Littlefoot, Part 2

Littlefoot buttoned her red, hooded coat as Benedella transferred warm cookies to a basket to take to their grandmother.
“I’ll take them to Grandma,” Kindra offered.
“Don’t be an idiot,” said Littlefoot. “It’s not safe to go through the woods alone. Especially since we have to pass Jon Wolf’s house to get to Grandma’s.”
Benedella gave a motherly nod. “Yes. We’ll go together as usual.”
Littlefoot’s sisters put on their coats, and they all walked out of their cozy cottage and into the cool shade of the forest. Benedella hummed a tune they had heard at the prince’s ball, and Kindra pouted. Littlefoot slowed as they got close to the path to Jon’s house.
“Quiet,” she whispered. “We don’t want him to come out to talk to us.”
“You’re tellin’ me,” Benedella said. Jon always tried to get Benedella to come into his house. Her beauty could be a curse sometimes.
“I don’t know why you don’t give him a try, Benedella,” Kindra said, not bothering to keep her voice down. “I think he’s pretty handsome.”
“Ugh,” Littlefoot and Benedella said together.
“He’s vain,” said Littlefoot.
“And mean,” added Benedella. “And he has those two teeth all pointy like a dog.”
“I kind of like those kind of teeth,” Kindra said.
“Ugh.”
“Now shhhh,” said Littlefoot. She wanted them quiet when they crossed the path that led to Jon’s door. She peered down his path, tiptoeing quickly. She could see Jon’s head above some bushes, but he was looking the other way.
Kindra sneezed – much more daintily than usual.
Jon whipped his head around. “Heloooo ladies.”
Littlefoot glared at Kindra.
Benedella whispered, “What’s he doing. Is he peeing? Ew.”
After a moment, Jon came out into the path and walked toward the girls. He didn’t hurry, and Littlefoot had half a mind to keep on walking. But eventually Jon prowled his way into their personal space.
“Benedella, how lovely to see you. Kindra, Littlefoot. On your way to your grandmother’s house?”
Benedella nodded. “Yes, and she’s, er, sick, so we’d better be on our way.”
“Why don’t you stay and have tea? Your sisters can take the basket to your grandma.”
“No thank you.”
“Benedella,” he whined. “What I really want is to get to know you. I have so much to show you. I have a huge…”
He reached into his pocket and grabbed something. Benedella gasped.
Jon pulled out a velvet pouch. Benedella sighed in relief.
“Inheritance,” Jon said. “And no one to share it with.” He jingled the pouch.
“I’m feeling a little faint!” Kindra blurted in a very unfaint voice. “Could I relax here while my sisters go on?”
“Kindra!” Littlefoot forgot to hide her revulsion.
Jon looked Kindra up and down. He shrugged. “All right.”
Littlefoot and Benedella watched, mouths agape, as Kindra swaggered up the path to Jon’s door and accompanied him inside. Then Littlefoot shoved Benedella a few steps toward their grandmother’s until they were out of sight of Jon’s house.
“What are we going to do? We can’t leave her.”
“No, we can’t.”
“Should we go in?”
“I don’t know. She’s old enough to make her own decisions. Maybe we should just wait here and make sure she’s okay.”
“But. Jon Wolf. There’s something freaky about him.”
“I know, I know.”
A door clunked shut. The girls hurried back to Jon’s path. Kindra was walking quickly, stiff as a soldier. She passed Littlefoot and Benedella and turned toward their grandmother’s house. They broke into a trot, peering back once in a while. Jon didn’t seem to be following them. Kindra only said, “Freaky. Freaky, you guys.”
When they reached their grandma’s, Littlefoot knocked and said, “Salt and sugar, Kindra, what were you thinking?”
But before Kindra could respond, Grandma answered the door.
“Grandma!” Littlefoot nearly shouted. “Your face is the color of a gull’s wing! What’s the matter?”
“I, I think I just killed a man.”
Grandma opened the door all the way to reveal Jon, flat on his back on the floor.
Littlefoot felt for a pulse. “No, he’s alive.”
“Aww,” Kindra complained.
Littlefoot asked, “What happened?”
“Well,” Grandma said, “I didn’t ask who it was, because I was expecting the king’s tax collector this morning, and when I opened the door, this man threatened me if I didn’t give him some of my clothes. He told me to get in the closet and keep quiet or else. So I took him down.”
Littlefoot looked around the room. She checked the front walkway. The tax collectors weren’t anywhere to be seen.
“Kindra, take his clothes off.”
“What?”
“Just do it. Benedella, see if anything of Grandma’s will fit him. He wanted to pose as Grandma, and he’s going to.”
Kindra left fingernail marks down the sides of Jon’s thighs. She unbuttoned his shirt and left him in only his underthings. Grandma helped Benedella find her biggest nightdress and get it onto the dead weight of a man.
“Help me get him on the bed,” Littlefoot directed.
They dragged and heaved him onto Grandma’s bed, and Littlefoot found the money pouch in Jon’s pocket and left it on the bed beside him.
“Grandma, have you any parchment?”
“I have this tax bill.”
Littlefoot found a bit of chalk and wrote, “Here is the tax money, plus some extra for the poor. I am going to take a nap. Please stamp this bill so I know the king received his tax.”
The four girls left the door open and giggled and snickered all the way to a hiding place in the woods. They each watched from behind a tree as the king’s men came, hesitantly entered Grandma’s house, and left with a velvet pouch.
“Grandma,” Benedella said. “Do you want to come to our house until he’s gone?”
“Oh no,” Grandma replied. “I want to stay here and watch him walk home.” She pulled Jon’s pants and shirt out from under her coat.
And so they did.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Littlefoot, Part 2

  1. Love it! Where do you come up with these, Marie?

  2. The first came to me when I was reading the novel Cinder, and then I thought of another fairy tale to spoof next.

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