Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.
For the last few weeks we have been looking at humorous versions of Little Red Riding Hood. Today we look at one of my favourites entitled Little Green Riding Hood by Gianni Rodari.
Gianni Rodari was an Italian writer and journalist whose most famous work was Il romanzo di Cipollino (The Adventures of Little Onion) which was a children’s book about political oppression.
According to Wikipedia:
In a world inhabited by anthropomorphic produce, Cipollino fights the unjust treatment of his fellow vegetable townsfolk by the fruit royalty (Prince Lemon and the overly proud Lord Tomato) in the garden kingdom. The main theme is the struggle of the underclass against the powerful, good versus evil, and the importance of friendship in the face of difficulties.
Rodari was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for children’s literature in 1970.
Little Green Riding Hood is a delightful little tale about a grandfather trying to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood to his increasingly exasperated grandchild. We get the sense that he is tired of telling the same tale over and over and messes up the details for a bit of fun. It never fails to delight me as this was a game I played with my dear old dad where he repeatedly gave the “wrong” punchline to my jokes which made me squeal with laughter.
This short tale was featured in the very first issue of Cricket magazine (My story The Changeling Child will be featured in the October issue this year!) and was also released on the Cricket audio LP Cricket and Other Friends with the part of the grandfather being played by the delightful Old Cricket (Clifton Fadiman.)
I have found an audio recording of Little Green Riding Hood from Cricket and Other Friends and I would highly recommend listening to it. It is delightful. I have also included the text below if you’d just like to read it but do have a listen.
ONCE UPON A TIME there was a little girl called Little Yellow Riding Hood."
“No! Red Riding Hood!"
“Oh yes, of course, Red Riding Hood. Well, one day her mother called and said:
'Little Green Riding Hood--’"
'Little Green Riding Hood--’"
“Sorry! Red. 'Now, my child, go to Aunt Mary and take her these potatoes.’"
“No! It doesn't go like that! 'Go to Grandma and take her these cakes.’”
“All right. So, the little girl went off and in the wood she met a giraffe."
“What a mess you're making of it! It was a wolf!"
“And the wolf said: 'What's six times eight?’”
“No! No! The wolf asked her where she was going."
“So he did. And little Black Riding Hood replied-"
“Red! Red! Red!!!"
“She replied: 'I'm going to the market to buy some tomatoes."'
“No, she didn't. She said: 'I'm going to my grandma who is sick, but I've lost my way."'
“Of course! And the horse said-"
“What horse? It was a wolf."
“So it was. And this is what it said: 'Take the 75 bus, get out at the main square, turn right, and at the first doorway you'll find three steps. Leave the steps where they are, but pick up the dime you'll find lying on them, and buy yourself a packet of chewing gum."'
“Grandpa, you're terribly bad at telling stories. You get them all wrong. But all the same, I wouldn't mind some chewing gum."
“All right. Here's your dime." And the old man turned back to his newspaper.
Stay tuned next week for a much less amiable children’s storyteller.