I Am So Clever

I Am So Clever
Mario Ramos
Gecko Press

Oohh! If there’s one thing I do love it’s a new take on the Red Riding Hood story, after all this blog takes it’s name from a play on the story’s name.

The wolf in question herein has an enormous thirst for power, not to mention an insatiable hunger for meals of the human kind.

On this particular morning the lupine creature is in jovial mood as he converses with Little Red Riding Hood complimenting her on her appearance and warning her of the dangers of walking alone in the woods.

Now the little girl may be small of stature but she most definitely isn’t short of brains. She takes no time in demolishing the wolf’s “You could meet some ferocious creature … like a shark!” with an immediate riposte, “Oh, come on Mr Wolf, everyone knows there are no sharks in the woods,”.

Despite the put down, the wolf is already anticipating his feast as he rushes off ahead of Red Reading Hood to Grandma’s house.

Discovering in the bedroom only her nightie,

he hastily dons it as a disguise but then, rather than leaping into bed and hiding to await Red Riding Hood, he manages to shut himself the wrong side of the cottage door.

Now instead, it’s the woods he attempts to hide in. The disguise though works pretty well and he manages to dupe the hunter:“Gadzooks and dogs’ droppings!” said a voice. “Oh good morning Grandmother. Excuse the bad language but I’ve dropped my glasses. Would you please help me find them?”

And not just him: Baby Bear, the three little pigs, the seven dwarves, and one of the gentry searching for Sleeping Beauty are also hoodwinked.

There follows a desperate struggle on the wolf’s part to extricate himself from the nightie but he fails and finds himself face to face with his planned first course.

The girl’s reaction however throws the creature completely – quite literally.

“No iff not funny!” he whimpers. “I’ve broken all my teeff! And I’m twapped in diff terrible dweff!” Pride definitely came before a fall here.

The ending comes as something of a surprise: I won’t reveal what happens but Ramos’ final scene is one that might provoke some pathos on your audience’s part.

Thanks to deliciously droll illustrations throughout, an enormously satisfying story full of comic tension and wonderful dialogue, Ramos’ wolf goes ever on: I for one hope to see him again.

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