The Art of Darkness

Poetry Sunday

November 20th, 2011 by Cobwebs

The Wolf’s Postscript to “Little Red Riding Hood”

First, grant me my sense of history:
I did it for posterity,
for kindergarten teachers
and a clear moral:
Little girls shouldn’t wander off
in search of strange flowers,
and they mustn’t speak to strangers.

And then grant me my generous sense of plot:
Couldn’t I have gobbled her up
right there in the jungle?
Why did I ask her where her grandma lived?
As if I, a forest-dweller,
didn’t know of the cottage
under the three oak trees
and the old woman lived there
all alone?
As if I couldn’t have swallowed her years before?

And you may call me the Big Bad Wolf,
now my only reputation.
But I was no child-molester
though you’ll agree she was pretty.

And the huntsman:
Was I sleeping while he snipped
my thick black fur
and filled me with garbage and stones?
I ran with that weight and fell down,
simply so children could laugh
at the noise of the stones
cutting through my belly,
at the garbage spilling out
with a perfect sense of timing,
just when the tale
should have come to an end.

— Agha Shahid Ali

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. Sisifo Says:

    I always liked the wolf. He was hungry, and he took his opportunity when it came. And I liked the woodsman. I’ll bet he had nice arms.
    I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but I never liked that version exactly. So I wrote my own.
    http://nonworking-girl.blogspot.com/2011/10/5-days-just-another-story.html

    P.S. Sorry for commenting on EVERY post. I just really enjoy your blog.

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