“Well, it’s the end of life as I know it,” the Big Bad Wolf said to Red Riding Hood as they sat in his den. “I don’t know what to do.”

Red pushed her hood back farther off her head and reached for a cookie her momma had made for Grandma. “Can’t you just chase them away?”

“I tried. I blew down that first little shack of straw, but the blasted pig ran to his brother’s wooden house. And I was so looking forward to a pork roast.”

Red Riding Hood leaned over and kissed his furry, tapered snout. She murmured. “I’m so glad I can come here.” Then she sat back and said, “A wood house goes down easily. Built without opposable thumbs, as it must have been.”

Wolf smirked. “Oh, yes. It went down with little trouble. I do have great lungs.” He licked her chin.

She giggled. “And a great tongue. But now what are you going to do?”

He leaned back, grumbled a bit, then rose from his rug by the fire. “I still haven’t had my pork roast, and all three pigs are living in the middle of my rabbit meadow. Ruining my hunting. So I shall have to blow down the brick house, too.”

With a swish of his tail, Wolf trotted outside and disappeared into the black forest. Red stayed by the fire.

Wolf loped to the rabbit meadow determined to chase the porcine interlopers out of his favorite hunting grounds. He raced up to the pigs’ brick house and stood on his hind legs to pound on the door. It withstood his barrage. So he leapt to the roof and tried to slide down the chimney, but it was too small for him to fit through. Finally, he jumped down and stood beside the house and huffed and puffed till he grew dizzy from the effort.

Defeated, he sat and thought, and felt discouraged and disconsolate and hungry. After a while, he trudged home. Where he ate Red Riding Hood.

Later, when Red was gone, Wolf sat by the fire to write his nightly haiku.

Wolf blows down houses. // Still has no pork for dining. // Eats Red. She loves it.


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