James Whitcomb Riley
Maymie's Story Of Red Riding Hood
W'y, one time wuz a little-weenty dirl,
An' she wuz named Red Riding Hood, 'cause her--
Her _Ma_ she maked a little red cloak fer her
'At turnt up over her head--An' it 'uz all
Ist one piece o' red cardinal 'at 's like
The drate-long stockin's the store-keepers has.--
O! it 'uz purtiest cloak in all the world
An' _all_ this town er anywheres they is!
An' so, one day, her Ma she put it on
Red Riding Hood, she did--one day, she did--
An' it 'uz _Sund'y_--'cause the little cloak
It 'uz too nice to wear ist _ever'_ day
An' _all_ the time!--An' so her Ma, she put
It on Red Riding Hood--an' telled her not
To dit no dirt on it ner dit it mussed
Ner nothin'! An'--an'--nen her Ma she dot
Her little basket out, 'at Old Kriss bringed
Her wunst--one time, he did. And nen she fill'
It full o' whole lots an' 'bundance o' good things t' eat
(Allus my Dran'ma _she_ says ''bundance,' too.)
An' so her Ma fill' little Red Riding Hood's
Nice basket all ist full o' dood things t' eat,
An' tell her take 'em to her old Dran'ma--
An' not to _spill_ 'em, neever--'cause ef she
'Ud stump her toe an' spill 'em, her Dran'ma
She'll haf to _punish_ her!
An' nen--An' so
Little Red Riding Hood she p'omised she
'Ud be all careful nen an' cross' her heart
'At she wont run an' spill 'em all fer six--
An' nen she kiss her Ma doo'-bye an' went
A-skippin' off--away fur off frough the
Big woods, where her Dran'ma she live at.--No!--
She didn't do _a-skippin'_, like I said:--
She ist went _walkin'_--careful-like an' slow--
Ist like a little lady--walkin' 'long
As all polite an' nice--an' slow--an' straight--
An' turn her toes--ist like she's marchin' in
The Sund'y-School k-session!
She 'uz a-doin' along--an' doin' along--
On frough the drate big woods--'cause her Dran'ma
She live 'way, 'way fur off frough the big woods
From _her_ Ma's house. So when Red Riding Hood
She dit to do there, allus have most fun--
When she do frough the drate big woods, you know.--
'Cause she ain't feared a bit o' anything!
An' so she sees the little hoppty-birds
'At's in the trees, an' flyin' all around,
An' singin' dlad as ef their parunts said
They'll take 'em to the magic-lantern show!
An' she 'ud pull the purty flowers an' things
A-growin' round the stumps--An' she 'ud ketch
The purty butterflies, an' drasshoppers,
An' stick pins frough 'em--No!--I ist _said_ that!--
'Cause she's too dood an' kind an' 'bedient
To _hurt_ things thataway.--She'd _ketch_ 'em, though,
An' ist _play_ wiv 'em ist a little while,
An' nen she'd let 'em fly away, she would,
An' ist skip on adin to her Dran'ma's.
An' so, while she uz doin' 'long an' 'long,
First thing you know they 'uz a drate big old
Mean wicked Wolf jumped out 'at wanted t' eat
Her up, but _dassent_ to--'cause wite clos't there
They wuz a Man a-choppin' wood, an' you
Could _hear_ him.--So the old Wolf he 'uz _'feared_
Only to ist be _kind_ to her.--So he
Ist 'tended like he wuz dood friends to her
An' says 'Dood-morning, little Red Riding Hood!'--
All ist as kind!
An' nen Riding Hood
She say 'Dood-morning,' too--all kind an' nice--
Ist like her Ma she learn'--No!--mustn't say
'Learn,' cause '_Learn_' it's unproper.--So she say
It like her _Ma_ she '_teached_' her.--An'--so she
Ist says 'Dood-morning' to the Wolf--'cause she
Don't know ut-tall 'at he's a _wicked_ Wolf
An' want to eat her up!
Nen old Wolf smile
An' say, so kind: 'Where air you doin' at?'
Nen little Red Riding Hood she says: 'I'm doin'
To my Dran'ma's, 'cause my Ma say I might.'
Nen, when she tell him that, the old Wolf he
Ist turn an' light out frough the big thick woods,
Where she can't see him any more. An so
She think he's went to _his_ house--but he haint,--
He's went to her Dran'ma's, to be there first--
An' _ketch_ her, ef she don't watch mighty sharp
What she's about!
An' nen when the old Wolf
Dit to her Dran'ma's house, he's purty smart,--
An' so he 'tend-like _he's_ Red Riding Hood,
An' knock at th' door. An' Riding Hood's Dran'ma
She's sick in bed an' can't come to the door
An' open it. So th' old Wolf knock _two_ times.
An' nen Red Riding Hood's Dran'ma she says
'Who's there?' she says. An' old Wolf 'tends-like he's
Little Red Riding Hood, you know, an' make'
His voice soun' ist like hers, an' says: 'It's me,
Dran'ma--an' I'm Red Riding Hood an' I'm
Ist come to see you.'
Nen her old Dran'ma
She think it _is_ little Red Riding Hood,
An' so she say: 'Well, come in nen an' make
You'se'f at home,' she says, ''cause I'm down sick
In bed, and got the 'ralgia, so's I can't
Dit up an' let ye in.'
An' so th' old Wolf
Ist march' in nen an' shet the door adin,
An' _drowl_, he did, an' _splunge_ up on the bed
An' et up old Miz Riding Hood 'fore she
Could put her specs on an' see who it wuz.--
An' so she never knowed _who_ et her up!
An' nen the wicked Wolf he ist put on
Her nightcap, an' all covered up in bed--
Like he wuz _her_, you know.
Nen, purty soon
Here come along little Red Riding Hood,
An' _she_ knock' at the door. An' old Wolf 'tend
Like _he's_ her Dran'ma; an' he say, 'Who's there?'
Ist like her Dran'ma say, you know. An' so
Little Red Riding Hood she say 'It's _me_,
Dran'ma--an' I'm Red Riding Hood and I'm
Ist come to _see_ you.'
An' nen old Wolf nen
He cough an' say: 'Well, come in nen an' make
You'se'f at home,' he says, ''cause I'm down sick
In bed, an' got the 'ralgia, so's I can't
Dit up an' let ye in.'
An' so she think
It's her Dran'ma a-talkin'.--So she ist
Open' the door an' come in, an' set down
Her basket, an' taked off her things, an' bringed
A chair an' clumbed up on the bed, wite by
The old big Wolf she thinks is her Dran'ma.--
Only she thinks the old Wolf's dot whole lots
More bigger ears, an' lots more whiskers, too,
Than her Dran'ma; an' so Red Riding Hood
She's kindo' skeered a little. So she says
'Oh, Dran'ma, what _big eyes_ you dot!' An' nen
The old Wolf says: 'They're ist big thataway
'Cause I'm so dlad to see you!'
Nen she says,--
'Oh, Dran'ma, what a drate big nose you dot!'
Nen th' old Wolf says: 'It's ist big thataway
Ist 'cause I smell the dood things 'at you bringed
Me in the basket!'
An' nen Riding Hood
She say 'Oh-me-oh-_my_! Dran'ma! what big
White long sharp teeth you dot!'
Nen old Wolf says:
'Yes--an' they're thataway,' he says--an' drowled--
'They're thataway,' he says, 'to _eat_ you wiv!'
An' nen he ist _jump_' at her.--
But she _scream_'--
An' _scream_', she did--So's 'at the Man
'At wuz a-choppin' wood, you know,--_he_ hear,
An' come a-runnin' in there wiv his ax;
An', 'fore the old Wolf know' what he's about,
He split his old brains out an' killed him s'quick
It make' his head swim!--An' Red Riding Hood
She wuzn't hurt at all!
An' the big Man
He tooked her all safe home, he did, an' tell
Her Ma she's all right an' ain't hurt at all
An' old Wolf's dead an' killed--an' ever'thing!--
So her Ma wuz so tickled an' so proud,
She divved _him_ all the dood things t' eat they wuz
'At's in the basket, an' she tell him 'at
She's much oblige', an' say to 'call adin.'
An' story's honest _truth_--an' all _so_, too!
James Whitcomb Riley's Other Poems
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