The Wolf's Postcript To 'Little Red Riding Hood' Poem by Agha Shahid Ali

The Wolf's Postcript To 'Little Red Riding Hood'

Rating: 3.2

First, grant me my sense of history:
I did it for posterity,
for kindergarten teachers
and a clear moral:
Little girls shouldn't wander off
in search of strange flowers,
and they mustn't speak to strangers.

And then grant me my generous sense of plot:
Couldn't I have gobbled her up
right there in the jungle?
Why did I ask her where her grandma lived?
As if I, a forest-dweller,
didn't know of the cottage
under the three oak trees
and the old woman lived there
all alone?
As if I couldn't have swallowed her years before?

And you may call me the Big Bad Wolf,
now my only reputation.
But I was no child-molester
though you'll agree she was pretty.

And the huntsman:
Was I sleeping while he snipped
my thick black fur
and filled me with garbage and stones?
I ran with that weight and fell down,
simply so children could laugh
at the noise of the stones
cutting through my belly,
at the garbage spilling out
with a perfect sense of timing,
just when the tale
should have come to an end.

Nasra Al Adawi 07 March 2005

Very different poem...It really makes you think

4 0 Reply
Sallie Howson 07 March 2005

interesting idea..i liked it

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Kim Barney 14 August 2015

I read this three times, and each time I liked it better than the time before. This is amazing. I always wondered as a child when I first heard this story why the wolf didn't just eat her right away. I always thought, Man, that was one stupid wolf! Too bad Agha Shahid Ali is not around anymore to explain all the other fairy tales to us!

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Nanthinii Mohan 14 August 2015

Its true that perceptions differ quite often from people to people... The poem is an excellent example for the metamorphosis of a human mind and how many varied forms that it can take right from being sturdy serious to lukewarm fun...... Actually I now agree with your story, my story, and the actual story has a lot more to say....

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Michael Morgan 14 August 2015

Thinking 'the other way around'- -part of the examined life. MM

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* Sunprincess * 14 August 2015

............excellent write....was nice hearing the other side of the argument ★

1 0 Reply
Ayushi Dubey 14 August 2015

It struck me...who thinks the other way round?who thinks about the next other reason for watsoevr has happened..m still wondering

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Agha Shahid Ali

Agha Shahid Ali

New Delhi / India
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