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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Little Red Riding Hood - A Politically Correct Fairy Tale

by Jim Garner
copied by Andy Tiarks April 24, 1993
originally appeared in "Comic Relief" April, 1993

There once was a young person named Red Riding Hood who
lived with her mother on the edge of a large wood. One day her
mother asked her to take a basket of fresh fruit and mineral water
to her grandmother's house -- not because this was womyn's work,
mind you, but because the deed was generous and helped engender a
feeling of community. Furthermore, her grandmother was not sick,
but rather was in full physical and mental health and was fully
capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult.

So Red Riding Hood set off with her basket of food
through the woods. Many people she knew believed that the forest
was a foreboding and dangerous place and never set foot in it. Red
Riding Hood, however, was confident...

On her way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood was
accosted by a Wolf, who asked her what was in her basket. She
replied, "Some healthful snacks for my grandmother, who is
certainly capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult."

The Wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a
little girl to walk through these woods alone."

Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark
offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your
traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which
has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid worldview. Now,
if you'll excuse me, I must be on my way."

Red Riding Hood walked on along the main path. But,
because his status outside society had freed him from slavish
adherence to linear, Western-style thought, the Wolf knew of a
quicker route to Grandma's house. He burst into the house and ate
Grandma, an entirely valid course of action for a carnivore such as
himself. Then, unhampered by rigid, traditionalist notions of what
was masculine or feminine, he put on grandma's nightclothes and
crawled into bed.

Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said, "Grandma,
I have brought you some fat-free, sodium-free snacks to salute you
in your role of a wise and nurturing matriarch."

From the bed, the Wolf said softly, "Come closer, child,
so that I might see you."

Red Riding Hood said, "Oh, I forgot you are as optically
challenged as a bat. Grandma, what big eyes you have!"

"They have seen much, and forgiven much, my dear."

"Grandma, what a big nose you have -- only relatively, of
course, and certainly attractive in its own way."

"It has smelled much, and forgiven much, my dear."

"Grandma, what big teeth you have!"

The Wolf said, "I am happy with and what I am,"
and leaped out of bed. He grabbed Red Riding Hood in his claws,
intent on devouring her. Red Riding Hood screamed, not out of
alarm at the Wolf's apparent tendency toward cross-dressing, but
because of his willful invasion of her personal space.

Her screams were heard by a passing woodchopper-person
(or log-fuel technician, as he preferred to be called). When he
burst into the cottage, he saw the melee and tried to intervene.
But as he raised his ax, Red Riding and the Wolf both stopped.

"And what do you think you're doing?" asked Red Riding
The woodchopper-person blinked and tried to answer, but
no words came to him.

"Bursting in here like a Neanderthal, trusting your
weapon to do your thinking for you!" she said. "Sexist!
Speciesist! How dare you assume that womyn and wolves can't solve
their own problems without a man's help!"

When she heard Red Riding Hood's speech, Grandma jumped
out of the mouth, took the woodchopper-person's axe, and cut
his head off. After this ordeal, Red Riding Hood, Grandma, and the
Wolf felt a certain commonality of purpose. They decided to set up
an alternative household based on mutual respect and cooperation,
and they lived together in the woods happily ever after.

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