The wolf and the seven kids

Once upon a time… a Mother Goat lived in a pretty little house with her seven kids.

Mother often had to leave home to do the shopping, and on that fateful day, she had given her children the usual warnings, before setting off to market.

“You mustn’t open the door to anyone. Don’t forget, there’s a wicked wolf lurking about here. It’s black, with horrible paws and a nasty deep voice. If it knocks, keep the door tightly shut!”

Mother Goat’s words were wise indeed, for as she was telling one of her neighbours about her fears, the wolf disguised as a peasant was hiding close by, listening to every word.

“Good! Very good!” said the wolf to himself.”If the goat goes to market, I’ll drop by her house and gobble the kids!”

Then, trying not to look too conspicuous, the wolf hurried along to the goat’s house. There, he threw off his disguise. He then growled in a deep voice:

“Open the door! Open the door! It’s Mother! I’ve just come back from the market! Open the door!”

When the kids heard the deep voice, they remembered their mother’s warning. From behind the barred door, they said to the wolf:

“We know who you are! You’re the wolf! Our mother has a sweet gentle voice, not a deep nasty one like yours! Go away! We’ll never open the door to you!”

And though the wolf banged furiously on the door, the kids, though trembling with terror, refused to let him into the house, and so the door remained shut.

Then the wolf had a brainwave. He dashed off to the baker’s and got a big cake dripping with honey. He hoped this would sweeten his voice. And in fact, after eating it, his voice didn’t sound quite so deep.

Over and over again, he practised imitating Mother Goat’s voice. You see, he’d heard it in the woods. When he felt certain he could easily be

mistaken for Mother Goat herself, he rushed back to the house and the seven kids.

“Open the door! Open the door! It’s Mother! I’ve just come back from the market! Open the door!” he called.

This time, the kids had doubts: the voice did rather sound like mother’s, and they were about to unlock the door, when the black kid suspiciously cried:

“Mother, let us see your foot!” Without thinking, the wolf raised a black hairy paw. And the kids knew that the wolf had come back.

“You’re not our mother! She doesn’t have horrid black paws!” cried the kids. “Go away, you wicked wolf!”

And once more, in spite of all his hard work, the wolf found the door locked against him. The wolf ran down to the mill, and found a sack of flour. He thrust his paws into it until they were pure white.

“I’ll trick them this time,” he said. “Mmm! My mouth’s watering already! I’m hungry! My tummy’s empty and my trousers are falling off! I’ll swallow these tender kids whole!”

Again he knocked on the door.

“Open the door! Open the door! It’s Mother! I’ve just come back from market! Open the door!”

The voice seemed exactly like mother’s, but the wary kids quickly called out: “Mother, let us see your foot!”

The wily wolf lifted a snow white paw, and the kids, now reassured, threw open the door. What a shock they received! An enormous set of jaws with sharp fangs growled fiercely. Cruel claws reached out for their prey. The kids scattered in terror.

One dived under the table, while other crawled below the bed. Another kid hid in the cupboard and one tried to hide in the oven, though the stove was still hot. One kid crouched inside a barrel and one hid in the grandfather clock. There he huddled, holding his breath, as the wolf hunted down his brothers.

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The wolf and the seven kids