Little Red Riding-hood
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: Florence Holbrook

One of the most popular fairy tales of all time is “Little Red Riding-hood.” This adaptation from 1911 is in the form of a short play. Students will read the play and answer questions on the key details and the theme.

Topic(s): Dramatic Comedies, Fairy Tales & Fables. Skill(s): Theme, Summary. Genre(s): Drama

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Persons in the Play-Little Red Riding-Hood, Mother, Bird, Wolf, Miller, Grandmother


Scene I.-At Red Riding-Hood’s Home

MOTHER: Would you like to go to grandmother’s to-day, my child? The sun is bright and the air is warm and pleasant.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Yes, mother, you know I always like to visit dear grandmamma.

MOTHER: Then you may go. You may carry your little basket, and I’ll put some honey and a jar of butter in it for grandma.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Oh, that will be a nice present for her! And may I take her some flowers?

MOTHER: Yes, dear child. Gather some of those you like best.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Here they are, mother-roses and pansies! Aren’t they pretty?

MOTHER: Very pretty and sweet. Now put on your little red cloak and take the basket. Be very careful as you pass through the wood, and go directly to grandma’s house.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Yes, dear mother. Nothing will harm me. All the birds and animals love me, and I love them.

MOTHER: Good-by, little daughter. Give me a kiss and take my love to dear grandmother.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Good-by, mamma: good-by!


Scene II.-In the Wood

Good morning, merry sunshine, How did you come so soon? You chase the little stars away. And shine away the moon. I saw you go to sleep last night Before I ceased my playing. How did you get ‘way over there, And where have you been staying?

How pretty it is here in the wood! Oh, what a lovely bed of moss! You must come with me, pretty green moss, to grandma’s house. Good morning, pretty bird: will you sing to me this morning?

BIRD: Yes, little Red Riding-Hood. I will sing to you because you love all the birds and can understand my song. Soon I’ll show you my little birds who are just big enough to fly.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Thank you, dear bird, I shall be glad to see the cunning little things. But now I must hurry to grandmother’s with the butter and the honey. Good-by!

BIRD: Good-by, little friend! Chirp, chirp; chirp, chirp!

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Now the little bird has flown away. I must put this moss in my basket and then hurry along-

WOLF: Ugh, ugh!

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Oh! how you frightened me, Mister Wolf! Where did you come from?

WOLF: From my pretty cave, far, far in the dark wood, little girl. What is your name?

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Why, don’t you know me? I’m little Red Riding-Hood.

WOLF: I’m a stranger in this place, little girl; but I shall know you the next time I see you-ugh, ugh! What have you in your pretty basket, little Red Riding-Hood? It smells like honey.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: It is honey, Mr. Wolf. I am taking it to my dear grandmother.

WOLF: Are you all alone in the wood, my child? Isn’t your mother with you? Aren’t you afraid?

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Afraid? no, indeed! Why should I be afraid? All the animals are my friends.

WOLF: Oh, yes, of course they are all your friends! But is it far to your grandmother’s house?

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: No, Mr. Wolf, only about half a mile. You go down this path to the mill and then turn to the right, and the first house you come to is my grandmother’s. It’s a little red house.

WOLF: Oh, that is very easy to find! But I know a shorter way through the wood. Let us run a race and see who will get there first.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: All right, Mr. Wolf. Good-by!

WOLF: Ugh, ugh; good-by!

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: How fast he runs! I know he will win the race. How surprised dear grandma will be when Mr. Wolf knocks at the door! Now I see the mill. I will sing the pretty mill song we learned in school the other day.

[Begins to sing, then stops suddenly.]

Oh, there is the miller. Good morning, Mr. Miller! Have you seen Mr. Wolf go by?

MILLER: No, little Red Riding-Hood. Have you seen a wolf in the wood?

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Yes, Mr. Miller, and he said he would race with me to my grandmother’s house.

MILLER: My dear child, I will call the men who are chopping trees in the forest, and they will catch Mr. Wolf. He is no friend of ours, and you must not talk with him, for he is cruel and will do you harm.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Will he? Then I will never say another word to him. But I must hurry on to dear grandmother’s.


Scene III.-Grandmother’s House

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Here I am at the door; I will knock. May I come in, dear grandmother?

WOLF (in the house): Open the latch and walk in.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Here I am, dear grandmother! I am so glad the bad wolf did not get here first. Are you so sick you must stay in bed? See the nice butter and honey that mother sent you. And see the pretty flowers I’ve brought you.

WOLF: Thank you, my child.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: How rough your voice is, grandmother!

WOLF: That’s because I’ve such a bad cold.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: But how bright your eyes are, grandmother!

WOLF: The better to see you, my child.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: How long your arms are, grandmother!

WOLF: The better to hold you, my child.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: And how big your teeth are, grandmother!

WOLF: The better to eat you-ugh! ugh!

[The miller and the wood choppers rush in.]

MILLER: Here’s an end to you, Mr. Wolf! These men with their axes will stop your cruel deeds.

[The wolf runs out, followed by the men.]

Come, little Red Riding-Hood, don’t be afraid. The wolf can’t harm you now. Here is your grandmother, who has just come home from the village. She will take care of you.

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Dear grandmother! I thought that the wolf was you.

GRANDMOTHER: Darling little Red Riding-Hood! How glad I am that you are safe. Now you must stay with me till your mother comes, and we will tell her how the brave men saved you and me from the hungry wolf. Won’t she be glad to see her little Red Riding-Hood again?

Comprehension Questions

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