#7: The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats: Reloaded

Once upon a time, there was a mother goat named Narcissa Giannopoulos, who had seven little children. She loved them all dearly — for what else could she do? — and cared for them well. She named them Happy, Dopey, Grumpy, Whiny, Bitchy, Loony and Wayne Rooney.[1]

One day, she wanted to shop for groceries, so she called all her children and said: “Dear children, beware of the wicked wolf. He has a gruff voice, black feet, and smells suspiciously like melted cheese. Don’t let him in, or you’ll end up as an exciting carpaccio de cabrito lunch with feta, olives, lemon and fresh mint, paired with sliced ciabatta bread and parmesan-rosemary butter.”[2]

“Know your legal rights when it comes to trespassing, as any unauthorised entry or physical invasion gives the aggrieved party the right to bring a civil lawsuit and collect damages as compensation for the interference and for any harm suffered,” she added.

“But Mom!” the children protested. “We want to play outside. The national statistics show that the overall crime rate dropped 23 per cent last year, with street crime decreasing by as much as 39 per cent compared to the year before.

“There’s still drug trafficking, credit card fraud and mild corruption out there, so we’re not having this argument now, young men! There are also snatch thieves and acid splashers still at large and terrorising the neighbourhood, so just be careful. Have the tear gas canisters at the ready, and don’t forget to take a bath,” she said in a rather strident voice.

Not long after Narcissa left the house, there was a knock on the cottage door.

“I’m home, children!” said a gruff voice with a slight Hungarian accent. “Open the door, I have a present for you all.”

“No, you cannot come in. You are not our mother. She has a kind and gentle voice like Britney Spears, but yours is rough, grating and all throaty like sandpaper. You are a wolf. Go away!” said the little goats.

“Correct, correct, correct,” said the wolf, and he quickly left for the nearest Tesco.

The wolf bought a large lump of chalk, which he ate to make his voice softer.[3] After that, he crept back to Goat Cottage, and crouching under the window, he called softly: “I’m back children! And I’ve bought a present for each of you!”

But the wolf had placed his paws on the windowsill, and when the seven smelly goats saw them, they cried: “No, we will not open the door. Our mother has white paws, and yours are black. By simple deduction, you’re a wolf! Go away!”

So the wolf went to a local deli and said: “I have hurt my paw, put some dough on it.” The baker was too nervous of the wolf to refuse, and he did as he was told.

Next, the wolf ran off to the miller and growled: “Put some flour on this paw of mine, will you laddie?” The miller was too scared of the wolf to say no,[4] so he put the flour on the beast’s paw.[5]

The wolf returned to Goat Cottage, knocked on the door again and called: “Open the door children! It’s your mother!”

The seven little goats heard the soft voice, and saw the white paw he showed them.

“That can’t be our mother!” said Grumpy.

“Yeah,” concurred Dopey. “The person at the door sounds like her, looks like her, but of course, is not her.”

“Look lads, we should at least attempt to properly apply the ‘Goat Test’[6] here,” argued Loony. “I mean, if the person looks like a goat, smells like a goat and bleats like a goat, then we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a cloven-hoofed ruminant mammal of the Capra aegagrus hircus subspecies at the door. This could actually be our mother.”

The little goats continued to argue among themselves and soon, they began to experience an altered state of mind due to doubts, extreme emotional conflict and immense discord.[7] The wolf’s method — although not necessarily aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous here — was clearly working and amid all the confusion, the children finally opened the door.

Much to their horror, it was of course the wolf! The beast burst forth into the living room, looking very horrible indeed and smelling like rotten cabbage.

The seven terrified little goats scurried for cover. The first hid under the table, the second in the bed (soiling himself in the process), the third in the laundry basket (along with already soiled linen, so that wasn’t so bad), the fourth behind the chair, the fifth in the cupboard, the sixth behind the sofa, and the seventh in the big grandfather clock.

But the wolf found them all, and he — if you’ll pardon the pun — wolfed them down one by one. The devouring and gorging was too horrendous to describe in great detail here. In fact, doing so would have required this story be published with a PG rating.

After such an enormous meal, the wolf quaffed a few Chardonnays, tottered out of the cottage and sat under a tree. He let out a mighty belch, farted a couple of times and happily proceeded to doze off. It was a warm summer day and who could blame him?

When mother goat Narcissa returned, she was utterly shocked to find the terrible sight that greeted her. The house was a mangled mess — overturned table, stools and benches, broken washtub, etc. — and she could not find her children anywhere.

She called them all by name and until a reply came: “Here I am, mother! I’m in the grandfather clock.”

Her eldest son, Happy — who, as you can imagine, was not too happy at this point — came out and told his mother what happened.

They rushed outside and found the wolf plonked under a tree like Jabba the Hut, fast asleep and snoring thunderously. The mother goat saw something moving inside the wolf’s stomach, and she thought to herself: “Oh my goodness! Maybe my poor children are still alive? This flies in the face of logic, but I’m not going to complain.”

“Quick! Fetch me a large scissor, and a needle and thread before the wolf wakes up!” she ordered.

She then cut open the wicked wolf’s hairy coat with all the surgical virtuosity, panache and efficiency of Black Jack[8] performing a Laparoscopic Banding surgery. Out popped one little goat, followed by another, and then another, until all six were set free. They were quite unharmed, because the greedy monster had swallowed them whole instead of chewing properly.

Mother Goat and her children danced and sang and hugged each other, as was their wont. They were mighty elated to be reunited, and we all know how goats don’t handle separation anxiety very well.

There was one more thing to do before they could continue with their celebration. The mother said: “Quickly, go and fetch as many stones as you can find, so we can fill up the wolf’s stomach before he wakes up.”

The children gathered a pile of huge stones, and put them into the wolf’s belly. Their mother then sewed up the tummy using proper suturing techniques, and all the while the greedy wolf did not stir.

How on earth did the mother goat manage the feat sans anaesthetic and sterilised tools without the wolf suffering from septic shock, you may ask. That is really outside the scope of this story and, therefore, will not be debated here.

When the wolf woke up at last, he was parched and craved for a Red Bull™. He got to his feet to have a drink, and the stones tumbled about inside his stomach. He groaned:

“There’s something peculiar and I feel funny,
Some foreign objects, clattering about in my tummy.
When I ate those kids, they tasted so yummy,
But now I feel sick and nauseous — oh blimey!”

He staggered down to the river and bent forward to have a drink, but the heavy stones made him lose his balance. The poor bastard fell head first into the river, was swept away, and never to be seen again.

When the incident was reported, the wolf’s next of kin insisted on a full-blown inquiry by the authorities. After an unnecessarily lengthy investigation, where all manner of witnesses were called forth and all sorts of evidence considered, the cause of death was declared to be neither homicide nor suicide.

But it was not all in vain. His demise inspired the rather spectacular pop single and Grammy Award-winning music video, ‘Hungry Like the Wolf”’ which shot the British New Wave band Duran Duran into international superstardom.

God bless Birmingham, England.

[1] A bit different from that other fairy tale, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dafts’.
[2] Quite what father goat would have said cannot be established, since he was neither consulted nor featured at all in this story.
[3] This has never been scientifically proven. The closest we got to proving this was when some of us were forced to eat blackboard chalk at boarding school for being naughty boys. The punishment didn’t quite work and, thankfully, we didn’t end up sounding like Tommy Page or Justin Bieber.
[4] If you encounter a talking wolf running around frantically, I imagine you would be scared too.
[5] This is obviously a cheaper alternative to Body Shop’s Soft Hands Kind Heart Hand Cream, a protective and soothing hand cream infused with Angelica extract and Organic Olive oil to condition and soften the hands, leaving them silky soft to touch!
[6] Liberal adaptation of the Duck Test: if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
[7] We are really talking about a bunch of young and highly impressionable kids here.
[8] Swashbuckling surgeon from Osamu Tezuka’s 1970s award-winning manga, “Black Jack” or “Burakku Jakku.” The first 14 volumes are available at Kinokuniya KLCC.

#7: The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats: Reloaded

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