216 THE TRUE HISTORY OF LITTLE GOLDEN-HOOD
' Friend Wolf.'
He had seen the child start alone, and the villain was waiting to devour her; when at the same moment he perceived some woodcutters who might observe him, and he changed his mind. Instead of falling upon Blanchette he came frisking up to her like a good dog.
' Tis you ! my nice Little Golden-hood,' said he. So the little girl stops to talk with the Wolf, who, for all that, she did not know in the least.
' You know me, then !' said she ; ' what is your name ?'
' My name is friend Wolf. And where are you going thus, my pretty one, with your little basket on your arm ? '
' I am going to my Grandmother, to take her a good piece of cake for her Sunday treat to-morrow.'
' And where does she live, jTour Grandmother ? '
' She lives at the other side of the wood, in the first house in the village, near the windmill, you know.'
' Ah ! yes! I know now,' said the Wolf. ■ Well, that's just where I'm going; I shall get there before you, no doubt, with 3rour little bits of legs, and I'll tell her you're coming to see her ; then she'll wait for you.'
Thereupon the Wolf cuts across the wood, and in five minutes arrives at the Grandmother's house.
He knocks at the door: toe, toe.
He knocks louder.
Then he stands up on end, puts his two fore-paws on the latch and the door opens.
Not a soul in the house.
The old woman had risen early to sell herbs in the town, and she had gone off in such haste that she had left her bed unmade, with her great night-cap on the pillow.
' Good ! ' said the Wolf to himself, ' I know what I'll do.'
He shuts the door, pulls on the Grandmother's night-cap down to his eyes, then he lies down all his length in the bed and draws the curtains.
In the meantime the good Blanchette went quietly on her way, as little girls do, amusing herself here and there by picking Easter daisies, watching the little birds making their nests, and running after the butterflies which fluttered in the sunshine.
At last she arrives at the door.