A Waiting Story: Little Red Riding Hood in the Macedonian Forest

In the time before Red Riding Hood got betrayed by a Wolf in Grandma’s clothing, the young girl would quiz her elderly relative about her habits and whereabouts. Some would say that this was the cause of her early demise but others dispute this telling of the fable.

Why do you cook toffee apples granny? Why is your house made of gingerbread? Why do you go walking in a forest? Is it for the peace and quiet?
Hardly, dear, you can hear trains and cars and city bustle. A call to prayers from a nearby mosque sounds like a wolf weeping but that’s no reason to walk in the forest.

Is it for the Fresh air and invigorating atmosphere?
Upto a point my dear: until the logging trucks drive by and the fumes wash over as you sit by the roadside, slightly blackened from the sooty deposits. So that’s no reason to walk in the forest.

Is it for exercise and maintaining a healthy body?
That may be fine dear, as long as you haven’t got knees which give you grief and buckle every step of the way. That’s no reason to walk in the forest.

Do you commune with nature, then? asked Little riding Hood impatiently. Or perhaps even yourself?

If you stood still long enough, it might be possible to commune with anything, but to walk in the forest you have to keep on walking: stumbling cursing sweating breathing so much, there’s not a lot of communing to be done. That’s no reason to walk in the forest.

Is it to get around the next corner then? asked Little Red Riding Hood sarcastically.

Ah, smiled her elderley relative, that is an answer. There’s always another next corner, another bend to get around, a hillock to navigate, there’s just another view to catch before you turn around and do the same journey but in reverse order.

So that’s why you go for a walk in the forest, Granny? she asked with a faux impression of relief.

Yes, my dear, that’s the reason to walk in the forest: to retrace your steps. I walk in the forest in order to go around in circles.

And enough of the prying questions! True to her word, Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother – who had her own genetic stock of impatience – stepped back, sprung the latch from the pantry and out leapt a huge brown wolf, scantily dressed in grandma’s clothing who proceeded to devour her then and there, lock stock and barrel. And that, dear reader, was the end of Little Red Riding Hood and her inquisitive questions.

2 thoughts on “A Waiting Story: Little Red Riding Hood in the Macedonian Forest

  1. hi nick

    really interesting idea,
    love the dialectic between the fairy tale and what you have written

    hope good
    🙂
    Patrick

    • Thanks Patrick – it came from wandering in a forest in Skopje and a week of forest arts stuff. I got all forested-out and ended up distrusting them.

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