October 30, 2015

Little Red Cowboy Hat by Susan Lowell

I was posting this picture in another post from this week and I started talking about this library book that the kids love and decided it really deserved a post of it's own. So here it is. 

(Oh and this guy? The kids love him too. He left for hunting in Colorado yesterday, and we are missing him already.)

Little Red Cowboy Hat by Susan Lowell

I remember Mom reading this library book to Livie and Tori when they were little. It probably was the same copy, since this one is a little old and beat up. They loved this story too. The phrase "son of a parallelogram" came from this book, and the Vaughan family has never let that expression die. The granny in this book is one tough cookie, living on her own ranch. There was no providential woodcutter who happened by just when helpless grandmother needed a man. Granny fought her own battles. Quite a feminist, in her own, can-do way. 

Susan Lowell has a note in the front of the book--

"When I was a little girl in the West, I used to visit my grandmother, who lived all by herself on a ranch near Red Rock, Arizona. And when I read the story of Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother and the wolf, I was puzzled. 

"First of all, how could  a girl go riding dressed like that? Flapping red capes scare horses. And second, my grandmother would never have allowed a wolf to lay a tooth on her--or any of us children. And finally, no real wolf would ever act like the wolf in the story, unless, as my grandmother would say, he'd been eating locoweed." 

So she wrote Little Red Cowboy Hat

Little Red, with her slingshot, is a bit more spunky than the typical basket carrying Red Riding Hood.

This is her crossing a canyon, on her way to Granny's with cactus jelly and homemade bread.

I think she is rather adorable.

The wolf meets her on top of the mesa, where she stops to pick flowers. He tries to take her then and there, but Buck, the faithful horse, rears and knocks over the Big Bad Wolf, letting Little Red escape. Once that had failed, the wolf came up with the second plan, of impersonating Granny.

Granny was overcome by the wolf's superior strength and locked in the closet, but the wolf has nothing on her in cunning. Granny comes charging out of the closet with an axe (and some barnyard animals the wolf had locked in the closet with her apparently) ready to do battle. 

And battle she does, until the final, unelaborated upon "You'd look mighty good as a rug, Mister Wolf!" 

Then they sit down together and enjoy the cactus jelly on homemade bread. And Granny makes her famous statement "That yellow-bellied snake-blooded, skunk-eyed, rancid son of a parallelogram! This time he picked the wrong grandma."

No kidding. 

Hoyt has now stacked a large pile of books at my elbow as a non-too subtle suggestion for my next possible activity. Better get cracking!


Geri Douglas said...

what a great story, loved it. I must find this book.

Jolene Crites said...

I love how book phrases worm their way into our household vocabularies!

Laura said...

What Jolene said.
I canna tell you how many times "the doggie friend" and "B-b-b-ut Paw..., Now, Junior...!" and "the silver monster bird" has been used in our home - long after the kiddos needn't be using it, that's for sure!