Recently, I entered a writers’ contest calling for a humorous combination of two fairy tales. Being a former elementary school teacher, that was a challenge I couldn’t resist! Although my story didn’t win one of the top cash prizes, it did win an honorable mention award. I hope you will enjoy it!
LITTLE RED ROBIN HOOD
Once upon a time there lived a little girl who liked to play naughty tricks. Each day, while all the elves and fairies napped under their toadstools in the Magical Forest, Little Red Robin Hood sneaked down to the creek and uncovered their tiny homes under the mossy rocks. She lifted out their nuggets of gold and silver and dropped them in her picnic basket. Then, skipping back to her cottage, she tossed their treasures far into the forest so all the wee folk would have to search for them again.
One night, King Lonnie, ruler of all the elves and fairies, called a meeting. “I have a pronouncement,” he said to his faithful lieutenants. “Assemble the troops.”
The word spread quickly through the forest, and at midnight, under the light of the full moon, everyone gathered in a grassy clearing near the king’s giant tree stump.
High above the assembly, King Lonnie raised his royal scepter, and the crowd fell silent. In a strong voice, loud and clear, he spoke. “Friends, it is time we determine who is stealing our treasure and making us seek to reclaim it. I hereby appoint the charming Prince Bertie and the clever Princess Beatrice to stand watch tomorrow morning. They shall report their findings to me.”
At dawn, the wee elf prince and tiny fairy princess proudly took their positions along the path from the village into the forest.
As the sun rose higher in the sky, Bertie stretched and yawned. “I’m not sure I can stay awake,” he said. “Bea, why don’t you watch while I take a short nap. Then I will watch this afternoon, and you can sleep.”
“All right,” Beatrice said, “but if I see anyone who looks suspicious, I will wake you.”
The charming Prince Bertie curled up under a shady fern and soon fell fast asleep. The clever Princess Beatrice flitted up to perch on a long, leafy limb overhanging the road.
Soon a little girl with golden hair came skipping down the path. Beatrice watched the child hesitate at the fork in the trail and then follow the narrow path to the right, deeper into the forest.
The tiny fairy flitted from tree to tree, keeping the girl in sight as she continued along her way. At the end of the trail, the child approached a small cottage. Looking left and right, she stepped to the door and knocked. When no one answered, she glanced both ways again, and then, pushing open the door, she stepped into the house.
In a great flurry, Beatrice fluttered back to Bertie. Shaking his shoulder, she shouted in his ear, “Wake up, Bertie! Wake up! I think I have spotted our thief.”
“Already? Where?” The wee elf sat up, rubbing his eyes. He straightened his tiny cap and frowned.
“She’s broken into a cottage at the end of the North Road,” Beatrice said. “Come with me.”
Hand in hand, the two scurried along the path, turned right at the fork, and soon came upon the house. Beatrice flew to a front window ledge. Bertie scooted up a wooden trellis against the house and leaped over to join her. Wiping two little circles on the dusty glass, they each peered into the room.
Three bowls and three spoons sat on a wooden table. The largest bowl and middle-sized bowl seemed to be full of porridge. The smallest bowl sat empty, but there was no sign of the intruder.
“She might be in the next room,” Beatrice said. She flitted to another window and wiped a circle on the glass. “Yes, she’s over here and she’s sitting in a big chair.” Bea beckoned to Bertie. “Now she’s climbing down and moving to another chair. Hurry.”
Bertie scrambled down the trellis and ran to stand under Bea’s window. He frowned. “I can’t get up there!”
“Nevermind. She is getting out of that chair, and now she is moving to the smallest chair.” Then Bea gasped. “Oh, no! She plopped down too hard, and now she has broken it!”
The tiny fairy fluttered down to land beside the wee elf. “We have to stop her!”
“We can’t do that by ourselves,” Bertie said.”Come on. We’ll need to tell the king.”
The two hurried back to wake King Lonnie. Standing at attention, they reported what they had seen. “Your Highness, she has invaded a house at the end of the North Road,” Beatrice said.
The king frowned. “We must capture her. I will call my lieutenants to round up an army.”
Soon a throng of elves and fairies, led by King Lonnie, the charming Prince Bertie, and the clever Princess Beatrice, marched down the road to the cottage.
As they drew near, the door burst open, and the little girl with the golden hair rushed out, screaming and crying. Close behind were Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear.
Quickly, the elves and fairies scattered to each side of the road, and Baby Bear caught sight of them. “Whoa!” he cried, screeching to a stop. “Who are you?”
King Lonnie stepped forward. “We came to arrest the thief in your house, but it seems you have frightened her away.”
“She ate my porridge, broke my chair, and slept in my bed,” Baby Bear said. “So we chased her out of our house.”
“That is too bad,” the king said. “She has also been stealing our treasures, and we wanted to teach her a lesson.”
“I’m sorry,” Baby Bear said. “I hope you will find her soon.”
With heavy hearts, the elves and fairies tromped back to their homes. When they arrived, they discovered an even more terrible truth. Their nuggets of gold and silver had been stolen once again!
“The girl with the golden hair could not be our thief,” King Lonnie said. “She was at the home of the Three Bears while we were away. We must continue to keep watch. Prince Bertie and Princess Beatrice, you shall stand guard again.”
The next morning, the wee elf prince and tiny fairy princess returned to their appointed positions along the path from the village into the forest.
“This time I’ll take the first watch,” Bertie said, “and Bea, you can take your nap.”
“Thank you, Bertie, but I will watch too. Both of us must stay alert.” Beatrice flew to her perch on the long, leafy limb overhanging the road, and Bertie climbed to the top of a tall rock.
Soon Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear came strolling by.
“Hello, there.” Bertie waved his hands to get their attention, and Beatrice flew down to land beside him.
“Good morning,” Papa Bear said. “Did you find our little Goldilocks intruder and teach her a lesson?”
“No,” Bertie said, “but we discovered she’s not the one who’s been stealing our treasures.”
“Yesterday, the nugget thief came while we were away,” Beatrice said.
“Oh, dear.” Mama Bear wrinkled her nose and frowned. “Then I wonder who it could be?”
“Maybe our friend Willie the Wolf could help.” Baby Bear smiled. “He knows everything that goes on in the Magical Forest. Would you like us to ask him?”
“Yes, that would be great,” Bertie said.
So the Three Bears went to find Willie the Wolf.
The following day, Little Red Robin Hood returned to the Magical Forest. She skipped down the path, and this time she carried a lunch in her basket to take to her grandmother.
She rounded a curve, and who should appear but Willie the Wolf. He jumped out of the bushes, bowed, and gave her a large, toothy grin. “Good morning, my dear.”
“Oh, my,” Little Red said. “Who are you?”
“Well, my dear, I am yours truly, the one and only, worldly and wise Willie the Wolf. But I already know who you are, Little Red Robin Hood. And I also know what naughty tricks you have played on my friends.”
“Tricks?” Little Red acted surprised.
“Ah, yes. I have watched you sneak down to the creek and uncover the elves’ and fairies’ houses. Then you have stolen their treasures and thrown them deep into the forest.”
“But I haven’t kept their treasures,” Little Red said. “I have only tossed them away.”
“Yes, but that is still a big bother for all my wee friends. They must spend their nights searching for them.”
Willie paused and frowned, stroking the hair on his long, pointed chin. “But maybe you and I can make a deal. If you will stop playing tricks on my friends, perhaps I will not play a trick on you. How about that?”
“What trick would you play on me?” Little Red asked.
“Well, I see you are on your way to your grandmother’s house. Right?”
“Yes. How did you know that?”
Willie grinned. “Remember, my dear. I am yours truly, the one and only, worldly and wise Willie the Wolf. When I saw you coming, I intended to run to Grandmother’s house, lock her in the closet, put on her gown and cap, and greet you when you came in. You would think I was your grandmother, and you would give me her lunch. Then I would gobble it up.”
“Oh, that would be terrible,” Little Red cried.
“Yes, but it would only be a trick, don’t you see? I would only gobble the lunch, not you or your grandmother.” Willie laughed.
“But eating her lunch would still be bad,” Little Red said.
“That’s true. But when you take the wee folks’ treasures and throw them into the forest, that is bad too.”
Little Red frowned. “If I promise to stop playing tricks on your friends, will you promise not to play a trick on me and my grandmother?”
“Yes, of course. Do we have a deal, my dear?” Willie the Wolf stuck out his paw.
Little Red laughed and shook his paw. “Yes, we have a deal. Thank you, Willie.”
Now, all is peaceful in the Magical Forest. No one is sneaking into houses, and no one is playing tricks. Goldilocks and Little Red Robin Hood have learned their lessons, and Willie the Wolf, the Three Bears, King Lonnie, Prince Bertie, Princess Beatrice, and all the elves and fairies are living happily ever after.