Little Golden Hood French folktale

There was a little girl that was called Little Golden-hood. She was pretty and nice as a star in its season. Her real name was Blanchette, but since she used to have on a wonderful little cloak with a hood that was gold-and-fire-coloured, she was called Little Golden-hood. Her Grandmother had given it to her. She was so old that she did not know her age.

One day the mother said to the child: "Let us see, my little Golden-hood, if you know now how to find your way to Grandmother's house by yourself. You shall take this good piece of cake to her for a Sunday treat tomorrow. Remember to ask her how she is, and come back at once, without stopping to chatter on the way with people you don't know. Do you quite understand?"

"I quite understand," replied Blanchette merrily. And off she went with the cake, pleased with her errand.

But Grandmother lived in another village, and there was a wood to cross before getting there. At a turn of the road under the trees, suddenly she heard an animal among the bushes.

"Who goes there?"

"Friend Wolf."

He had been prying on her since she left home that day, seeking a safe place to attack and eat her. But then some wood-cutters appeared near-by. So instead of falling on Blanchette he came frisking up to her like a good dog.

"It is you, nice Little Golden-hood," said he. So the little girl stopped to talk with the wolf, even though she did not know him in the least.

"You know me, then!" said she; "what is your name?"

"My name is friend Wolf. And where are you going, pretty one, with your little basket on your arm?"

"I am going to my Grandmother, to take her a good piece of cake for her Sunday treat tomorrow."

"And where does she live, your Grandmother?"

"She lives at the other side of the wood, in the first house in the village, near the windmill, you know."

"Ah! yes! I know now," said the Wolf. "Well, that's just where I'm going; I shall get there before you, no doubt, with your little bits of legs, and I'll tell her you're coming to see her; then she'll wait for you."

The Wolf cut across the wood, and in five minutes arrived at the Grandmother's house.

He knocked at the door: toc, toc.

No answer.

He knocked louder.


Then he stood up on end, put his two forepaws on the latch and the door opened. There was not a soul in the house, for the old woman had risen early to sell herbs in the town, and she had gone off in such haste that she had left her bed unmade, with her great nightcap on the pillow.

"Good!" said the wolf to himself, "I know what I'll do."

He shut the door, pulled on the Grandmother's nightcap down to his eyes, then he laid down in his full length in the bed after drawing the curtains.

In the meantime, Blanchette went quietly on her way, as little girls do, amusing herself here and there by picking Easter daisies, watching the little birds making their nests, and running after the butterflies which fluttered in the sunshine.

At last she arrived at the door. Knock, knock.

"Who is there?" said the wolf, softening his rough voice as best he could.

"It's me, Granny, your little Golden-hood. I'm bringing you a big piece of cake for your Sunday treat tomorrow."

"Press your finger on the latch, then push and the door opens."

"Why, you've got a cold, Granny," said she, coming in.

"Ahem! A little, a little . . ." replied the wolf, pretending to cough. "Shut the door well, my little lamb. Put your basket on the table, and then take off your frock and come and lie down by me and rest a little."

The good child undressed, but kept her little hood on her head. When she saw what a figure her Granny cut in bed, she was much surprised.

"Oh!" cried she, "how like you are to friend Wolf, Grandmother!"

"That's because of my night-cap, child," replies the wolf.

"Oh! What hairy arms you have got, Grandmother!"

"All the better to hug you, my child."

"Oh! What a big tongue you have got, Grandmother!"

"All the better for answering, child."

"Oh! What a mouthful of great white teeth you have, Grandmother!"

"That's for crunching little children with! "And the wolf opened his jaws wide to swallow Blanchette.

But she put down her head crying, "Mamma! Mamma!" and the wolf only caught her little hood.

The wolf drew back, crying and shaking his jaw as if he had swallowed red-hot coals. The little fire-coloured hood that had burnt his tongue right down his throat. The little hood, you see, was one of those magic caps that they used to have in former times, in stories.

So there was the wolf with his throat burnt, jumping off the bed and trying to find the door, howling and howling as if all the dogs in the country were at his heels.

Just at this moment the Grandmother arrived. She was returning from town with her long sack empty on her shoulder.

"Ah, brigand!" she cried, "wait a bit!" Quickly she opened her sack wide across the door, and the maddened wolf sprang in head downwards. For once it was he that had been caught.

The brave old dame shut her sack, and next she ran and emptied it in the well. The vagabond wolf, still howling, tumbled in and was drowned.

"Ah, scoundrel! You thought you would crunch my little grandchild! Well, tomorrow we will make her a muff of your skin, and you yourself shall be crunched, for we will give your carcass to the dogs."

Then Grandmother hastened to dress Blanchette, who was still trembling with fear in the bed.

"Well," she said to her, "without my little hood where would you be now, darling?" To restore heart to the child, she made her eat a good piece of her cake and drink a good draught of wine. After that she took her by the hand and led her back to her home.

And then, who scolded her when she knew all that had happened? It was the mother. But Blanchette said she would never more stop to listen to a wolf, so her mother forgave her.

Blanchette, the Little Golden-hood, kept her word. And in fine weather she may still be seen in the fields with her pretty little hood, the colour of the sun.

But to see her you must rise early.