by Russell Baker
Once upon a point in time — at coordinates as yet too sensitive to disclose — a small person named Little Red Riding Hood initiated an operation involving the preparation, transportation and delivery of foodstuffs to her grandmother, a senior citizen residing in a forest of indeterminate dimension.
The operation was given the go-ahead and following ingress into said forest she attained interface with an indigenous element of unknown threat. Extensive training led to recognition of indigenous element as a wolf. The wolf inquired as to Little Red Riding Hood’s intent and destination, making no attempt to conceal his curiosity regarding the contents of accompanying parcel — one basket.
“It would be inappropriate to lie to me,” the wolf said, displaying his huge jaw capability with incisors to match — his intent obviously to intimidate.
Sensing he was a mass of repressed hostility intertwined with acute alienation, she indicated her sole task was to rendezvous with grandmother at place of current residence, make food drop and exfiltrate forest via route of infiltration, all while posing no threat to forest and/or inhabitants. Seeing her papers were in order and operating within the parameters of her Visitor’s Visa, the wolf immediately moderated his rhetoric and Little Red was allowed to continue, forced to reevaluate her time to target given the delay.
Wolf, having access to rapid transit, proceeded to grandmother’s residence, subjecting the elderly woman to the trauma of breaking and entering, followed by total consumption. (Note: Grandmother’s forwarding address, at this point in time, had become wolf’s tummy.)
(Note: A popular argument of the less informed claims he was not a bad wolf, merely a victim of an oppressive society, a society that not only denied wolves’ rights, but actually boasted of its capacity for keeping the wolf from the door. A national malaise was claimed manifest inside the wolf … what a bunch of hooey!)
“Is that the national malaise I sense within my digestive tract?” wondered the wolf, already preparing a defense for his day in court. To add credence, he popped Pepto-Bismol tabs and climbed into bed, ssuming the abdominal-distress recovery posture upon Little Red’s arrival — he’d also donned granny’s flannels (rumor is wolfy’s AC/DC).
“Grandmother,” Little Red said upon entering, “your ocular implements appear to be of an extraordinary order of magnitude today.”
“Only in anticipation of your arrival and the dim light,” returned the wolf — in drag.
“In reference to your ears,” said Red, “may I note with the deepest respect that far from being petite, their elongation and enlargement appear to qualify you for unparalleled distinction.”
“And they work great for pulling in the ball game as I don’t have a radio,” said the wolf, adding: “And get a load of these new choppers?”
“If it is not inappropriate,” said Red, believing granny could go a few rounds with a grinder prior to flossing, “it might be observed that with your new miracle masticating dentures you may once again be able to chew taffy.”
Fearing Red was on to him the wolf adopted an aggressive posture, asserting it may also be possible to consume little persons, alluding to an overpowering curiosity bordering upon determination to do so at once … just for the hell of it.
Little Red decided a retrograde movement was in order and hung a left, resulting in a bay window where once there had been bare wall. Shedding granny’s flannels, the wolf gave chase and was closing when a heretofore unnoted third party came upon the scene.
Due to the firmness of the third party’s intervention, the wolf’s stomach underwent ax-assisted aperture, resulting in the forced liberation of Little Red’s grandmother, bringing the hostage scenario to a successful conclusion and allowing for mission closure.