Little Red Riding Hood or how I tried to help out Grandma

Hi, it’s me again, Fred.  What, you don’t know anyone by that name?  How about Frederick Von Wolfhausen III?  No?  Well, okay, maybe you will recognize me by this horrible nickname:  The Big Bad Wolf.  Oh, so that one you know?  I really don’t like that name, it hurts my feelings.  I have been trying very hard to change everyone’s opinions of me and having to use that name doesn’t help at all.

It is all those awful little pigs’ fault.  Blow down a couple of houses that were only held together with sticks and straws and I’m the bad guy.  Does anyone ever mention how poorly those houses were constructed?  No?  I didn’t thinks so.  I bet just knocking on their front doors probably would have been enough to topple them over.  But that is a story for another day.

I have spent the past year trying to prove that I am not that guy.  I am not ‘big and bad’.  I am really soft, fluffy and friendly, actually the nicest wolf you could ever hope to meet.  At least that is what my Mums and Pops tell me.

I have been very busy doing good deeds around the forest, trying to prove how kind I really am.  I rescue little animals that get trapped in the thickets.  I work hard to free them, but then what happens?  The minute they are loose, they run away screaming “it’s the big, bad wolf!”  Why would they do that?  Didn’t I just rescue them?

I pick up baby birds and put them back in their nest too.  But then their mom chases me away like I had plans to eat them for my next meal or something.  It’s just not fair.  I only want to be friends.

And yesterday, this happens.  I was walking through the woods, minding my own business, when I saw Grandma Gertie working in her garden.  I went over to say hi and to see if she would like some help.  What do you think happened when she realized it was me?  She jumped up, pretty fast for a grandma by the way, and ran screaming into the woods yelling “the wolf, the wolf, the big, bad wolf!”  “I just wanted to help you”, I yelled after her.  So, with nothing else to do, I kneeled down and began pulling up weeds from the garden.  Her garden looked pretty pitiful and it seemed like the least I could do.

After a few minutes, I began to hear whistling off in the distance.  Yay, Grandma must have calmed down and decided to come back.  In desperation, I wondered if maybe Grandma saw me dressed like she was, then she wouldn’t be scared.  So I grabbed some clothes off the clothesline and changed into them.  I put on an old gown and slipped a lace cap on my head to cover up my ears.  Now, I that I look more like her, I bet she will seee me as a friend.

grandma-wolf (dragged)

As the whistling grew closer, I saw that it wasn’t Grandma after all.  It was a little girl in a red cape and hood.  She was skipping toward the garden carrying a picnic basket.  Oh boy, a picnic.  I love picnics.  They are so much fun!  Lemonade, sandwiches, cupcakes, oh my!

When the little girl came close enough to see me, I noticed she was squinting.  Oh, maybe she lost her glasses.  This may be my chance to help her and she can tell everyone how kind and helpful I really am.  As the little girl skipped even closer, she tripped over a rock on the path.  She reached out to grab me to stop her fall, but she accidentally stuck her hand right in my mouth, gross!  But being the polite wolf that I am, I didn’t say anything.  “What big teeth you have,” she said.  (How rude I thought, but did I say that?  No.)

“Umm, the better to eat that picnic with”, I replied.  I never, ever said the better to eat you with, I promise!

After wiping her hand on her skirt, she reached down into the picnic basket.  I thought she was bringing out the cupcakes, but no, she pulls out her glasses.  As her vision focused, her eyes widened and she let out a ear splitting scream.  The basket fell to the ground as she ran screaming off into the woods.  What just happened?

Not knowing what else to do, I sat down and looked in the picnic basket.  Hey, she left it sitting there and I didn’t want it to go to waste.  But please don’t tell my Mums, she gets upset if I eat too many sweets.

By the time I got back home, the story was already being told that ‘the big, bad wolf’ had scared Grandma Gertie away and then had tried to eat Little Red Riding Hood.  Why would she say such things?  I don’t eat pigs and I don’t eat people.  I like cake, birthday cake to be precise.  And maybe ice cream too.  But people, yuck!

So now I am asking for your help.  Please help me spread the word about what really happened.  And if you are ever out this way would you mind bringing me some birthday cake?  I have a feeling I won’t be getting invited to too many parties anymore.

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The Big Bad Wolf & the Three Little Pigs

I know, I don’t like that name either.  It just makes me so angry.  There is absolutely nothing ‘little’ about those three pigs!  No, I know, it’s that ‘Big Bad Wolf’ name that gets everyone so upset.  I am trying to get a retraction or a re-write, but so far no luck.  Maybe if you hear my side of the story, you might help me get the word out to everyone else?

You see, my name is actually Frederick Von Wolfhausen III, but my friends just call me Fred.  Though after those silly pigs get through telling their story, I may not have any friends left!

The Big Bad Wolf & The 3 Little Pigs picture

I grew up an only child to Martha Louise and Frederick Von Wolfhausen II.  So although I was spoiled terribly, I would get so lonely at times.  It’s hard to get a lot of wolves together for anything.  A wolf pack is all fun and games until someone steps on a tail, and then the fights begin.  Eventually, Mums and Pops had enough and moved us out to the country.  That way we could avoid most of the wolf pack meet ups.  So there I was, stuck out in the country with no friends nearby.

Until one fall day, while out skipping stones in the creek, I heard splashing and laughter coming from around the curve.  What do you think I saw splashing around there?  Yes, two not-so-little pigs.  They were playing tag in the water, yelling ‘you’re it’, then swimming away.  What fun!  I stood nearby on the bank and waited for them to catch their breath, before clearing my throat.  They turned slowly toward me, then looked back at each other and winked.  I didn’t know then how much that wink would cost me.

“Come on in and play” the biggest pig offered.  “Tag is always more fun with three.”

Oh, joy, they want me to play?  You bet!  I jumped right in the water and we laughed and played until the sun began to set.  The two pigs, Percival and Phineas, invited me back again tomorrow to play.  So for the next few months, we met at the creek and played.  It was wonderful to finally have friends nearby again.

As the days grew cooler, Percival and Phineas would often talk about how much they dreaded the winter.   It seems they had put up their houses rather quickly, using straw and sticks, and the wind seemed to blow right through the walls.  It sounded terrible to me.  But when I asked them why they didn’t fix them, they laughed and said they had rather play and have fun.  They would worry about the cold later.  I was secretly very glad that Pops had made sure our house was nice and cozy, and I didn’t have to worry.

One cold day near the end of November, the pigs asked me to come over to their houses and play.  Mums said it was okay as long as I was home before sunset, so off I went.  I have to say, their houses looked so rickety that I was afraid to even go inside either one.

Phineas said he had a new game for us to play.  We were going to take turns to see who could blow the most leaves off their roofs.  That sounded harmless enough, since I wouldn’t have to go inside at all, so I agreed.  Percival set up a ladder in front of his house, climbed up, took a deep breath and blew.  Three leaves fell to the ground.  Phineas was next.  He only managed to blow off two.  I was going to win this game hands down!  I didn’t really need to stand on the ladder, but they insisted.  Once I was up there, I drew in my breath and prepared to show them how it was done.  But just as I blew out, those mischievous pigs rocked the ladder and I fell right off onto the roof!  As I tried to sit up, the roof began to shake and suddenly I was sitting in the kitchen.  I was horrified.  What do I do now?

Percival just laughed and said he would fix his roof tomorrow and moved the ladder over to Phineas’s house.  They each blew off a couple of leaves, then said it was my turn.  Well, no ladder for me this time!  I stood on my tiptoes and blew as hard as I could and the whole straw roof blew off.  I don’t think it was held down very well at all.  Once the roof was gone, the walls caved in.  How awful!  Did anyone else see that coming?  I sure didn’t.

Before I could apologize, Percival and Phineas began screaming at the top of their lungs.  They ran over to a nearby brick house and started banging on the door.  “Let us in, Brother.  A Big Bad Wolf has huffed and puffed and blown both our houses down.  We will surely be eaten if you don’t let us in!”  The door was jerked open by a very large angry pig.  “Pomeroy, Pomeroy, as our older brother you have to protect us.”

Pomeroy motioned them in, then glared at me while slamming the door.  I ran over and politely knocked.  “Oh, Percival, Phineas, please explain to your dear brother that we were only playing a game.  I would never knock over your houses on purpose.  And what is that you said about getting eaten?  That is ridiculous.  My Mums always has dinner ready for me promptly at six o’clock every night.  I couldn’t dare eat now.”

No one answered, so I went around to the back door and tried knocking again.  They ignored me, so I went around to a window.  I had to yell to be heard through the window, but I had to explain.  As Pomeroy walked over to pull the curtain closed, I saw Percival and Phineas pointing and laughing at me.  Their brother yelled at me to go away and never come back.  At this, those tow awful pigs stuck their tongues out at me and turned around to sit by the fire.

I waited around until sunset, hoping they would come back out, but at last I gave up and headed home.  I was crying when I walked in our door and Mums and Pops rushed over to find out what was wrong.  Mums sat me down, brought me a hot cocoa and asked me to tell them everything.  After I finished, Pops banged his fist on the table in frustration.  “Those sneaky pigs were not very good friends Fred.  I think they came up with a plan to spend this winter in their brother’s warm, cozy house and used you to accomplish it.  I’m sure their brother didn’t want them to stay with him because they were lazy.  Their plan got them sympathy and a warm home.  I don’t ever want you to hang around with that group of pigs again.  They are no good.”

After a few days, I ventured into town with Mums.  All afternoon, we heard murmurs of “There he is.  That’s the Big Bad Wolf that blew down poor Percival and Phineas’s homes.  You know they have to live with their brother, Pomeroy, now.”  People even crossed the street to avoid speaking to us.  It was terrible.

Mums took my hand and we quickly headed home.  But not before she looked those people right in the eye and said “His name is Fred, and those horrible, lazy pigs wanted their houses blown down.  Fred was framed and one day you will realize it for yourselves!”

My Mums is my biggest fan, and my bestest friend!

 

Groundhog Day

groundhog-day-quotes

Groundhog Day, Groundhog Day

How I’ve waited for you

Has it only been one year?

It seems more like two!

Shopping is done

Food to prepare

At the end of this day

The cupboard is bare.

The tree is set up

In a window display

 all passersby to admire

And remember this day.

tree

The glass groundhog we bought

Sits proudly atop

A tree filled with decorations

Yes, photo-op!

GroundhogsDayPuppets

A day filled with crafts

Groundhog puppets to make

Brown bags, lots of felt

And still cupcakes to bake!

Groundhog-Day-Party-Food-Recipes-4

The children awake

Up way before dawn

To sit by the TV

Holding back many a yawn.

The sun just is rising

The crowd holds their breath

Do you see him?  I don’t

Has he not woke up yet?

There he is, there he is!

I see him, I see him!

He looks kind of stunned

And dare I say, grim?

Flashes go off-filming begins

The crowd watches Phil

That poor sleepy groundhog

He sure knows the drill.

He’s going back in

His shadow he sees

More snow days, more sledding

The kids shout with glee!

We have practiced and practiced

All night and all day

To perfect our performance

For our Groundhog Day play.

Sets reconstructed

Costumes painstakingly made

Our thrill at performing this

Never to fade.

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The guests now have left

Another great play

As the night draws near

We wind down from the day.

We sip our hot chocolate

By the lights of the tree

Thinking of past years

And celebrations we’ve seen.

Phil saw his shadow

And went back to sleep

As for us, six more weeks of winter

I think I might weep.

o-GROUNDHOG-DAY-4-570

The First Pugsgiving

     I am sure you all know the story of the first Thanksgiving.  The pilgrims fleeing religious persecution in Europe to sail to the new land and start again.  The Mayflower and all the hardships those pilgrims endured during the voyage.  Their first step out onto the rock.  The feast where Indian and Pilgrim came together and celebrated the harvest in peace.  Yes, it is a story written, sung and acted out throughout the years since then.  But does anyone know the story of the first Pugsgiving?  No?  I didn’t think so.  This story, once shared every Thanksgiving night when everyone settled around the fireplace, their bellies stuffed with food, is now almost forgotten.  That is why I feel like it is time to once again share this story so that it can once again be told to future generations.  Told so that no one forgets that first Pugsgiving and how they also struggled.

And so let me begin this story in 1620:

     It was a dark time in Europe.  Pugs everywhere struggled to find a place to celebrate their heritage.  They were often persecuted by other dogs.  Their meeting places were raided.  They were ridiculed, beaten and ran out of town for what they believed.  Pugs everywhere were forced to meet in secret.  The time and location of these meetings were passed from pug to pug by short, muffled barks barely noticeable to other dog’s ears.  It was truly a hard, dangerous time to be a pug.

     One day, while in the marketplace, Percival Pug heard a rumor of a large ship setting sail for a new world.  This ship was said to be carrying some people called Pilgrims.  These Pilgrims were supposedly escaping Europe to pursue their freedom to worship.  Percival Pug gathered all the information he could and then passed the word that all pugs needed to meet quickly and secretively.

     After a quick discussion, it was decided that 5 pugs would take the chance to stow on board and travel to this new land.  They were:  Percival Pug, Millie Pug Standish, Phinneaus Pug, Patience Pug and Theodore Von Pugginstin.  They packed a few meager supplies and slipped on board mere minutes before the ship, Mayflower, set sail.

    The pugs were able to remain undetected for many days, but eventually their food ran out and they were forced to venture out and search for rations.  The ship’s food supply was heavily guarded and while trying to slip by the guard with a loaf of bread in his mouth, Phinneaus Pug was seen and trapped.  Even when asked if there were others on board, Phinneaus refused to give up their location.  Finally, when word of Phinneaus’s capture and impending lashing reached the other pugs, they decided to come forward and accept their fate along with him.

     Some of the Pilgrims voted to throw all five pugs overboard, but Theodore Von Pugginstin offered them a compromise.  They would be at sea for many weeks and months and there really was nothing to do on a ship for entertainment.  So Theodore Von Pugginstin convinced them that if they would allow the pugs to continue on the voyage, the pugs would provide entertainment to keep up morale.  After much discussion, it was decided that the pugs could stay on board only if the performed tricks for the crew and passengers once a day.

    So for that long, treacherous voyage those pugs performed once a day.  They jumped through barrel hoops, balanced swords on their noses, and juggled wooden spoons.  The pugs were so entertaining that no one minded sharing what little food on board with them.

     In November 1620 when land was sighted, the pugs celebrated along with the Pilgrims.  But when the discussion began as to who would be the first to step out on land, many of the Pilgrims were hesitant.  They were not sure what this new land would hold.  What awaited them on shore?  They voted to have a pug try out the land first to make sure it was safe for the others.  It was decided that Mille Pug Standish would be set ashore the following morning.  So it was actually a small pug paw that first stepped out onto Plymouth Rock.  As time passed, the Pilgrims were ridiculed that they had sent a pug out first, so the story was rewritten to be Miles Standish, a pilgrim, who went first.

     The pugs worked side by side with the pilgrims that first year.  They helped move the smaller trees, dug the holes for planting crops and served as guards for the camp.  Their short, sharp barks warned of any approaching danger.

     During the first Thanksgiving, the pugs dug up the turnips and potatoes.  They were even responsible for herding the turkeys into the camp!

     One of the famous Indians that helped the pilgrims during that first long, hard winter was no other than, Pugahontas.  This name was later changed to Pocahontas to fit more with the Pilgrim’s perferred retelling of the story.

     So as you can see, over the years these brave pugs’ contribution to our history has virtually disappeared.  Well, it is time for that to end.  This year, after your own feast, gather round the fire and share this story with your children.  The First Pugsgiving must remain a part of our history and heritage.

pugsgiving

Welcome!

Hi, glad you stopped by!  Welcome to my new site.  I hope to amuse you or perhaps bring a smile to your face or maybe I’ll just help you to look at things from a new perspective.

My  stories are Flipside Fairytales (hence, the site title).  I like to look at everyday things, things you may have seen, read or talked about and put a different spin on them.  Kind of like when you were a little kid and hung upside down on the swingset just to see what the world looked like all dizzy and topsy turvy!

So check back Wednesday, I will be posting a new, often overlooked story of the first Thanksgiving.