That’s a fascinating story,” said the wolf, and Red Hood went on her way. No sooner was she out of sight, though, than the big bad wolf ran off to his German luxury car, and drove like mad through the woods, reaching Grandma’s house first.

So it was that Red Hood arrived at Grandma’s to see her beloved grandmother being menaced by a big bad wolf in a really sharp suit. Being a resourceful girl from a rural background, though, Red Hood was a crack shot with a logbow, and she had her bow and arrows with her. She zinged an arrow right between the big bad wolf’s ears, and he fled back into the woods going “Yipe yipe yipe yipe yipe!!” Having scared off the wolf, Red Hood and Grandma went inside and had a delicious homemade lunch.

Unfortunately, though, the story doesn’t end here. You see, the big bad wolf was actually the CEO of BBW Amalgamted International, personally shaking down small customers for reasons of narrative convenience, and he came back the next day with the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham. They attempted to arrest Red Hood for assault, but she fled into the woods. A bright red coat is terrible woodland camouflage, but fortunately for her, wolves are colorblind, so they were unable to find her, and eventually gave up.

Red Hood was not a girl who was easily deterred, though, so she gathered up a group of her closest friends– a computer hacker, a martial arts expert, an alcoholic former insurance investigator, and a talented actress– and put together an elaborate scheme involving sleight of hand, impersonating a Federal agent, and cat burglary, and took the big bad wolf for $320 million. In the process, they exposed a scam he had been running, and got him arrested for Medicare fraud. The wolf was sentenced to 10 years in Federal prison, where he found Jesus, and started a new career as a televangelist.

Red Hood used her share of the take to set Grandma up in a nice condo in the Sherwood Forest Senior Living Community, and sent her parents on a Caribbean cruise. She and her merry friends, however, set up shop in an improbably large apartment overlooking the forest, where they run complicated cons on the Big Bad Wolves of the world, giving most of the money they steal to the poor who were wronged by the rapacious wolves.

And they all lived happily ever after, at least until King Richard came home from the Crusades.

—-

(I slipped up at one point last night and said “Little Red Robin Hood” while telling SteelyKid a story. The phrase stuck in my mind and wouldn’t go away until I did something with it, thus, this. My brain is a strange place sometimes.)

Comments

  1. #1 Romeo Vitelli
    April 10, 2011

    Are you accepting options for the inevitable movie/TV deal?

  2. #2 Cameron
    April 10, 2011

    typo “logbow”

  3. #3 Lab Rat
    April 10, 2011

    “Red Hood was not a girl who was easily deterred, though, so she gathered up a group of her closest friends– a computer hacker, a martial arts expert, an alcoholic former insurance investigator, and a talented actress– and put together an elaborate scheme involving sleight of hand, impersonating a Federal agent, and cat burglary, and took the big bad wolf for $320 million. In the process, they exposed a scam he had been running, and got him arrested for Medicare fraud. The wolf was sentenced to 10 years in Federal prison, where he found Jesus, and started a new career as a televangelist”

    I want to write this now… this bit *needs* to be longer than just one paragraph! Awesome story.

  4. #4 Joseph Hewitt
    April 10, 2011

    That’s no typo- it’s a longbow that shoots logs! Red Robin Hood may have been a little girl but she had burly arms.

  5. #5 Ben P
    April 10, 2011

    Sounds like someone might have seen an episode or two of “Leverage”

  6. #6 kevin gallagher
    April 10, 2011

    @ ‘Logbow’

    I enjoy the idea of a bow that fires logs!

  7. #7 siemens servis bölgeleri
    April 10, 2011

    Well, if you are, please be reminded that you are not alone with your struggle more and more people everyday are being hit by the economic worldwide financial crisis.

  8. #8 Michael Norrish
    April 10, 2011

    Typo in “amalgamated”. Great story!

  9. #9 James S
    April 10, 2011

    James Thurber would be pleased – though his version didn’t extend to the part after shooting the wolf:

    http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/quotes/picnicba.html

  10. #10 kylinn
    April 10, 2011

    Nitpick: canines aren’t colorblind. Perhaps the coat was reversible?

  11. #11 A.P.
    April 11, 2011

    This *particular* wolf was colorblind, “for reasons of narrative convenience.” :) Enjoyed the story, Chad!

  12. #12 Elizabeth
    April 11, 2011

    This is very cool. I remember when you were disappointed with the Lang Fairy Tale books, and some other commenter urged you to read Bruno Bettelheim’s “The Uses of Enchantment” and adapt the stories as you choose. Seems like you’re doing that, and it’s very cool.

    I bought the Lang collection for my Kindle, and take in a fairy tale when the mood strikes, and read ‘Red Riding Hood’ recently.

    Great job on the re-telling. I enjoyed your version immensely.

  13. #13 MAGGIE
    April 11, 2011

    NICE!