How To Provoke a Wolf
Once upon a time there was a girl named Little Red Ridinghood.
One fine day her mother gave her a bottle of Italian vermouth
to take to her grandmother, who lived in a cottage deep in the
forest. "Be careful while going through the forest," said Little
Red Ridinghood's mother, "as their are reports of a wolf in the
area. However, your grandmother is very anxious to get this vermouth,
as it is one ingredient in a magic potion she makes every evening
before dinner - oh yes, and take along this jar of olives."
By Ed Zern
"Yes, Mamma dear," said Little Red Ridinghood, " but I have no fear
of the wolf, for there are no authenticated instances of an unprovoked
instances of an unprovoked attack by a wolf or wolves on a human
being. Also, in The Wolves of Mount McKinley by
Adolf Murie, published in 1944 as No. 5 in the National Park Service's
Fuana Series, it clearly says --"
"Buzz off," said Little Red Ridinghood's mother, "or I'll give you a
"Yes, Mamma," said Red Ridinghood, and skipped merrily down the path
that led to the forest. No sooner had she got into the woods, where
the shadows concealed Heaven knows what nameless dangers, than who
should step out from behind a tree but a wolf. "Hiya, cutie," said
the wolf. "Whatcha got in the basket?"
Among other things," said Red Ridinghood, "I got a bottle of Italian
vermouth and a bottle of olives, for my grandmother who lives in
a cottage about a mile down with path. And please, sir, let's not
have any unprovoked attacks - I'm in a hurry."
"Certainly not, sis," said the wolf, and ran off into the forest.
As soon as he as out of sight he lit out for the cottage of Red
Ridinghood's grandmother. On arriving there he entered and said,
"Greetings, Granny! How's about a generous slug of that magical
potion, for a desiccated denizen of the forest?"
Beat it buster," said Red Ridinghood's grandmother. "If there's
one ting I can't stand, it's a looped lupus."
"Wow!" said the wolf. "Hoo boy" If that don't constitute
provocation, I never encountered none!" After eating Red Ridinghood's
grandmother, he put on her cap and got into her bed. Soon Red
Ridinghood came skipping into the room, with her basket.
"Hiya, girlie," said the wolf, assuming a grandmotherly expression.
"Whatcha got in that basket for your poor old granny?"
"I'm glad you asked that question," said Red Ridinghood, "because
among other interesting items in this basket I got this Ruger .44
Magnum revolver, fully loaded and guaranteed to let the sawdust
out of tranvestite wolves at ranges up to 300 yards." So saying,
Red Ridinghood raised the Ruger and drew a bead on the beast - when
who should jump out from behind the door but a Federal agent.
"Hold it Red!" said the agent. "According to the provisions in this
here newly enacted Federal anti-gun legislation, I'm obliged to
heist that heater. See you in court, kiddo."
"Thank goodness," said the wolf, and as soon as the agent had
confiscated the gun and left, he gobbled up Red Ridinghood and
headed back for Mount McKinley. ~ Ed Zern
Credits: From The Best of Ed Zern published by
The Lyons Press.
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