The Road to Grandmother’s House

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If you do as I say
One healty and alive
Will welcome you there.

He told her there was just one rule, as gods always do.

Red was determined not to do the same mistake as everyone before, even though she knew the odds were not in her favour. Pandora always opens the box, Eve always bites the apple, Orpheus turns to look at his lovely wife, and all of Bluebeard’s wives unlock the forbidden door.

The rule was simple. Red had to follow the road to her grandmother’s home, without making even a slightest turn aside, and when she enters the little house, her grandmother would welcome her there. She would be alive and well, in her rocking chair and not underneath the wet, cold ground.

Red’s steps were quick and determined. She believed in herself and could feel happiness enveloping her entire being. Then she saw beautiful flowers on the side of the road and thought how lovely it would be to bring them to her grandmother. She was careful as she picked them not to step from the road, not even with the tip of her shoe.

“The flowers are much more beautiful there, farther into the woods,” a deep voice said.

Red raised her eyes and saw a big wolf staring at her with piercing, green eyes.

“Oh, no, I can’t get off the road,” she said proudly. It was not so easy to fool her.

“Where are you going?” the wolf asked, and his voice was so warm and so kind that Red couldn’t refuse to answer.

“I’m going to my grandmother’s house. She died, but I was promised she will be alive again.”

“Don’t you want to see her sooner then? I know a way through the forest, it’s much shorter,” the wolf said and Red wanted to follow him anywhere.

“No, no!” she replied. “I have to follow the road.”

“Then, you can always run,” the wolf said. “Do you want to race me? I will go through the forest, and you run along the road. Let’s see who comes first!”

Red was suspicious, but she couldn’t find anything wrong about the suggestion. She would still follow the road, no matter what the wolf does. And he seemed so friendly, so she didn’t want to offend him.

“Fine! Let’s race!” she smiled.

The wolf nodded and disappeared among the trees. Red ran and ran, as fast as she could, thinking of the grandmother and thinking of the wolf. She wanted to win but when she came the wolf was already standing on the doorstep.

“You see, I know a much faster way,” the wolf seemed proud.

“Well, I admit, you won,” Red laughed. She wasn’t sad for losing, because in the end, she had also won. She had come to her grandmother’s house, and she followed the road. Magicians, genies, gods… They were never cheating. All those who failed before her were just silly people, with no power of will.

Red knocked on the door, but no one answered. She was a bit surprised to find the door unlocked. She entered the house and called for her grandmother, but no one replied.

“What happened?” she heard the wolf ask.

And then she remembered the exact words of the promise, and she remembered the wolf greeting her on the doorstep.

If you do as I say
One healty and alive
Will welcome you there.

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