The wolf's eyes widened. "My! What beautiful flowers!" he said.
Red Riding Hood, looked down at her feet and stepped back in surprise.
She hadn't realized there were so many flowers. But they were just everywhere. Everywhere there were splashes of pink and purple and red. Even in the dark shadows were scattered clumps of Salvia and Pansies, Bluebells and Harebells and Hyacinth.
They were deep in the woods. She'd been on her way to grandma's place when this strange creature had jumped out from the trees and sauntered over to the path.
He'd given her such a fright that she dropped her basket - full of bread and milk and honey and a small bottle of sherry.
The wolf was like none she had ever seen. He wore fine clothes; his coat was linen, his shirt of the finest lace. And he smelt faintly sweet - of jasmine.
"She's not an old lady," said Red Riding Hood, wishing she'd never told the wolf about her grandmother.
The wolf guffawed. He held his lace handkerchief to his mouth, but Red Riding Hood could still see his teeth. They were pointy and sharp and glistening.
"Well, let me rephrase that," growled the wolf. "Your dear old grandmother will adore you when you take her flowers." He paused and nodded to the purple flowers near red Riding Hood's left foot. " I'll wager sixpence she loves pansies the best."
Red Riding Hood looked up quizzically. How had the wolf known? Her Grandma loved pansies almost as much as loved a bottle of Sherry.
Perhaps the wolf was right?
"There's plenty of room on your basket," said the wolf, pressing his point .
"But I promised my mother .....," said Red Riding Hood.
The wolf held his paw out and mimicked her voice. "That you wouldn't stop? My, my! I bet she said not to stray from the path?"
"She did," admitted red Riding Hood.
The wolf grinned slyly behind his paw and peered up through the leaves of the trees, to the bright blue sky. "You've got hours," he said. "There's plenty of time to visit your grandmother and get back home before dark."
Red Riding Hood thought about the pansies. The pansies were very beautiful. Picking them would only take moments.
And as the wolf had said, she had 'plenty of time'.
What possible harm could she do by taking her granny flowers?
(Thanks for looking. :) Clicking for big gives you Hyacinth and Harebells.)