Little Red Riding Therapy

Little Red Riding Therapy

A Story by ElizabethAmBurns

The story of Little Red Riding hood has so much to teach. You just have to twist it the right way...


“Little Red Riding Hood. We all know the tale and spinoffs it created. We’ve seen both the dainty little girl and the strapping young woman in all her red-cloaked forms. We’ve seen her white cloak stained red from the blood of her victims or from the blood of puberty, and the wolves that destroy her grandmother and devour her whole demonized in every story.

But what is the tale really trying to tell us?

I want you to listen closely now.

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…”

Once upon a time…

“This is the story of a little girl. This little girl’s grandmother is sick. She needs your help Ruby. So be a good girl and take these rations to her. You’re old enough now to do these trips on your own. It’s time you grew up and pulled your weight around here.

Now stick to the light and take your cloak, it’s cold outside. Just take the path on the right and it will lead straight to Grandma. Do not take the left path, it’s not well lit and there’s lots of overgrowth. Listen to me young lady. I’m much older and wiser than you and have walked that path before.

So the little girl in her nice cream dress and warm woolen cloak left her mother and walked the path, carrying the burden of responsibility. But when she reached a fork in the road, she questioned the instructions her mother had given. The path her mother had told her to take looked safe and filled with light, but it also looked very long and she wanted to get there quickly so she could relieve herself of her burden.

A lone traveler passed by, hairy and smelly.

“Where are you going Ruby? You should take the light path. It’s easier.”

But even as he said it he himself headed for the dark path.

If the man could take that path then so could she. The more she looked at the path her mother told her to take, the more she despised it. If her mother had taken the darker path and lived to bear her, she could too.

“So the little girl ignored her instructions and took the shorter path, making her way into darkness. She couldn’t see through the thicket of growth that held her in on all sides, but she was pleased that she was making her own way.”

She was not so pleased with her decision though. The undergrowth tripped her, and the stray branches scratched her and the short path she thought she’d chosen seemed much longer now she was walking it. The growth and darkness bore down on her until she was exhausted and close to tears. She looked back the way she’d came, considering doubling back, but it looked just as long a walk back as forward.

“She was tired and scared but she had to press on. She couldn’t sit in the darkness forever.”

She pushed forward, desperate, and was so relieved when her grandmother’s house sprang into view. She ran inside, dropped the presents on her table and flung her arms open to hug her dear old granny. Instead she hugged the lone man, who was wearing her grandmother’s clothes.

“This is not your grandmother, Ruby. This was never your grandmother. This was the story of the little girl, remember? That grandmother belongs to that little girl. Let her go.”

She started to cry, confused. She didn’t want this man, she wanted her grandmother.

“The man reminds you of your grandmother very strongly. She must have been a very good listener. Kind, caring, a person you wanted by your side the rest of your life. A person to make you feel safe, to treat you and not discipline you, who lets you play and gives you love unconditionally.

You must let go of your grandmother though. She is an ideal, not a person. You only saw one side of her. You must stop pressing the man into that mould and see him clearly. See him for what he is.”

The man stripped off the woman’s clothes and stood there naked before her, exposed.

“I am not an ideal, Ruby. I can make you safe, but I am not tame. I can treat you but I can hurt you too. I will let you play but you must work to keep me.

Just remember that no matter what, I love you unconditionally.”


Ruby shook herself from her daze and blinked sleepily. Her husband and the supposed doctor were watching her curiously.

“How do you feel?” the pseudo-doctor inquired.

She stared at him. His voice niggled at the corners of her mind, tugging at whispers of a faded dream.

“Ruby?” her husband asked tentatively, his hand hovering near hers. She reached out and touched it. She could feel the tension in her muscles leave as he took her hand in his, the warmth calming her.

“You’re so good to me.” She smiled happily. “What did I ever do to deserve you?”

The man stared at her like she’d grown two heads. “So you’re not mad that I want you to find a job?”

“It’s a tough economy. I’ll start looking tomorrow.”

“You’re okay with me not cooking anymore?”

“I’ve got some recipe ideas I’d like to try.”

“And the garbage…?”

“That’s your responsibility.” She said firmly.

He sighed. “Fair enough.”

 “Well I think that’s enough for today.” The doctor clapped his hands together smugly. “Conan, Ruby, congratulations on your fifth anniversary. Come back any time you feel you need a little tune up.”

Conan nodded and ushered Ruby out of the room under the guise of payment.

“How did you do that?” he hissed. “She just did a complete one eighty on everything! Well, except the garbage…” he added sadly.

“When you boil down to it, hypnosis is just the act of planting a story. Never underestimate the power of stories, Mr. Wolfe.” The doctor steepled his fingers. “All it takes to change the world out here,” he gestured to his office, “is to change something in here.” He touched his forehead. “Now get out of my office or I’ll have to charge you for another hour.”

Conan left hurriedly and leapt into his new life with his newly matured, independent wife who never again expected him to take care of her like her late grandmother had. 

© 2013 ElizabethAmBurns

Author's Note

The story of Little Red Riding Hood get twisted into so many different shapes for so many different lessons this seemed only natural.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on September 4, 2013
Last Updated on September 4, 2013
Tags: little red riding hood, little, red, riding, hood, therapy, hypnosis, session, story, change, world, therapist



Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Wants to be the author of a sci-fi classic. Instead, is the author of Zombiism and Other Lies, so going to try her hand at fantasy next. Now on twitter at more..

Cold Cold

A Story by ElizabethAmBurns