There was a girl with a name nobody used, instead they called her Little Red for everyday rain or shine she wore a hooded cape of red, over her school uniform, over her Sunday best, over her pj’s until her mother mysteriously removed it in the night.
based on Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault adapted by Jules de Jongh
[opening theme music and strapline]
Good gracious, is it that time already! What a day it’s been in my cottage. I was feeding the ant farm my homemade honeydew gelly and I must’ve been a wee bit distracted because, before I knew it, spew, the entire farm and it’s contents spilled out everywhere and herding ants is tricky business.
Nanny Bea: Who could that be?
Jules: Hi Nanny Bea it’s me, Jules with a story.
Nanny Bea: Why so it is! So it is! Mind you don’t slip on the gelly.
Jules: Gelly, what gelly? Woah, I see what you mean. Would you like a hand clearing it up?
Nanny Bea: No need dear, there’s about 5000 ants running loose who would like that job.
Jules: And they are everywhere.
Nanny Bea: Not on the credenza Wilfred. He’s a cheeky one that Wilfred. Just last week I caught him moving my spectacles for a laugh, no wonder I can never find them. Anyway enough of his antics. What tale do you have for us today?
Jules: The antics of an ant, I like that. And a tale, yes I’ve come with a tale. Are you sure you don’t want me to do any cleaning up first?
Nanny Bea: And deprive them of their delectably delicious feast?
Jules: That sounds like our wonder word snuck out of the story again.
[Wonder Word theme]
Jules: Today’s wonder word is…
Jules: Delectably. Which means to taste very, very good.
Nanny Bea: And I believe those ants would agree that honeydew gelly spewed across my floor tastes delectably.
Jules: Well I in that case I will leave it to thems I can leave them to it then. Are you ready for a story?
Nanny Bea: Yes, please.
Jules: Okay then, today’s story is
LIttle Red adapted for radio
There was a girl with a name nobody used, instead they called her Little Red for everyday rain or shine she wore a hooded cape of red, over her school uniform, over her Sunday best, over her pj’s until her mother mysteriously removed it in the night. She loved her little red cape even more because her little grey granny made it for her. The very same granny she was to visit on this blustery day in the autumn.
The leaves had just started to fall coating the well trodden path from her home to her Granny’s cottage in the woods but Little Red didn’t need to see a path, she knew the way. The leaves were a welcome distraction on her regular Friday afternoon school journey. She’d trod on them as they scrunchy crunched underfoot. Sometimes she’d drag her feet, carving squiggly tracks through them, and then she’d strut with stiff knees shuffling the leaves into the air and into her basket, the basket full of goodies for granny’s afternoon tea. Granny wouldn’t mind a few stray leaves though, they could add to her compost heap for the garden or decorate her mantle piece until they crumbled away.
Today’s basket was bursting with freshly baked Chelsea Buns and a brand new crossword to keep Granny distracted while she recovers from a recent skateboarding incident that she’d rather I didn’t mention. The delectably delicious aroma from her basket led a trail of temptation wafty in the air. A trail too tempting in fact for one Willard T Wolfington the third who happened to pass by. How about we just call him Wolf, that’ll be easier. So Wolf, and all the other wolves as a matter of fact, has a bit of a reputation but Little Red gives everyone the opportunity to choose for themselves if they are to be friend or to be foe. She did see Wolf lurking in the shadows of the forest as she passed by so when he JUMPED out to startle her she just smiled and said, ‘Good day,’ carrying on her way. Wolf found this odd. ‘Most people scream when I JUMP out to startle them but this little girl in a little red cape did nothing of the sort.’ Wolf was intrigued so he slipped back into the shadow of the trees, even from a distance that freshly baked Chelsea Bun smelled delectably, delicious. Wolf could wait no longer so he JUMPED out in front of little red once again and she just smiled, once again. ‘Where are you going might I ask with such a delectably delicious and possibly nutritious selection of goodies?’ queried Wolf. ‘I am on my way to my granny’s house for our weekly afternoon tea,’ Little Red replied ever so graciously. ‘Surely your Granny won’t miss a bun or two for me?’ Wolf said as he spied inside the basket of goodies. ‘Miss them or not,’ said little Red as she swotted his greedy paw away, ‘they are reserved for Granny, they are reserved for me and I will not let you pillage our afternoon tea.’ At that Little Red strode away. Wolf decided to try another tactic.
He watched her journey to a cottage in a clearing in the middle of the woods. If not for the bright blue door you wouldn’t know it was there. The roof was thatched with bundles of reed that looked like twigs amongst the forest of trees. No one knew what colour the house was as it had long been covered in trailing roses and wisteria twining around each other.
Little Red stopped in front of the bright blue door but didn’t knock, knock, knock which is the custom, rather she tap, tap, tapped out what seemed like a tune [insert shave and a haircut] only to get two taps in reply [insert two bits]. At that Little Red opened the door and made her way in with her basket of delectably delicious goodies for Granny.
Wolf lingered outside for what felt like ages, until Little Red reappeared stepping out of the bright blue door. ‘See you next Friday,’ Little Red said as she waved her Granny goodbye.
‘Not if I see her first,’ thought Wolf, living up to his reputation.
I don’t know what Wolf did to pass the time from one week to the next, he had no friends to speak of, at least not locally, he had no job, no hobby, no habits as such but he was there on Friday just before Little Red would arrive at Granny’s. [insert shave and a haircut] He tapped rhythmically on the bright blue door. And with equal musical prowess, Granny tapped back [insert two bits]. Wolf pushed the door open and caught Granny who was still laid up in bed, by surprise. ‘Where’s my little Red?’ Granny said. ‘No time for banter little grey granny,’ Wolf replied as he bundled Granny up in her blanket and stuffed her in the garden shed.
Wolf knew Little Red was on her way so he had no time to waste. He flung on granny’s dressing gown and shower cap then slipped into her bed just before there was a [insert shave and a haircut] at the door. Wolf, feeling rather pleased with himself tapped on the head board [insert two bits].
Little Red made her way in with a basket bursting with fresh baked scones and clotted cream. Wolf tucked himself deeper under the covers and in his best Granny’s voice said ‘What’s in the basket my dear?’ Little Red replied, ‘Something delectably delicious and not all together nutritious.’ ‘Delectably delicious did you say, oh do come closer my dear I can’t wait to eat it.” ‘In good time my little grey granny, you’re sure to want some tea first.’
Wolf impatiently waited for the perfect time to pounce. With a teapot in one hand and the boiling kettle in the other Little Red took a step closer to the wolf in Granny’s clothing. ‘Why little grey granny what big eyes you have,’ said LIttle Red. ‘All the better to see you with my dear,’ Wolf spouted. With a teapot in one hand and the boiling kettle in the other, Little Red took another step closer, ‘Why little grey granny what big ears you have,’ Little Red noticed as one popped out from under the cap. ‘All the better to hear you with my dear,’ said Wolf quickly stuffing it back under the shower cap. With a teapot in one hand and the boiling kettle in the other Little Red took yet another step closer. ’Why little grey granny what big teeth you have,’ Little Red said. ‘All the better to eat you with’ the wolf declared as he leapt from the bed and straight into a teapot in one hand and a boiling kettle in the other. Little Red bashed wolf with one and doused with the other. Wolf screamed, Wolf cried, Wolf made such a fuss that the sheriff Little Red had secretly texted found the cottage you wouldn’t know was there, with ease. Wolf was still wailing, so much so that no one even heard Granny kicking down the shed door and hobbling into the cottage you wouldn’t know was there. To her relief she found Wolf was bound in cuffs while Little Red collected the fragments of a tea pot from the floor. ‘Granny!’ Little Red shouted with relief. ’I was so worried!’ Granny, rarely one to make a fuss and never one to miss her tea, replied ‘Worried? Worry won’t put the kettle,’ and proceeded to set the table for their Friday delectably delicious, although not so nutritious tradition with one extra place for the Sheriff and nothing but envy for the wolf.
Nanny Bea: Go little grey granny. I do like her style.
Jules: Well she wouldn’t be impressed. In all the excitement with the ants on the loose ,who have actually cleaned up quite beautifully by the way, I forgot all about our tea! Little grey granny wouldn’t do that.
Nanny Bea: What did you bring for us today?
Jules: Lady Grey tea, for little grey granny’s, not so grey nanny’s and me.
Nanny Bea: Delectably delicious choice. Will you come again next week with another Tale and Tea.
Jules: Of course. If you head over to our website you can find all our tales as soon as they’re ready.
Thomas: Go nannybea.com
Jules: Go there to find out more including how you can take part in the show.
[Be on the Show jingle]
Mr Announcer: This has been a Toad in the Hole production for NannyBea.com.