Gruffling snuffling snoring snorts
brought Danny the Woodsman near
to the cottage of widow Johnson,
window glass against his ear.
Sounds that did not seem human
made Danny peek inside
where whatever lay in the widow’s bed
bore a hairy bristled hide.
The woodsman pulled his knife from its sheath,
exposing its silver bright shine
he snuck in the cottage and sliced the wolf
and saw Little Red inside.
She twisted herself up from his stomach
breathing and laughing and free
while Danny helped her Grandmother
disengage from the wolf’s debris.
Together the trio commenced
to fill the wolf’s belly with stones
then the widow stitched him together
and now he’s a pile of bones.
Danny the Woodsman received no acclaim
for freeing the fabled twosome
though he won the heart of Little Red
when he freed her, gastric and gruesome.
They settled down with Grandmother
in her cottage near the wood.
The pile of stones and bones out front
kept wolves away for good.
Shout out to Irene Toh at We Write Poems for the prompt:
“Write a poem that revisits the Red Riding Hood fairy tale. You can change the story, or question the assumptions behind the fairy tale, eg why doesn’t the wolf eat Red Riding Hood in the forest when he first met her?, why does the author allow fantasy, such as that the wolf can be cut up and the grandmother and the Red Riding Hood emerge unhurt, or wonder what Red Riding Hood stands for, such as if wearing a red hood is significant, or question the innocence of Red Riding Hood, eg why does she not go straight to grandmother’s house as her mother instructed but chose to wander? Or you can revisit another fairy tale altogether!”
This was difficult for me, until I took the children’s rhyme route. I also read the Brothers Grimm version of the story here. The huntsman received little notoriety for saving the day, so I focused on him, but changed him to a woodsman.