Written for Year of Creativity
Prompt: Read between the lines…
I’m sure by now youve read in the papers about my current predicament. I’m not looking for any sympathy; just want to use this opportunity to put my case across. In all this, in all the acres of newsprint that has been dedicated to this story, no-one has thought about giving me the chance to do this.
So, you know who I am. The Big Bad wolf. Im the person who terrified a young girl and devoured her grandmother. If the press is to be believed, Im just short of being Osama Bin Laden. The new public enemy number one.
My family has lived in those woods for about five generations now. And, to begin with, it was a peaceful place. OK, we did have to put up with a few ramblers every now and then, the occasional hunting party, but we were able to cope. Then they arrived on mass.
The humans. The village.
When they started building the village, there wasnt too much concern. The forest was getting a bit big and could have done with trimming back. Then the population exploded. Mass deforestation. This was combined with overhunting the livestock that lived there quite happily to create a situation whereby we were running out of places to live and of our regular diet. Some of us did try going vegetarian, but were just not designed for that.
So we started moving. Everyone except me. Ive always been a bit stubborn and I was damned if I was going to let a few humans chase me from my ancestral home. So I stayed. This is when they started hunting me. I hadnt done anything to them. OK, I may have killed some of their animals for food but it was always the ones that werent going to live much longer. Besides, after what they did to my food supply its simply me getting a bit of payback.
The youths were the worst. If they spotted me, they thought nothing of pulling my tail or threatening to set fire to me. They even disturbed my sleep. I became nocturnal through necessity. Loud parties lasting most of the night. Theres about five or six places where fires have been started. Leaving their empty beer cans and vodka bottles lying round. Its actually pretty much unsafe for any cubs that might be here, which is why Im glad there arent any.
Look, I know Ive got an image problem. What with me being, well, a wolf. Im not photogenic. I could be pictured rescuing a newborn from a house fire and still not being hailed as a hero. I get it. Dont have to like it, but I get it. So, I know Im at a disadvantage, especially compared to her.
Red Riding Hood.
You’ve seen the pictures of her. With her long (bottle) blonde hair and innocent face, theres no chance Im going to win the PR battle against her. Anyone would struggle.
(Incidentally, Red Riding Hood isnt actually a nickname. Her parents are hippy, back to nature types. Hence the reason they live so far in the forest. Red Riding Hood is her actual name. If you think thats bad, you should feel sorry for her brother, Black Hangmans.
Not sure where the Little comes from. She hasnt been described as little since she reached puberty.)
She looks so sweet. Talking about how she was on her way to see her poorly grandmother. How she made the trip every week. Poppycock. Dont believe me? Check out her Twitter feed. The only reason she was making the trip that day was because her parents threatened to confiscate her laptop if she didnt. She was looking to see her grandmother and spend as little time there as possible.
Shes so pure. Shes so innocent. Shes neither. You want to know what was really in the basket? It wasnt goodies for her gran. It was booze. It was enough booze to anesthetize a medium size elephant. Oh, and I believe there may have been some pot and LSD in there as well. Remember those parties I told you about? She was at every single one.
Shes busy telling anyone thatll listen that the incident has scarred her mentally for life. And her, having not even as much as held hands with a boy before. Really? Really? And here was me wondering how she explained to her parents where her underwear kept disappearing to.
Did I speak to her that night? Yes. It wasnt because I approached her. It wasnt because I wanted to eat her. She spoke to me first. Didn’t know how to get to Grandmas. Could I give her directions? So I did.
(This is the same house that she religiously visited every week, remember.)
Now for the big thing. Did I eat her grandmother? OK, Ill admit it. I did. There, you happy now? But its not what you think. Really. I got on with the old dear. Helped her out a bit, especially with her being as ill as she was. Wed sit, chat, she even taught me how to play mancala. She never begrudged me any of the animals she kept to eat, saying she understood what they had done to the forest and this was her way of paying back.
She was seriously ill and didnt want to be a burden to her family, living long past the time when she had a good quality of life. She also hated the thought of being buried or cremated. This was her solution. She called it her final gift to me. To be honest, I felt a bit uncomfortable with the thought of eating a friend. But, in the end I was proud to do it. All she wanted was to see her granddaughter one last time, which is why I ate her that night.
So, why is Red saying what she is about me? Dunno. Personally, I think something went horribly wrong at the party she went to that night, hence the injuries and the torn clothing. Wouldnt surprise me to be honest. Knowing what she did about the arrangement between me and her gran, she concocted this story.
As I said, Im not looking for sympathy. But I do think its important to get both sides of the story out there.