Mary Laken is a freshman at St. Norbert College and is pursuing an Education major with an English/ Language arts minor. She is from Kenosha, Wisconsin, and is on the St. Norbert hockey team. This story retells the classic Little Red Riding Hood story in the modern world, where “wolves” still lurk around, especially on the internet. Laken wrote this story because she feels that the lesson of watching out for dangerous strangers is still prevalent today. - Micaela Rozmarenoski
Once upon a modern time, there was a young woman named Little Red. Everyone called her Little Red because of the beautiful ruby necklace she always wore around her neck.
As Little Red was growing older, she dealt with the constant reminder from her friends and family of how she has yet to find herself a man, as if that was the most important thing in a young woman’s life. One day, Little Red decided that she would put her family to rest, and she would finally go out with a man.
Going with the modern times, Little Red decided that online dating would be the perfect solution for her. What could be flawed with meeting someone over the internet? As her search began, Little Red scrolled through numerous boring old bachelors, but eventually came across one man that stood out over all the others. With his youthful glow, luscious hair, athletic build, and intriguing motivation, this bachelor was perfect! And to top it all off, the man’s profile picture also featured him in front of his mansion. Now all Little Red had to do was meet her match.
Once Little Red had her basket of goodies packed for the picnic date with her dream man, she set off on the journey through the town. As she wound through the busy streets, Little Red walked past a man who looked rather strange and stood out from all the other blank faces she noticed. When she met his gaze, she instantly felt a sense of unease throughout her entire body. Little Red turned the corner and somehow ran into the man again, but this time, she did not think it was a coincidence. She walked into a coffee shop down the block and tried to blend in with the small crowd to avoid him.
As Little Red grabbed her coffee and took a seat in the corner, none other than the man from the street approached her.
“Mind if I steal this?” He said, taking the seat before she could object.
“Can I help you?” Little Red demanded.
“Woah! Can’t someone just try to meet a new friend?”
Little Red was not in the mood for this.
“Actually, you can’t. I’m on my way to a date with a rich and successful man.”
“Oh, are you? And how do you know he’s rich and successful if you’ve never met him?”
“Trust me, he will be. He lives in a mansion. On the ocean!”
“Look, all I’m saying is that you shouldn’t get too comfortable. You never know if it could be too good to be true. And plus, why does he have to be rich and handsome to be a bachelor?” the strange man questioned.
“I only deserve the best, and that is what I’ll be meeting today–– Oh! I’ve got to go or I’ll be late!”
Little Red rushed out of the door as the man mumbled something more about her being careful.
After a long and tiring journey of following the map on her phone through the busy streets, Little Red approached her date’s mansion. Her stomach dropped upon realizing what stood before her was nothing near a wonderful home. Little Red was in front of a shack-like house. From the dirt in place of grass, to the siding falling off the of house, Little Red had no idea what she was in for. Although she was taken aback, Little Red decided to continue on closer to the front door, hoping there must be some sort of mistake or explanation. She knocked on the door and jumped back quickly as it appeared to already be open, but not completely, as it bounced back against a pile of garbage coming from the inside of the house.
“Hi there! Ready for our date?” said the strange man.
Little Red was stunned. This man was completely opposite of the dreamy hunk she was expecting from his appearance online. She stood their briefly while trying to figure out how to avoid being rude to the man who deceived her.
“Oh…what a youthful glow you have…” Little Red said sarcastically.
“Age is just a number!”
“Oh…what luscioushair you have…”
“You can always put a hat on!”
“Oh…what an athletic build you have…”
“Hey, muscle weighs more than fat, you know.”
“Oh…what motivation I can see you have…”
“My house? It’s not messy because I know where everything is!”
From what she was expecting her dream man to be compared to what she was seeing in front of her, Little Red was stopped in her tracks… she had been blatantly catfished. From the perspective of the man, he started to grow angry with how rude Little Red was being to him. And with his anger came rage that he was ready to take out on Little Red.
Once she realized that this was probably not going to end well, Little Red immediately started to panic and think of a way to end this date. But before she could escape, the man had grabbed her and was ready to attack. She screamed and yelled but no one was anywhere close to the shack, probably just as the man planned for.
Without a thought, Little Red grabbed the man’s arm around her neck and managed to bite as hard as she could. The man yelped and shot his hand back. The second he let go and grabbed onto his aching arm, Little Red sprinted out the front door and just kept running.
After she had distanced herself enough, Little Red started in the direction of her home. When she finally got back, her family was eagerly waiting to hear the details of her date with the “dream man”. Little Red explained the danger she had been in, and how naive she was to think this man was actually who he said he was. Little Red could not believe how close she was to being in such a dangerous situation, and she unfortunately had to learn the importance of being smart online by being faced with this trouble.
Moral In today’s era, people can be in danger when others have the ability to make themselves completely different on an online profile. Young men and women need to be more cautious about how deceiving social media can be. Individuals can be completely different characters with the click of a button and a few stolen photos. It can be hard to depict what is real and what is not when encounters happen through text and not face to face.