Little White Robin Hood
by Marion Mallette Thornton
In the New Year box from Aunt Jo there was an unusually lovely present for Leslie. It was really two presents: a beautiful warm white coat and a black velvet hood, both trimmed with soft, white fur around the edges.
Leslie was very happy, and hurried to put them on.
"Oh, mother," she cried, looking at herself in the mirror, "I'm a Little White Riding-Hood instead of a red one!"
"So you are!" said mother laughing. "I hope Granny Wolf will not eat you up."
Leslie laughed, too, and clapped her hands. "Oh, I'll go and see Granny Graham and play she is the wolf, only she is ever so much too kind to eat anybody. I ought to have something nice to take her, mother, you know Red Riding Hood did."
"Oh, I'll go and see Granny Graham and play she is the wolf."
Mother gladly packed a basket with doughnuts and red apples, but Leslie was not satisfied. "I can take doughnuts any time, I'd like to take some of the oranges from Aunt Jo's box."
Mother looked a little surprised. "Are you quite sure you can spare them, dear? You do not have oranges very often."
"I'd like to," Leslie insisted earnestly. "I don't believe Red Riding Hood was selfish, and I'm sure White Riding Hood doesn't want to be."
So mother put in three big yellow oranges, and Leslie ran down the hill with her basket. Granny Graham was a tiny, sweet old lady who lived in a tiny cottage at the foot of the hill.
Leslie knocked at the door and a pleasant voice called, "Come in." Leslie opened the door and stood inside in her pretty furry things, feeling quite nice and shivery over even playing that Granny was a wolf.
"Good morning, Granny," she said, "I'm Little White Riding Hood."
"Good morning, my dear," said Granny, smiling, "how nice you look."
"Oh, Granny," cried Leslie, "'what bright eyes you've got!'"
Granny's bright eyes twinkled with fun as she answered, "'The better to see you with'."
Leslie giggled; that was just the way it went in the story. "'Oh. Granny,'" she went on playing, "'what long ears you have!'"
"'The better to hear you with,'" answered Granny; which was all very funny because the ears peeping out from under Granny's cap were tiny like the rest of her, and did not hear any too well at best.
After that, Leslie held her basket a bit tighter and said, "'Oh, Granny, what sharp teeth you've got!'"
"'The better to eat you with,'" laughed Granny, "I'm sure you look quite sweet enough."
Leslie ran over and put the basket in her lap. "The oranges are sweeter," she said, "please eat those instead."
"All right," Granny agreed, "if you will give me a kiss with them, that will be next best to eating you."
In her heart, Leslie thought it was much better, and while Granny Graham ate one of the oranges they both decided that the story of Little White Riding Hood had a much pleasanter ending than the old one in Leslie's book.