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Once upon a time there  was a dear little girl  who was loved byeveryone who looked at  her, but  most of  all by  her grandmother,  andthere  was nothing that she would not  have given to the child.  Onceshe gave her  a little cap of red velvet,  which suited her so  wellthat she would  never wear anything else; so she was always called«Little Red-Cap.»

One day her mother said to her: «Come, Little Red-Cap, here is a pieceof cake and a bottle of wine; take  them to your grandmother, she is illand weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, andwhen  you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off thepath, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmotherwill get nothing; and when you go into her room, don’t forget to say,“Good morning”, and  don’t peep into every corner before you do it.»

«I will take great care,» said Little Red-Cap to her mother, and gaveher hand on it.

The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village,and just as Little Red-Cap entered the wood,  a wolf met her. Red-Capdid  not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraidof him.

«Good day, Little Red-Cap,» said he.

«Thank you kindly, wolf.»

«Whither away so early, Little Red-Cap?»

«To my grandmother’s.»

«What have you got in your apron?»

«Cake and wine; yesterday was baking-day,  so poor sick grandmother isto have something good, to make her stronger.»

«Where does your grandmother live, Little Red-Cap?»

«A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood; her house standsunder the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees  are just below; yousurely  must know it,» replied Little Red-Cap.

The wolf thought to  himself: «What a tender  young creature! what anice plump mouthful—she will be better  to eat than the  old woman. Imust  act craftily, so as to catch both.» So he walked for a short timeby the  side of Little Red-Cap, and then he said: «See, Little Red-Cap,how pretty  the flowers are about here—why do you not look round? Ibelieve, too, that you do not hear  how sweetly the  little birds aresinging; you walk  gravely along as if you were  going to school, whileeverything else out here  in the wood is merry.»

Little Red-Cap raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancinghere and there through the  trees, and pretty  flowers growingeverywhere,  she thought: «Suppose I take  grandmother a fresh  nosegay;that would  please her too. It is so early  in the day that I  shallstill get there in  good time’; and so she ran from the path into thewood to look for flowers. And whenever she had picked one, she fanciedthat she saw a still prettier one farther on, and ran after it, and sogot deeper and deeper into the wood.

Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother’s house and knockedat the door.

«Who is there?»

«Little Red-Cap,» replied the wolf. «She  is bringing cake and wine;open the door.»

«Lift the latch,» called out the  grandmother, «I am too weak, andcannot get up.»

The wolf lifted the latch, the door sprang open, and without saying aword he went straight to the grandmother’s  bed, and devoured her. Thenhe  put on her clothes, dressed himself  in her cap laid  himself in bedand  drew the curtains.

Little Red-Cap, however, had been running about picking flowers, andwhen she had gathered so many that she could carry no more, sheremembered  her grandmother, and set out on the way to her.

She was surprised  to find the  cottage-door standing open,  and whenshe went into  the room,  she had  such a  strange feeling  that shesaid  to herself: «Oh dear!  how uneasy I  feel today,  and at othertimes I  like being with  grandmother so  much.»  She called  out: «Goodmorning,»  but received no answer; so  she went to  the bed and  drewback the  curtains. There lay  her grandmother  with her  cap pulledfar over  her face,  and looking very strange.

«Oh! grandmother,» she said, «what big ears you have!»

«The better to hear you with, my child,» was the reply.

«But, grandmother, what big eyes you have!» she said.

«The better to see you with, my dear.»

«But, grandmother, what large hands you have!»

«The better to hug you with.»

«Oh! but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have!»

«The better to eat you with!»

And scarcely had the wolf said this, than with one bound he was out ofbed and swallowed up Red-Cap.

When the wolf had  appeased his appetite,  he lay down  again in thebed, fell asleep and began  to snore very loud.  The huntsman was justpassing the house, and thought to himself: «How  the old woman issnoring! I  must just see if she  wants anything.» So  he went into theroom, and when  he came to the bed,  he saw that  the wolf was  lying init.  «Do I find  you here, you old sinner!» said he. «I have long soughtyou!» Then just as  he was going to  fire at him,  it occurred to  himthat the  wolf might  have devoured the grandmother, and that she mightstill be saved, so he did not fire, but took a pair  of scissors, andbegan to  cut open the stomach  of the sleeping wolf. When he had madetwo snips, he saw the little  Red-Cap shining, and then he made twosnips more, and the little girl sprang  out, crying: «Ah, how frightenedI have been! How dark it was inside the wolf’; and after that the agedgrandmother came out alive also, but scarcely able to breathe. Red-Cap,however, quickly fetched great stones with which they filled the wolf’sbelly, and when he awoke, he wanted to run away, but the stones were soheavy that he collapsed at once, and fell dead.

Then all three were delighted. The  huntsman drew off the wolf’s skinand went home with it; the grandmother ate  the cake and drank the winewhich Red-Cap had brought, and revived, but Red-Cap thought to herself:«As long as I live, I will  never by myself leave the  path, to run intothe  wood, when my mother has forbidden me to do so.»

It also related that once when Red-Cap  was again taking cakes to theold grandmother, another wolf spoke to her,  and tried to entice herfrom  the path. Red-Cap, however, was on her guard, and went straightforward on her way, and told her grandmother that she  had met the wolf,and that he  had said «good morning» to her, but with such a wicked lookin his eyes,  that if they had  not been on  the public road  she wascertain  he would  have eaten her up. «Well,» said the  grandmother, «wewill shut the door,  that he may not come  in.» Soon afterwards thewolf knocked, and cried:  «Open the door,  grandmother, I  am LittleRed-Cap, and  am bringing  you  some cakes.» But they did not speak, oropen the door, so the grey-beard  stole twice or thrice round the house,and at last jumped on the roof, intending to wait until Red-Cap wenthome in the evening,  and then to steal  after her and devour her inthe darkness. But the  grandmother saw what was  in his thoughts. Infront of the house was a great stone trough, so she  said to the child:«Take the pail, Red-Cap; I made some sausages yesterday,  so carry thewater  in which I  boiled them to  the trough.» Red-Cap  carried untilthe great  trough was  quite full. Then  the smell  of the  sausagesreached the wolf, and  he sniffed and peeped  down, and at laststretched out his neck so far that he could no longer keep his footingand began  to slip, and slipped down from the  roof straight into thegreat trough,  and was drowned. But Red-Cap went joyously home, and noone ever did  anything to harm her again.