The True Story of Little Red Riding Hood


The True Story of Little Red Riding Hood is that she didn’t wear a riding hood at all – instead she wore a space helmet and regularly took trips into outer space. On Mondays she took to wearing a witches’ peaked hat and cast spells, made lotions and potions and used her broomstick to sweep up all the leaves in the forest. The True Story of Little Red Riding Hood is that she wore a stetson and rode a horse in a rodeo. She tried a whole different load of hats – from nurse’s paper hats, baseball caps and Easter bonnets, bowlers and top hats – neither matched at all. In fact, Little Red Riding Hood got so fed up with her riding hood that she dyed it a number of different colours and sewed on multi – coloured patches over the holes that had worn through over the years and been torn by wolves’ teeth. On Tuesdays, Little Red Riding Hood tried a cloth cap which up until then had been precariously perched on the hat stand, looking lonely and forlorn. Little Red Riding Hood could just about see it amidst scarves, woollen mittens and anoraks.

The trouble was, the cloth cap would just not fit. No one had worn it for weeks and for days it had simply been gathering dust. The wolf had been wearing it in her early years – but sadly since the wolf’s hair had now grown long, scruffy and grey, the cloth cap no longer matched snugly over her ears. Before long, the cloth cap was tatty and worn thin in places. It had been taken to the jumble sale twice and had been third place in the raffle of the Mother’s Union – but no one wanted him. Grandfather’s bald patch was so well polished that the cloth cap simply slipped off. Grandma had taken to wearing flowered bonnets – which she much rather preferred. So Little Red Riding Hood couldn’t wear that. The curly wigs that mother wore meant the cloth cap didn’t fit her either and simply wouldn’t squeeze over her curls. The latest style in the city – bowlers – meant that the cloth cap’s appeal had quickly been eroded. Since cowboy films had become all the rage at the local cinema – Stetsons were now much more fashionable – not much luck for a cloth cap. The cloth cap longed to be a jewelled crown – or a tall top hat – she looked up famous hats in history (like Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter) and shopped at every milliners in the town – but quite honestly, the cloth cap would always be a cloth cap – despite having high silk and satin aspirations. Thank heavens for Little Red Riding Hood – who made the cloth cap feel important, treasured and special once more.

Date Crunchy Cloth Caps
4oz/100g wholemeal plain flour
6 oz /150g rolled oats
8oz/200g butter or margarine
8oz/200g dates
2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey
pinch of ground cinnamon

Put the flour and oats into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and margarine and rub in well. Knead until smooth. Divide the mixture into small 10ml portions and roll into a ball. Flatten the bottom side on a greased baking tin in the shape of the hat’s rim and bake in the centre of a moderate oven 350F/180C, gas mark 4 for 25 minutes. To serve, remove from the baking tin with a palette knife gently and place on the top of the spider liquorice.

© Jacqueline Richards 2005


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