Once upon a time there lived in a country village a little country girl. She was being cared for by her aunt and uncle because her mother and father had gone off on a long sea voyage. The little country girl would often get letters from her mother and father, which her aunt and uncle would read to her, because she had only just begun to learn how to read by herself. The letters told about the amazing adventures her mother and father were having in Africa, where there were elephants and giraffes and rhinos and hippos. The little girl loved the stories but missed her parents very much. After a while, she got very sad, and when her parents found out, they sent her a red hooded cape from Africa that they had made for her. She liked it so much that she wore it all the time. Before long the people in the village began to call her Little Red.
One day, she got a message from her grandmother in the neighboring village, which her aunt and uncle read to her. It said, “Dear Little Red, I haven’t seen you in so long. Word has traveled all the way to my village about how friendly and kind you are, and that you miss your mother and father. I thought that if you came to visit me, I could tell you stories about them, from when they were little like you. I’m sending you some money to pay someone to bring you to my house. It’s a day’s ride by horse and buggy. I look forward to seeing you soon. With love, Grandma.”
Little Red was so excited that she jumped up and down and hugged and kissed her aunt and uncle. They said they knew of a woman with a horse and buggy who could take her to the neighboring village. The following morning Little Red got up early. Her aunt and uncle packed her a basket of food for the journey. Bread and smoked chicken and rice and honey chocolates. When she opened the front door, the horse and buggy were waiting. She hugged her aunt and uncle and walked out to meet the driver. But when Little Red saw her, she screamed and ran away, because the woman was old and had a giant nose, which was big as the loaves of bread she had in her basket. Little Red hid behind a tree and shivered. She had never before seen such a gigantic nose. It wasn’t long though before she heard a beautiful voice singing a song that made her insides feel warm and safe. She came out from behind the tree and saw that it was the old woman with the giant nose who was singing. She decided that the woman wasn’t as scary as she thought and asked if she would sing for the whole journey. The old woman said she would try, but she was old and it might be hard for her. Little Red felt sorry for her then and said that singing for half the journey would be fine. So she jumped up on the buggy and off they went.
On the road through the woods, the old woman sang and little Red felt warm inside. Then they came across an old man, who also had a very big nose. When he heard the old woman singing, he sang along with her for a while. Then the old man asked if he could have a ride to the next town and the old woman said yes, as long as he would sing. The old woman and the old man sang together and Little Red felt even warmer on the inside. She felt like she had when her mother and father were home.
As they traveled and sang, Little Red noticed the sound of a wolf howling in the distance. The more they sang, the more the wolf howled and the closer it got. Soon the wolf was right in front of them, howling in the road. Little Red was afraid, but the old man put his arm around her. He knew that the wolf wanted something to eat, so he broke off his big nose and threw it to the wolf, who was happy and ran off into the woods to eat. The old woman hurried the horses, but soon the wolf was on the road in front of them again. So the old woman broke off her nose and threw it at him. The wolf ran off again and the old woman hurried the horses again. They were coming near to Grandma’s house when they heard the wolf behind them again. They got off the buggy and ran through the front door, but before they could shut it, the wolf squeezed through. Grandma was in the kitchen and looked to see the wolf had the old man, the old woman, and Little Red, trapped in a corner of the living room. The old woman began to sing, the old man joined her. They sang so beautifully that the wolf stopped to listened; then he howled along with them. Little Red felt courage in her heart, so she took off her red cloak and threw it over the wolf’s head. Then Grandma crept up behind the wolf with a big frying pan and gave him a clank on the head. The wolf yipped and ran out the door, never to be seen again.
Grandma came over and hugged Little Red. Then asked her to turn around. The old woman and the old man stood in their heads down, their broken off noses looked like loaves of bread broken in half. Then they took off the hooded robes and the masks they were wearing. And there stood Little Red’s mother and father with open arms. Little Reds heart almost thumped right out of her chest. She ran to them and they hugged and kissed her and then they all sang together… and lived happily ever after.