Kids Today

It’s all about the Riding Hood. The blood-capped girl-spirit of the forest.

She used to be an ordinary girl.

She snapped when she found her grandmother dead.

She hauled that woman down to the river of the world and from water and blood she made her hood.

She swayed and chanted and she spoke the words

And her grandmother’s eyes popped open.

“What big eyes you have!” she told that corpse. And with them that ancient could see the world.

“What big teeth you have!” she told that corpse, and filled its flesh with hunger.

“Such love you have for your little girl!”

Right there that’s where things left the script. That’s not what you’re supposed to say when you raise a monster; so instead Red’s magic raised a wolf.

“I’ll huff, and puff, and I’ll guard your kind.”

That’s what her grandmother said.

And she sprang off—a beast in a grandmother’s cap—to hunt the creatures that might hurt young girls.

And that’s why a girl can walk in the woods.

And that’s why a girl can go out alone.

Because the world is scary and the world is dark but a girl can always turn her cap and cry to the darkness and call the wolf:

“Red Hood! Red Hood! Blood calls to blood!
Send the beast
In your grandmother’s cap
To the aid of this young brownie.”

They teach you this in the Girl Scouts, you know, while the boys learn chopping wood.

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