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"TELL US A STORY"
Many fairies, I have heard,
Are dwelling in the wood,
But I am sure none is so fair
As Little Red Riding Hood!
The next day it rained and rained. Mama Bear said: "No one shall go out."
So they all brought their chairs and sat by the fire.
"Please tell us a story," shouted all the small Bears.
Red Riding Hood began: "I go out in the woods every day, and I have never been afraid in my life except once."
"That was when you went to visit your grandmother," said Curly Bear.
Red Riding Hood went on: "I tapped on the door and the old wolf said: 'Come in!'
"You said: 'Grandmother, what great ears you have, '" shouted all the Bears.
"And, 'Grandmother, what great eyes you have,"' whispered Little Bear.
"I have almost forgotten about it," said Red Riding Hood, "it happened so long ago."
"What became of the wolf?" asked Papa Bear.
"The wood-choppers frightened him away," said Red Riding Hood.
"How is it you do not grow old?" asked Mama Bear.
Little Red Riding Hood blushed rosy red. She was such a sweet little girl! She looked very young in her short dress.
"I should think you would be afraid of the woods," said Papa Bear. "There is Bushy Tail. He is such a sly fellow."
Red Riding Hood laughed. She said: "None of the animals dares to harm me."
"I want a cookie," said one little Bear.
"I want a cookie," said the next little Bear.
Red Riding Hood went to get her basket of cookies.
The Bears all followed her, and they set up a great howl.
What do you suppose had happened? The basket was empty.
"Who stole the cookies?" asked Mama Bear, and "who stole the cookies?" asked Papa Bear.
"Oh, oh, oh!" cried all the little Bears. "We want some cookies! We want some cookies!"
Red Riding Hood began to sing a little song:"Who is it once went into the wood?
Little Red Riding Hood.
Who carried with her the nicest food?
Little Red Riding Hood!
Who gathered flowers, fresh and sweet,
Who did not fear the wolf to meet?
Who roamed out in the green retreat?
Little Red Riding Hood."
While Red Riding Hood was singing, she was mixing flour and butter and milk and other good things together, She was making more cookies for the little Bears.
"May I roll them out?" asked each of the seventeen little Bears.
Red Riding Hood had forgotten that Little Bear had no name; she looked at him and said:
"What is your name?"
Two big tears began to roll down his cheeks, and his brothers and sisters shouted:
"He hasn't any name! He hasn't any name!"
Then Little Red Riding Hood whisked every one of those Bears out of the kitchen, except Little Bear, and he helped roll out the cookies.
Little Bear was so happy then that he stopped crying, and he and Red Riding Hood rolled out and baked one hundred cookies that day.
Little Bear told Red Riding Hood that he hoped some day to find the pot of gold at the rainbow end.
"What would you do with the gold?" asked Little Red Riding Hood.
"I don't want the gold," said Little Bear, "but I might find a name in the pot of gold."
Red Riding Hood did not talk any more. She went on singing.
"I wonder if I could learn to sing," said Little Bear. He tried to sing, but his voice sounded like a growl.
"Never mind," said Red Riding Hood. "If you cannot sing, you can roll out cookies!"
All the Bears said the cookies were fine, and Papa Bear said: "I am glad Bushy Tail is not here. We have enough cookies to last a while."
"I am not sure that they will last," said Mama Bear.
Then each little Bear took
another cookie, and they all laughed
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