whilst walking in the woods, a young girl came upon a wolf, standing on two legs, and wearing a gorgeous red cape with a hood.
the girl bowed to the wolf. she said, “i have never seen a creature such as you before. might I inquire of you your name?”
the wolf bowed in return. when she spoke, it was clear she was a woman. “my name is difficult for humans to pronounce. however, i am often called ‘red-riding hood’ because of this magic cape that lets me stand on two legs and speak in a human tongue. this cape gives me a tongue of silver, a mind of reason, and the straight back of a proud child of Eve.”
“what would happen if i wore the cape?”
“i do not know, little one,” said the wolf. “forgive me, little one, for i must go to my grandfather’s den. he is very ill, and he counts on me to bring him things to eat lest he starve and die.”
“what are you bringing him to eat?”
“i have been busy hunting deer, but I have caught none. perhaps you can help me in my hunt. do you have tooth and claw and swift feet and the black heart of death?”
the girl shook her head. “i am an innocent, like the deer.”
the wolf sniffed at the girl. “then, you’ll do for now, little deer.”
with that, the wolf ripped off her cloak, howled like a beast from all four legs and snatched the child up.
then, all through the woods, the girl screamed out for the woodsman to save her, to no avail.
upon reaching the den, the girl was flung down at the feet of the grandfather. the wolf, red-riding hood, threw her cape down as well so she could speak to her grandfather in the black tongue of wolves.
the girl, bleeding from where the wolf had bitten her, clutched at the cape to staunch her wounds and cover her face the way that children hide from the night beneath a blanket, for she was only a little girl.
the magical cape coursed a fire through her veins. though it did not heal her wounds, it did bend her back, bend her tongue, and give her the rage to ignore the pain. the cape gave the girl tooth and claw and swift feet and the black heart of death.
she held still, because she was wounded. she knew she could not kill two full-grown wolves, even if one was an old, sick man, unless she caught them by surprise.
the female wolf, standing up to leave, reached for the cape with her mouth. she was unconcerned of the bloodstains because the riding hood was already red.
the girl, filled with the magic of the cape, quickly lashed out with her teeth, and clamped down upon the throat of the unsuspecting wolf. the girl chewed through the jugular and lashed at the soft underbelly of the startled woof with feet that had become clawed and deadly.
the old wolf, watching his granddaughter die, knew exactly what to do. he snatched at the magical cape.
though he was too late to save his granddaughter, he was able to diminish the deadly girl to save his own hide.
he pulled the cape across his back, stood up like a city elder. he tousled his gray locks. he snorted at the girl.
“because you have killed my granddaughter, you have killed me. i am too old to hunt for myself. go with your life, child. go home, and never return to these woods lest my ghost howl your sanity away.”
he pulled the cloak from his back. he threw it at the girl.
she did not put it on. instead, she held it in her hand, and clutched at her wounds with her other hand. she walked home from the woods with her new cape.
when she made it to her grandmother’s house, her mouth was full of wolf blood. her tongue had tasted death, and she knew she would don the cape again, and run through the woods and hunt in the darkness.
later in life, she gave birth to a bastard son with the terrible eyes like an old wolf’s. she named her boy ‘Bisclavret’. she let him run wild.