A 'Great Hero' attempts to explain away the negative connotation surrounding him, his actions, and his character. Get a second look at some common fairy tales. A fun little retelling.
The Memoirs of a Misunderstood Hero
By: A.B.B. Wolfe
Let me begin by prefacing my situation for you. I am what you would call a great hero. I have, in fact, saved the world no less than 15 times. Of course, this isn’t very public information. In fact, no one outside of my organization is aware of my heroic nature, which can be a little bit of a downer at times. But no worries! I’m quite used to my work now, as what I like to call “A Hidden Hero”. However, there is one little rumor concerning me and my nature that I feel I must take the time to clear up. This negative and incorrect concept of me and my character actually came about due to a misunderstanding during what could be called my first mission. This memoir while chronicle that adventure and dispel any misunderstandings about me.
My name, as listed on the cover of this great work, is A.B.B. Wolfe. Now, my full name according to the rumors would be A Big Bad Wolf. Of course, this is just an attempt by an underground terrorist organization to defame me and my comrades while we pursue justice. My true name would be more along the lines of A Big (But Not So) Bad Wolfe. This is the first misunderstanding that I would like to clear up. And now that I’ve cleared the air of that, I’ll continue on with the story. It may be one that you thought you knew, known colloquially as “Little Red Riding Hood”. Of course, chances are you only heard one side, and that would be the side manufactured by the propaganda department of a terrorist organization. Don’t yet understand? Don’t worry, I didn’t get it at first either, but everything will become clear in due time.
I suppose that my story would first start on a warm summer day, here in the forest. I was a young pup at the time, a wolf heading out on his own, to find or start a pack. You see, wolves are actually very social animals, and as a wolf I have no idea where the phrase ‘lone wolf’ came from, as I can tell you, being alone and a wolf is quite terrible, in all actuality. Anyway, I was heading through the woods and came upon a path that was little more than a line of dirt cutting through the trees. I stopped for a moment and considered following the path one way or another, but decided to stop and rest a bit before I made my decision. After all, at that time I believed that I had all the time in the world, and that life was just fine and dandy. So I lay down against a tree and fell asleep. If my memory serves me, I believe that I had an exciting dream involving a very lovely wolf of the opposite sex. Of course, it was just a dream, and one that I didn’t get to enjoy fully.
I awoke from my wondrous dream with a start, as I realize that someone was coming. I could smell them before I could see them, coming down the path. Lo and behold a little girl, dressed with a scarlet hooded cloak, coming down a path all by herself. Now, a number of things seem off in this instance, many of which I noticed right away. Firstly, this little girl did not bear the smell of a child, although she first appeared as one. Secondly, what would a little girl be doing all by herself in the middle of the woods on some long-forgotten and barley trodden path? Plus she was lugging along a large picnic basket, yet no food scents were coming from it. I thought all of this a little strange and so decided to investigate. If I knew then even a quarter of what I know now, I would’ve just turned around and fled the scene. Ah, the bliss of retrospect.
I stepped out onto the path and hailed the little girl. I flashed a bright smile and raised a paw in a wave.
“Hello there, little one! Don’t be alarmed! I promise I am not here to eat you. I’m just a lone traveler traversing the great road known as life. I see that you traverse that road too. However, I must admit, it seems strange to find one as young and pretty as you all alone in these backwoods, on some godforsaken path.” I exclaimed, as she drew closer to me.
Now, her eyes seemed to darken a little when I first stepped out onto the path, but many gave me that type of look, considering I’m a giant wolf. It wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary, although I admit that the eyes seemed to darken towards anger rather than fear, as is normal. Yet the darkness receded almost as quickly as it had arrived, and her face lit up with one of the best smiles I have ever seen on this earth. Of course, at the time I didn’t realize that I had just seen the smile of an angel of death. She giggled a little and then answered my hail.
“Well there, mister wolf, I’ll admit you made me sweat a little, hopping out of the bushes like that! I am oh so glad to hear that you are friendly! As for why I am here, I have no fear of this forest. My family lives on the edge and I am quite used to it, I treat it merely as a playground full of adventure! As for why I am way out here on this path, lugging this basket, well my grandmother would be the cause. You see, she has fallen ill lately, and so my ma and I baked some goodies to help lift here spirits! So I am on my way to deliver them. Her house is not far, just through the over the river and through the woods.”
Her story didn’t seem too out of place. Yet, at the same time something seemed out of place. For example, she was well into the woods, which should seem scary and strange to a little girl who had grown up on only the edge of the woods. Plus, in all my travels I had heard no tale about an elderly woman living alone deep in the woods. And, as I stated before, there were no food smells coming from the basket. It seemed only surreal, but I simply at the time blamed my lack of sleep and let it slide, which is probably the only reason that I survived that first encounter.
“I see, well I do hope that your grandmother’s spirits are raised. And I wish her a speedy recovery as well. I’d hate to have you travel alone so deep in the woods, but unfortunately I am travelling in the opposite direction, and am already quite late for an important engagement. You see, a rabbit friend of mine is meeting me near a ‘magical rabbit hole’, whatever that is.” I responded, making up a lie for whatever reason. For some odd reason I just felt it would be best to state that someone was expecting me.
“I understand. Have no worries, I am nearly there, I only hope I haven’t held you up too long from your meeting.” She replied.
“No, not at all! My friend always is late. He even carries around a pocket watch, and is still never on time! Always running around and complaining about how he is late, well farewell and safe travels!” I exclaimed, giving her a wave and heading the direction that she was coming from. I had a very large urge to look back over my shoulder while walking away, but I was able to successfully stifle it, using every ounce of willpower I had.
Once I had disappeared around a bend, I cut back through the woods and began to follow her. You see, wolves are natural hunters, so stalking prey like that was nothing. I didn’t realize that it was too easy, and that I was the one being hunted, but I learned in due time. The ‘official’ story has me cutting ahead to the house to set an ambush, but I assure you that isn’t the case. But that is just what I have to put up with. Everything went downhill very fast after that fated encounter on the path. That was just the beginning.