At last, the forester was gone.
Mr Wolf didn’t like foresters. They picked on him all the time. They always showed up just when it LOOKED like he was doing the wrong thing, so then he got in trouble—like now. That forester probably thought he was trying to steal the girls basket, when he was just offering to carry it for her.
And why did he have to give her a whistle? As if it wasn’t already hard enough for him to get those cupcakes.
He fell into step beside Red as she started walking again.
“That basket looks awfully heavy,” he said, “Perhaps I could carry it for you.”
“No thanks,” said Red.
They continued in silence for a while, Red skipping along and Mr Wolf plotting beside her.
ACHOO! He sneezed again. Stupid flowers. He should have known that smelling them would aggravate his hay fever. Look at them, all over the place, with their pretty little purple and yellow faces—taunting him.
What are they good for, other than giving people hay fever? Silly old ladies who think they brighten up the place. That little girl’s granny probably loves flowers.
Suddenly Mr Wolf had an idea.
“Aren’t all these flowers lovely,” he said, “I bet your Granny loves flowers.”
“She picks fresh flowers every day,” Red replied, “Sometimes I help her.”
“I bet you do,” said the wolf, “I wonder if anyone’s been bringing her flowers since she’s been ill.”
Red stopped. “I could take her some.”
“What a wonderful idea,” Mr Wolf said, “I’m sure some flowers would cheer her up no end. I know! Why don’t I hold your basket while you pick the flowers.”
“That’s okay,” said Red, “I’ll keep it to put the flowers in.”
“But…” Mr Wolf began, but he was too late. She was already picking flowers.
AARGH! What was he going to do now? He couldn’t follow her. Just looking at those horrible flowers made his nose tickle.
He had to come up with another plan, an even cleverer one. How could he get the girl to give him the cupcakes?
His tummy grumbled, interrupting his thoughts.
“Silly old Granny,” he said to himself, “She gets to have cupcakes, and I bet she’s nowhere near as hungry as I am.”
He thought about little Granny rabbit tucked into her comfy little bed, all helpless and alone in her cottage beyond the stream, and had another idea—a very clever idea indeed.
Now that he knew where Granny rabbit lived, he just needed to get there before that little girl did.
“Those flowers are even nicer,” he called, pointing to some flowers further away from the path. Red waved, and headed towards them.
Mr Wolf chuckled.
“Sucker,” he said, and headed towards the stream.