Beware the Red Cape – The Reconning

“Oh you’re the one they warned me about!” Willie pokes his  long nose through a stand of reeds. The  forest casts a strange color around the young girl in a red cape. 

Jezzibelle breaks her spell from the gentle rays of sunlight and the forest.

“Excuse me? Are you talking to me little wolf! I’m with child. I’m defenseless until my Huntsman boyfriend returns. He’ll kill you! Dead as a doorknob!” She straightens her hair and hood as she talks.   Tugging at the front to hide a bump six months along.

“Jezzibelle, Jezzibelle, Jezzibelle!  Your Huntsman is at home with his wife!   You had him murder my uncle after you killed your grandmother to get her house. Us, wolves, know the truth. But I know your true name!  You can’t hurt me.  You can’t fool me!  My uncle was bringing your grandmother the food you throw out.   We found it every week.   You thought she would die of starvation.  We saved her for a year from you.  But we saw you get the house.And the Huntsman, too.  Oh you’re evil little girl!!  How they ever believed your lies?!  Someday, the Huntsman won’t come back.   It’ll be your baby and just you.   Then we’ll see who fears who.” Willie slinks back to the woods in seek of that elusive rabbit he followed here.

Jezzibelle looks in shock.  How could the little wolf talk to her like that. 

“It’s Le Petit Chaperon Rouge!  Not Jezzibelle.  I’m a victim of men! Cunning animals!  I’m alone with grandmother.  I’m always alone!”  She knows if she says it enough they’ll believe her.

“The Huntsman will come back.  I likes to see me.  He gets to have his way with me.  And get away from that nasty wife and screaming kids….” Her mind wonders about the month since hes been around.  “It’s spring!  Yeah that’s it.  Lots of things move around this time of year.”  She doesn’t know if that’s the reason.  It puts her mind at ease.

“Jezzibelle!  Where are you?!” Her father comes through the woods carrying a bag of grain. “Where the hell are you!”

She loathes the visits.  She needs the help.  The family doesn’t see her much since she started to show a baby bump.  The unwed are frowned upon in the village.  The church threatened to take work from her father.  She has been reminded girls are welcome, but she isn’t a woman without a proper husband.

“You’re alone here still, aren’t you?!” Theodore pokes his head into the cabin of his mother in law.  It’s dingy, dark.  The fireplace is the best thing in it. 

His daughter stares up from the table.  

“Father, you brought me something good!  I love surprises.  I don’t see many people any more.  It’s nice and quite…but I’d love to come back for a day or two.” Jezzibelle pries at her father.  She could get him to do anything…before this.

“Child….child.  I have talked with the deacon.  You are going to have a choice.  Living away from everyone here.  Go to Munich.  Your husband got ate by a bear.  You’re a widow.  The church will take care of setting you up.  You need to work for them.  They’ll give you a penitence.  Make good on it.  Maybe you’ll come back to us…. changed.  A woman.  A right woman.”  He doesn’t look directly at her.  His hands are clinched.  He throws the bag of grain on the floor. “Well, you have a week. The deacon will send a horse for you.  Pack a bag.  Your blessed with a chance.”

“But father!! This is my home!  You….Mother…Grandmother said it would be mine!  Now it’s…” She rebels like every other time.

“You have the demon’s tail for a tongue!  You laid down with a married man.  You bear his fruit inside.  It’ll be evil…unless it’s raised in good light.  Pack your bag.  I’ll bring Mother by before you leave.”


The first hundred or so words were part of a challenge on twisting a fairy tale

But the real path starts here.  Or it did once upon a time….

The trail of breadcrumbs starts here…

16 thoughts on “Beware the Red Cape – The Reconning

      1. I agree. Your comment made me think how we often miss-read, so to say, into fairytales, w make them more modern, while in their own original writing they were far more primitive and savage (like Cinderella, where the step sisters cut of their heels to fit the shoe.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They are product of culture, age and lesson to pass along. We want everything neat and tidy today, but the Huntsman cysts grandmother and little red out of the wolf’s stomach. Telling a child the wolf swallows people whole if you leave the path to grandmother’s would be shear terror in a time when darkness was feared


      3. Any creature of the night will universally be despised. Which cats and dogs are excluded because we feed and share the bed with them. Genetically we probably could separate wolves and dogs particularly if they are in an urban area.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Brilliant!!!!!!! Little Red Riding Hood, oops, Le Petit Chaperon Rouge, was a goody two-shoes. Time folks learned the truth about the Hood family — hey wonder if that’s where the term hood for a criminal comes from 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s would seem so. Her family probably had a,reputation from keeping grandmother’s in solitary cabins. Of course, she prefers the more cultured French name. I figured she would get rid of grandma and seduce the woodsman, because her description of the Wolf talking seemed lame. She was covering all along. But you know a poor defenseless little girl….


    1. It’s such a fascinating look at the world. The story has so “many don’t talk to strangers”, “obey your parents” lessons opposed to children’s story telling and presumed innocence moments to it. Definitely one of the more dark fairy tales, so why not bring her down a peg or two. Thanks for the kind words. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

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