Mr Wolf was right, these yellow marigolds were much prettier than the violets closer to the path. Granny says marigolds are like having a little bit of sunshine inside the house. Red gave Mr Wolf a little wave to say thanks. Maybe he wasn’t so bad after all.
She was picking some marigolds, when she noticed some roses nearby that smelled divine. The scent of those roses was sure to make Granny feel better.
Her mom would be so proud that she thought of picking flowers for Granny, and Granny was going to love having all these beautiful flowers around.
As she picked the fragrant orange roses, Red saw some pink carnations. Pink was Granny’s favorite color, so she just had to have some of those.
Red was surrounded by so many beautiful colors and smells, it was difficult to choose, and the flowers made such a nice buzzing sound. Red hummed along with the flowers as she reached for a lovely big red rose. Suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her thumb.
“Ouch!” she squealed. She watched a drop of blood grow on her thumb. She must have pricked it on a thorn.
She sucked her thumb and looked around. All she could see were flowers and trees. The path was nowhere to be seen. She swiped at something that flew past her nose. Why were the flowers getting louder?
She swiped again, and gasped.
Red didn’t think, she just ran. She crashed through bushes and ducked around trees. She swiped madly at the bees attacking her. Why wouldn’t they leave her alone?
“I’m sorry,” she cried, “I’m sorry I took your flowers.”
The bees didn’t hear her, or didn’t care. They kept coming. She kept running.
WHACK, WHACK, WHACK. As she ran, the whistle kept bouncing up, hitting her in the face.
She’d forgotten about the whistle. She took a deep breath and blew it as hard as she could. It was loud, it hurt her ears, but she didn’t care. She blew it again and again, hoping the forester would hurry.
Mr Wolf was passing some beavers when he heard the whistle. The beavers all stopped chopping and looked up from their logs. Were they looking at him? Why were they looking at him?
Mr Wolf didn’t understand why people didn’t trust him. It was always him getting into trouble, even when it wasn’t his fault. Even total strangers blamed things on Mr Wolf. He figured he just had one of those faces.
He hadn’t done anything wrong. He didn’t even know why the little girl was blowing the whistle, but he knew he would somehow get the blame.
Mr Wolf wanted to put as much distance between him and that whistle as possible. But he couldn’t run, or those beavers would be even more suspicious. He just walked a little quicker and pretended he didn’t notice the beavers at all.
The forester crashed through the undergrowth and Red ran right into him. She kept thrashing and swatting, but he just held her in his strong arms.
Barely aware that she’d been found, she babbled, “Bees everywhere… lost… path.”
The forester looked around confused. “It’s alright. There are no bees.”
Red finally calmed down enough to notice that he was right. There were no more bees. She must have left them all behind. Feeling a little silly, she stopped swiping at the air.
“I was lost,” she said, “I couldn’t find the path.”
“Come with me,” said the forester. He took her hand and led her around a bush, to the path. It was right there. Red felt even sillier.
The forester knelt down so he was face to face with her. “Maybe you should go home now.”
“No!” said Red, “My Granny needs me.”
“Well…” he didn’t seem convinced.
“Please? I promise I’ll stay on the path.”
The forester sighed. “Make sure you do,” he said, standing up, “Whistle if you need me again.”
Red thanked him and checked her basket. A few flowers were missing, but everything else was safe. She started walking.
“Ahem!” The forester pointed in the opposite direction. “Your Granny’s house is that way.”
Red smiled and quickly spun around so the forester wouldn’t see how embarrassed she was. She hurried on her way before the forester could change his mind.