The Wolf, seeing her come in, said to her, hiding himself under the bedclothes:—
“Put the custard and the little pot of butter upon the stool, and come and lie down with me.”
Little Red Riding-hood undressed herself and went into bed, where she was much surprised to see how her grandmother looked in her night-clothes.
She said to her:—
“Grandmamma, what great arms you have got!”
“That is the better to hug thee, my dear.”
“Grandmamma, what great legs you have got!”
[Illustration: “He fell upon the good woman.” p. 81.]
“That is to run the better, my child.”
“Grandmamma, what great ears you have got!”
“That is to hear the better, my child.”
“Grandmamma, what great eyes you have got!”
“It is to see the better, my child.”
“Grandmamma, what great teeth you have got!”
“That is to eat thee up.”
And, saying these words, this wicked Wolf fell upon Little Red Riding-hood, and ate her all up.
The eight stories contained in this volume are first found in print in French in a magazine entitled, Receuil de pieces curieuses et nouvelles tant en prose qu’en vers, which was published by Adrian Moetjens at The Hague in 1696-1697. They were immediately afterward published at Paris in a volume entitled, Histoires ou Contes du Temps Passe, avec des Moralites—Contes de ma mere l’Oie.
The earliest translation into English has been found in a little book containing both the English and French, entitled, “Tales of Passed Times, by Mother Goose. With Morals. Written in French by M. (Charles) Perrault, and Englished by R.S. Gent.”
Who R.S. was and when he made his translation we can only conjecture. Mr. Andrew Lang, in his “Perrault’s Popular Tales” (p. xxxiv), writes: “An English version translated by Mr. Samber, printed for J. Pote, was advertised, Mr. Austin Dobson tells me, in the Monthly Chronicle, March, 1729.”
These stories which may be said to be as old as the race itself—certainly their germs are to be found in the oldest literature and among the oldest folk-tales in the world—were orally current in France and the neighboring countries in nearly the form in which Perrault wrote them for very many years; and an interesting account of the various forms in which they are found in the literature and folklore of other nations before Perrault’s time is given in Les Contes de ma mere l’Oie avant Perrault, by Charles Deulin, Paris, E. Dentu, 1878.