The Red Coat and the Hummingbird

Although this letter, The Red Coat And The Hummingbird, reminded me of the popular version of the Grimm BrothersLittle Red Riding Hood, the brothers were born a century after the Contessa’s writings. The original version is said to be similar to an Aame-Thompson type 3333 called, “The Glutton/Red Riding Hood”. One can only wonder how the writings of the Late Contessa Llwaxanna Loveless Von Bralispth could have impacted on this tale.

I initially quoted from her diary how young Llwaxanna Goochie Von Bogg- Stuppor found her Red Coat. In this letter she talks about her second adventure as a child.

“Mother asked me to take some food to Aunt Isabella’s for the feast on Pastele (Romanian for the traditional 3 day Easter Celebration). She had carefully packed some chicken, pork and bread in a basket and told me that Aunt Isabella was expecting me before sundown. She helped me put my red coat on as I past through the doorway. This was the first time mother trusted me, on my own.

The Contessa continues: “As I moved on the path, I approached the small valley that lay between my house and Aunt Isabella’s. I wandered down on an angle as the path twisted in one direction then the next. I was tired and needed rest, some water and just to gaze at the sky and all those wonderful forms I saw as the clouds moved and changed. I looked up at the darkening sky and saw faint lights suspended. I wondered what they were. My thoughts were about castles and things that could not possibly exist except in thought and dream.

I had failed to hear the hummingbird that looked very much like the one that led me to the Old Lady Of The Tree. This time the bird was flying wildly. I was astonished when his humm became a voice: ‘Find another way’. My senses returned. It was now dark, I was alone and remembered the words of the Lady Of The Tree. ‘There are things in the forest you cannot see’. But I’m not in a forest, am I? I thought.

Then I heard a loud howl in the distance. It was getting louder and sounded as from every direction. I saw a faint form, black, then the eyes, very big as it approached. The mouth was wide with large sharp fangs on either side, mouth drooling down the chin and very angry. I became frightened when the hummingbird appeared and hummed: ‘If you have no fear, he cannot hurt you.’ I began to calm.

Then I thought I heard the wolf speak, ‘do you know where you are?’ I’m on the path to Aunt Isabella’s, I hesitantly responded. ‘The path is dark,’ he said. I’m not afraid of the dark. The hummingbird told me to have no fear, I responded. ‘And you believed him? Maybe you are more foolish than I first thought.’ What makes you say that? I asked. ‘You were distracted by the hummingbird’, he said. ‘There are things in the wood and the valley you cannot see’, he continued. ‘It would not be wise, listening to his call’, insisted the wolf. As he spoke, I wondered why I could hear him so clear, but he continued ‘While you may hear those that would befriend you, also come the voice of those that would not.’

You speak wise, like the Old Lady Of The Tree, I carefully responded. ‘You have seen her?’, he asked cautiously. Why yes, it was she who gave me my red coat, I replied. ‘It was that red coat with these big eyes that made it all the better to see you with, my dear, especially in the dark’, he responded. Why do you seek her? I asked. ‘Because I am a wolf, it is my nature. These big teeth are for what I need to eat?’ But why her? I asked. ‘Because she waits for me’, he responded.”

In the final paragraph of this letter she says, “I cannot recall all that occurred, as it became vague. This, all my memory allows, waking up at Aunt Isabella’s. Whether this happened or be memory of a dimmed daydream. The only thing I am certain is my life be changed as a result.”