Near 500 words: Red’s Dilemma

a fairy tale grown up

It was in all the papers.
Red Riding Hood was on trial.
She said it was the Wolf;
she was in denial.
She’d done her granny in.
The evidence told the tale.
Not a pretty one it was.
Folks were not buying her sale.
“The Wolf did it,” she cried out.
But the Wolf had a defence,
“I wasn’t there. I was about.”
He proved that he was a prince.
He removed his wofly mask
and revealed his princely teeth
The crowd ooh-ed and ahh-ed
and gave Red a big defeat.
The prosecutor showed
the crowd her very red hood.
“The evidence will prove
Red did her granny in for good.
Is this your hood and cape?”
She said, “‘Tis what I wore
on that very sad day
when Granny was nevermore.”
Then the man placed on the table
a bowl of solution
to prove Red done the deed
of Granny’s execution.
He lowered the red cape
into the gray substance
and stirred it round and round
with a very long lance.
The broth did a great fizz
and spewed out its bubbles.
Soon it was obvious
Red was in very bad trouble.
The prosecutor lifted
the cape from that messy stuff,
unmasking Riding Hood
and calling her bluff.
For the cape was now white
and streaked with a dark blood.
“Too bad,” the man said, “we didn’t
nip your crime in the bud.
Look what you’ve done without
any reason or rhyme.”
Guilt written on her face,
Red confessed her terrible crime.
“But there was a reason.
Of that you must believe.
It was the three bears made
me murder and deceive.”
“Three bears? What are you saying?
Bears are a gentle folk
who keep our forests safe
for the pine and the oak.”
Then Red went on confessing,
“It was out of desperation
they came to me and pleaded,
‘Give us a cessation.
Your granny is driving us
out of our minds with distraction.
We don’t know what we shall do
‘less you take some action.’
Then they told me their tale.
It was really not nice.
They told it to me once,
a second time, and a thrice.
Their house was invaded
while they cared for the forest.
So when they came home
they were hungry for porridge.
But the porridge was eaten,
their chairs were broken,
and a girl in their bed.
And she offered not a token.
It happened not once
but many times over.
Each time they came home
there in bed under a cover
lay my very own Granny
all nice, comfy and warm.
As the years passed the bears by
this became a weekly norm.
Gran got older but this
didn’t end her obsession
to visit the bear’s house
and break their possessions.
They begged and they pleaded,
‘This is our home, don’t you see?
This isn’t a hotel,
nor an Air BnB.’
At first I resisted.
I wouldn’t intervene.
Then I thought, ‘What the heck.
Granny couldn’t be that mean.’
I went to her one morning
with the birds a-chirping.
I found her in her underwear
with a spell of birping.
I birped her till she was
all birped out and done.
Then I poured her some tea.
We played chess just for fun.
When she was in a good mood
I proposed my proposal.
I’d take her to a hotel
and be at her disposal.
She flew off the handle,
‘The bears put you up to this.’
This was not my granny
once gave me a nighty night kiss.
This was a demon who rushed
me with a pick and a knife,
ready to stab me hard
and slice me in half.
We fought for hours it seems.
Then I made one last rush.
When it was over and done,
Granny spoke not a hush.
So you see why I had
to dye my white cape red.
To hide the blood my granny
bled when she was all dead.
Next time you visit the bears
be sure to knock.
So you won’t end up
Like my granny, Goldilocks.”