She gasped in surprise, but to her relief saw that he was looking at her kindly. He was richly dressed and smiled most reassuringly. “Good morning,” he said pleasantly. Red Riding Hood hesitated a moment, but as he seemed nice enough, replied, “Good morning.”
He then politely inquired as to her and her family’s health, remarking that he had seen them often and admired their work. He introduced himself as the prince of the forest and she soon found herself not only answering all his questions, but disclosing the reason for her journey that morning as well.
“Well, Rid Riding Hood,” the man finally said with a bow, “I must be off to see about my business and tend to my subjects. You’ll find a short cut through my woods, dear girl, along which many beautiful flowers grow. Pick these and you will then have a bouquet of lovely blossoms to present your grandmother when you come to her house.”
He then vanished and she could see that his words seemed true for a small foot trail left the main path through the forest and led off into what seemed to be thickets of gorgeous flowers. She stood for a moment glancing up the path and then back again towards the blossoms glowing beneath the dark branches overhead. A soft yet wonderful fragrance floated towards her from the flowers and she allowed herself to be carried off the path and into the flowery grove.
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