Maymie's Story Of Red Riding Hood

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

W'y, one time wuz a little-weenty dirl,
An' she wuz named Red Riding Hood, 'cause her -
Her Ma she maked a little red cloak fer her
'At turnt up over her head - An' it 'uz all
Ist one piece o' red cardinal 'at 's like
The drate-long stockin's the store-keepers has. -
O! it 'uz purtiest cloak in all the world
An' all this town er anywheres they is!
An' so, one day, her Ma she put it on
Red Riding Hood, she did - one day, she did -
An' it 'uz Sund'y - 'cause the little cloak
It 'uz too nice to wear ist ever' day
An' all the time! - An' so her Ma, she put
It on Red Riding Hood - an' telled her not
To dit no dirt on it ner dit it mussed
Ner nothin'! An' - an' - nen her Ma she dot
Her little basket out, 'at Old Kriss bringed
Her wunst - one time, he did. And nen she fill'
It full o' whole lots an' 'bundance o' good things t' eat
(Allus my Dran'ma she says ''bundance,' too.)
An' so her Ma fill' little Red Riding Hood's
Nice basket all ist full o' dood things t' eat,
An' tell her take 'em to her old Dran'ma -
An' not to spill 'em, neever - 'cause ef she
'Ud stump her toe an' spill 'em, her Dran'ma
She'll haf to punish her!

An' nen - An' so
Little Red Riding Hood she p'omised she
'Ud be all careful nen an' cross' her heart
'At she wont run an' spill 'em all fer six -
Five - ten - two-hundred-bushel-dollars-gold!
An' nen she kiss her Ma doo'-bye an' went
A-skippin' off - away fur off frough the
Big woods, where her Dran'ma she live at. - No! -
She didn't do a-skippin', like I said: -
She ist went walkin' - careful-like an' slow -
Ist like a little lady - walkin' 'long
As all polite an' nice - an' slow - an' straight -
An' turn her toes - ist like she's marchin' in
The Sund'y-School k-session!

An' - an' - so
She 'uz a-doin' along - an' doin' along -
On frough the drate big woods - 'cause her Dran'ma
She live 'way, 'way fur off frough the big woods
From her Ma's house. So when Red Riding Hood
She dit to do there, allus have most fun -
When she do frough the drate big woods, you know. -
'Cause she ain't feared a bit o' anything!
An' so she sees the little hoppty-birds
'At's in the trees, an' flyin' all around,
An' singin' dlad as ef their parunts said
They'll take 'em to the magic-lantern show!
An' she 'ud pull the purty flowers an' things
A-growin' round the stumps - An' she 'ud ketch
The purty butterflies, an' drasshoppers,
An' stick pins frough 'em - No! - I ist said that! -
'Cause she's too dood an' kind an' 'bedient
To hurt things thataway. - She'd ketch 'em, though,
An' ist play wiv 'em ist a little while,
An' nen she'd let 'em fly away, she would,
An' ist skip on adin to her Dran'ma's.

An' so, while she uz doin' 'long an' 'long,
First thing you know they 'uz a drate big old
Mean wicked Wolf jumped out 'at wanted t' eat
Her up, but dassent to - 'cause wite clos't there
They wuz a Man a-choppin' wood, an' you
Could hear him. - So the old Wolf he 'uz 'feared
Only to ist be kind to her. - So he
Ist 'tended like he wuz dood friends to her
An' says "Dood-morning, little Red Riding Hood!" -
All ist as kind!

An' nen Riding Hood
She say "Dood-morning," too - all kind an' nice -
Ist like her Ma she learn' - No! - mustn't say
"Learn," cause "Learn" it's unproper. - So she say
It like her Ma she "teached" her. - An' - so she
Ist says "Dood-morning" to the Wolf - 'cause she
Don't know ut-tall 'at he's a wicked Wolf
An' want to eat her up!

Nen old Wolf smile
An' say, so kind: "Where air you doin' at?"
Nen little Red Riding Hood she says: "I'm doin'
To my Dran'ma's, 'cause my Ma say I might."
Nen, when she tell him that, the old Wolf he
Ist turn an' light out frough the big thick woods,
Where she can't see him any more. An so
She think he's went to his house - but he haint, -
He's went to her Dran'ma's, to be there first -
An' ketch her, ef she don't watch mighty sharp
What she's about!

An' nen when the old Wolf
Dit to her Dran'ma's house, he's purty smart, -
An' so he 'tend-like he's Red Riding Hood,
An' knock at th' door. An' Riding Hood's Dran'ma
She's sick in bed an' can't come to the door
An' open it. So th' old Wolf knock two times.
An' nen Red Riding Hood's Dran'ma she says
"Who's there?" she says. An' old Wolf 'tends-like he's
Little Red Riding Hood, you know, an' make'
His voice soun' ist like hers, an' says: "It's me,
Dran'ma - an' I'm Red Riding Hood an' I'm
Ist come to see you."

Nen her old Dran'ma
She think it is little Red Riding Hood,
An' so she say: "Well, come in nen an' make
You'se'f at home," she says, "'cause I'm down sick
In bed, and got the 'ralgia, so's I can't
Dit up an' let ye in."

An' so th' old Wolf
Ist march' in nen an' shet the door adin,
An' drowl, he did, an' splunge up on the bed
An' et up old Miz Riding Hood 'fore she
Could put her specs on an' see who it wuz. -
An' so she never knowed who et her up!

An' nen the wicked Wolf he ist put on
Her nightcap, an' all covered up in bed -
Like he wuz her, you know.

Nen, purty soon
Here come along little Red Riding Hood,
An' she knock' at the door. An' old Wolf 'tend
Like he's her Dran'ma; an' he say, "Who's there?"
Ist like her Dran'ma say, you know. An' so
Little Red Riding Hood she say "It's me,
Dran'ma - an' I'm Red Riding Hood and I'm
Ist come to see you."

An' nen old Wolf nen
He cough an' say: "Well, come in nen an' make
You'se'f at home," he says, "'cause I'm down sick
In bed, an' got the 'ralgia, so's I can't
Dit up an' let ye in."

An' so she think
It's her Dran'ma a-talkin'. - So she ist
Open' the door an' come in, an' set down
Her basket, an' taked off her things, an' bringed
A chair an' clumbed up on the bed, wite by
The old big Wolf she thinks is her Dran'ma. -
Only she thinks the old Wolf's dot whole lots
More bigger ears, an' lots more whiskers, too,
Than her Dran'ma; an' so Red Riding Hood
She's kindo' skeered a little. So she says
"Oh, Dran'ma, what big eyes you dot!" An' nen
The old Wolf says: "They're ist big thataway
'Cause I'm so dlad to see you!"

Nen she says, -
"Oh, Dran'ma, what a drate big nose you dot!"
Nen th' old Wolf says: "It's ist big thataway
Ist 'cause I smell the dood things 'at you bringed
Me in the basket!"

An' nen Riding Hood
She say "Oh-me-oh-my! Dran'ma! what big
White long sharp teeth you dot!"

Nen old Wolf says:
"Yes - an' they're thataway," he says - an' drowled -
"They're thataway," he says, "to eat you wiv!"
An' nen he ist jump' at her. -

But she scream' -
An' scream', she did - So's 'at the Man
'At wuz a-choppin' wood, you know, - he hear,
An' come a-runnin' in there wiv his ax;
An', 'fore the old Wolf know' what he's about,
He split his old brains out an' killed him s'quick
It make' his head swim! - An' Red Riding Hood
She wuzn't hurt at all!

An' the big Man
He tooked her all safe home, he did, an' tell
Her Ma she's all right an' ain't hurt at all
An' old Wolf's dead an' killed - an' ever'thing! -
So her Ma wuz so tickled an' so proud,
She divved him all the dood things t' eat they wuz
'At's in the basket, an' she tell him 'at
She's much oblige', an' say to "call adin."
An' story's honest truth - an' all so, too!

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