Vertically Challenged Red Riding Hood

There was once a young person named Red Riding Hood who lived on the edge of 
a large forest with her mother -- and though it was a single parent 
household it provided a loving, supportive and nurturing environment in no 
way inferior to any other domestic arrangement, nor did Red Riding Hood 
suffer any developmental instabilities from lack of a regular father figure, 
nor was she in any way confused or handicapped by the male friends which her 
mother occasionally (and solely by her own choice, not because of any social 
preconceptions or lack of self esteem) would ask to stay overnight.

One day, her mother asked her to take a basket of reduced-calorie fat-free 
sodium-free preservative-free fibre-rich biscuits and a bottle of mineral 
water to her grandmother's house -- not because this was woman's work, mind 
you, but because the deed was generous and helped engender a feeling of 
community. Furthermore, her grandmother was not sick, but rather was in full 
physical and mental health and completely capable of taking care of herself 
as a mature adult and had hired a housekeeper (or, rather, a domestic 
sanitation engineer) not because she was unable to do such work if she chose 
but only because it provided a means of assisting and liberating the local 
diligent but under-employed immigrant community.

So Red Riding Hood set off with her basket of reduced-calorie fat-free 
sodium-free preservative-free fibre-rich biscuits and bottle of mineral 
water through the woods to Grandmother's house. She knew that many people 
believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place, filled with 
wild animals, and never set foot in it. But Red Riding Hood was confident in 
her budding sexuality and, furthermore, had been assured by her therapist 
(whom she visited only that she might be a more fulfilled person, not 
because she felt in any way inadequate or troubled) that she had no 
repressed childhood traumas, and so she was not hindered by such obvious 
destructive Freudian imagery.

On her way to Grandmother's house, Red Riding Hood was accosted by a Wolf, 
who asked her what was in her basket. Although it was clearly improper for 
the Wolf to take such liberties as asking such personal questions without 
prior permission by Red Riding Hood, she was sufficiently self-possessed 
that she did not feel overly threatened by his query and, rather than 
pursuing litigation, kindly answered "I, in order to express affection and 
strengthen family and community ties, am taking some reduced-calorie 
fat-free sodium-free preservative-free fibre-rich biscuits (which, I might 
add, were manufactured without any testing on or exploitation of animals and 
by a factory which produces no harmful by-products or greenhouse gasses) and 
a bottle of mineral water to my grandmother, who is certainly fully capable 
of taking care of herself as a mature adult and hires a domestic sanitation 
engineer only in order to liberate the diligent but under-employed immigrant 
community." The Wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little 
girl to walk through these woods alone." Red Riding Hood replied "I am a 
woman, not a girl, and I find your sexist and masculine-centred remark 
offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because I am confident in my 
own worth as an independent and responsible human being and I recognise that 
your status as an outcast from society, brought about by narrow-minded 
traditionalism and inadequate social engineering, has caused you to develop 
your own offensive yet nevertheless entirely valid world-view. Now, if you 
will excuse me I must be on my way, not because I wish to belittle your 
conversation or express disinterest in your intrinsic worth as an individual 
but because I need to fulfil my social obligations and return home in time 
to meet my therapist, whom I visit only to further enhance my already 
more-than-adequate sense of self-worth and fulfilment."

Red Riding Hood walked along the main path. However, because his status 
outside traditional society had freed the Wolf from slavish adherence to the 
linear, Western-style thought which had characterised the builders of the 
road, he knew of a quicker, more intuitive route to Grandmother's house. He 
hurried along this route, burst into Grandmother's house and ate her  which, 
though an entirely valid course of action for someone who had adopted a 
carnivorous lifestyle, and certainly not to be faulted as wrong or immoral 
by close-minded non-carnivorous observers, nevertheless represented an 
improper and offensive imposition of that lifestyle and perspective on 
Grandmother. Then, hampered neither by rigid, traditionalist notions of 
masculinity and femininity nor by possible Oedipean interpretations of his 
actions, he put on Grandmother's night-clothes and crawled into bed.

Soon, Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said, "Grandma, I have brought 
you some reduced-calorie fat-free sodium-free preservative-free fibre-rich 
snacks (which were manufactured without animal testing or environmentally 
threatening procedures) to salute you in your role of wise and nurturing 
matriarch." From the bed, the Wolf said softly, "Come closer, child, so that 
I might see you." Red Riding Hood replied, "Oh, I forgot that you are as 
optically- challenged as a bat, a perfectly acceptable and tax-deductible 
condition. My, Grandmother, what big eyes you have!" "They have seem much 
and forgiven much, my dear." "My, Grandmother, what a big nose you have -- 
only relative to traditional aesthetics, of course, to which you have no 
obligation to conform and a nose which, in your own aesthetic framework, may 
certainly be attractive and fulfilling." "It has smelled much and forgiven 
much, my dear." "My, Grandmother, what big teeth you have..." "Your 
observations do not change the fact that I am happy with my appearance, and 
furthermore am confident with my lifestyle choice as a carnivore, which is 
why I am now going to eat you, though I hope you will understand my actions 
arise out of no malice or dislike toward you and that any injury my 
behaviour may cause you should in no way be taken personally, particularly 
as I cannot be held responsible for any action which is in any way, 
howsoever remotely, a result of my underprivileged childhood. Furthermore, I 
would be equally happy to eat you if you were a boy and only unfortunate 
coincidence, not any personal bias, has resulted in the fact that I happen 
to be eating only females today." The Wolf sprang out of bed and grabbed Red 
Riding Hood who screamed, not because of alarm at the Wolf's apparent 
tendency toward cross-dressing, a perfectly valid and acceptable clothing 
option, but because of his wilful invasion of her personal space and 
apparent intent to force his world-view upon her. Her screams were heard by 
a passing woodchopper- person (or, as he preferred to be called, a 
Natural-Fuel Technician.) When he burst into the cottage he saw the melee 
and tried to intervene. But as he raised his axe, Red Riding Hood and the 
Wolf both stopped. "What do you think you're doing?" asked the Wolf. The 
Natural-Fuel Technician blinked and tried to answer, but could not think of 
a reply -- but only because his underprivileged upbringing had not provided 
him with an adequate education, a fact which in no way undermined his 
intrinsic value as a human-being or compromised, in any way, his eligibility 
for any career, particularly academia and politics. "What," asked Red Riding 
Hood "gives you the right to burst in here like a Neanderthal, trusting your 
weapon to do your thinking for you? Sexist! Speciesist! How dare you assume 
that women and wolves can't solve their own problems without a man's help!"

When she heard Red Riding Hood's speech, Grandmother jumped out of the 
Wolf's mouth, grabbed the Natural-fuel Technician's axe, and cut his head 
off, a perfectly justifiable action, particularly since the Technician had 
clearly been irretrievably indoctrinated into an intolerant Euro-centric 

After this ordeal, Red Riding Hood, Grandmother, and the Wolf felt a certain 
commonality of purpose and mutual recognition of each other's worth. The 
Wolf, moved by this recent example of the deleterious effects of the 
Technician's attempt to impose his devaluing world-view on others, vowed 
(or, rather, promised, since he was in no way limited by any primitive and 
unsubstantiated belief in some Absolute or Divinity) not to eat any other 
individual without first obtaining their written consent, in triplicate, 
granting him the right to freely express himself in a carnivorous fashion 
(and, in fact, the Wolf ultimately converted to vegetarianism, convinced of 
its superior health benefits). The three decided to set up an alternative 
household, based on their feelings of mutual respect and co-operation, not 
to mention the tax-incentives granted such associations, and they lived 
together in the woods happily ever after, though, of course, they were not 
bound by any obligation to stay "ever after," in case anyone should wish to 
express his/her individuality or seek fulfilment by choosing to leave, and 
they reserved the right to redefine "happily" at any time with reference to 
their own community decisions and outlook.

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