He’s Big, He’s Bad, He’s Very, Very, Bad

I wrote this four or five years ago, but having name-checked nursery rhymes, folk songs, folklore and the like over the past few weeks, now seemed like a good time to post it.


or He’s big, he’s bad, he’s very, very, bad

That Big Bad Wolf – it now appears

We’ve had it wrong for all these years.

You know the way the story goes

He dresses up in grandma’s clothes

After he’s had her for his lunch

(they make much play of how he’d crunch

Her up and then he’d gulp her down,

Then put on sleeping cap and gown,

Get into bed, pretend to sleep,

I’m sure he never counted sheep!)

Then in comes young Red Riding Hood,

Who travels blithely through the wood,

So innocent – without a care,

Apparently, she’s not aware

It’s full of perils – hungry wolves

Who dress up in old women’s clothes

To name but one – there’s more, no doubt.

But any one would catch her out.

She’s pretty thick, it must be said,

She sees a big bad wolf in bed

Instead of being cross and furious

She stands there looking vaguely curious

Says ‘What big eyes you’ve got today.’

Is that all she can think to say?

Big eyes? Big eyes? Well, what about

The pointed ears, the great long snout,

Did she not have the slightest thought

This might not be the one who ought

To welcome her to Primrose cottage,

That frail old woman in her dotage?

And what about – ah yes, the teeth.

You knew we’d get around to teeth

Before too long – I think you’d say

About the pearlies on display

It would not take much of a guess

To know that they weren’t NHS.

And so back to that gormless youth

Who stands there staring at the wolf

With no great wonder or surprise

Except to say he had BIG EYES!

And now I wonder more and more

If she had seen her gran before.

Now, if it was left up to me

I’d let the wolf have her for tea.

Just eat her up and finish there.

Although that just might be unfair

Perhaps the girl had poor eyesight,

That’s why she never quite took flight.

I hear it now, a low voice quavers,

‘She should have gone to Specsavers!’

But let’s just leave all that for now,

I hinted some way back just how

This story has become perverted,

The happenings have been inverted.

The emphasis on Riding Hood

When actually I think it should

Be focused more upon the roles

The wolf was playing with the clothes.

We’ve never paid it much attention,

Because it only gets a mention

As a ploy to fool the brat.

I think there’s more to it than that.

The clues were there, before our eyes

It isn’t much of a surprise.

The women’s clothes, the wolf, the bed,

The things that story left unsaid.

The true events I’ll tell you now,

A charming little tale of how

A handsome wolf had searched worldwide

For love (or something on the side).

A simple tale in many ways

It tells how he had passed his days.

He’d been with several little pigs,

And tried some other casual gigs,

But nothing seemed to satisfy

He needed something else to try.

He heard how in the Big Wild Wood

The father of Red Riding Hood

A widowed man, still lithe and strong,

Was also searching for someone.

(The woodland folk had seen his chopper

And word was it was quite a whopper!)

His mind made up, he hatched a plan

To win this handsome, big strong man.

You know the rest, or at least some,

A perfumed letter asking him to come.

A rendezvous deep in the woods,

Where he could view some tempting goods

He might find pleasing. The next day

The wolf, now nervous, in bed lay.

He wondered should he have done more,

But then a knock upon the door.

He held his breath, the door swung wide,

The woodman slowly came inside.

Cue clapping hands and smiles and laughter –

They both lived happily ever after!

A Little Village in Northern India…

Having bludgeoned all my readers with posts about Making Friends with the Crocodile recently, I thought it would be only fair to share a few pictures of villages in Northern India for the benefit of those who have not been there. It gives a flavour of the (fictitious) village I write about in the novel.


Village street


Pigs foraging on waste ground






Hindu Temple




Village outskirts


Hi jinks during the festival of Holi


Goats at rest

Hiatus – along the Peddars Way

Home again, after a few days away. We walked the Peddars Way in East Anglia over four days, a distance of some fifty odd miles. Not exactly a long long distance footpath, so to speak (Gabe – you might have something to say on this!), but a pleasant enough walk and surprisingly remote from habitation in places.

Perhaps it’s a short distance footpath. And why not?


That should mean I have time to catch up with blogs and posts and writing and God knows what else, but I now have a very busy week ahead of me, so I just have time to bustle in and do a little housekeeping, as it were, only to then bustle out again until the weekend.


Hence a random selection of photographs from the walk.


And an extremely random selection of thoughts:

‘Why on earth is the only pub we pass on the first day – which is a long walk – closed at lunchtime? Other walkers bemoan this fact. They must miss out on a whole load of trade.’

‘Are we all honorary Peddars this week?’

‘I don’t really like staying in bed and breakfast places – it feels too much like borrowing someone else’s room for the night, and I feel I’m imposing on them, even though we are paying to stay there. I’d rather stay in an impersonal hotel.’

‘In all of the huge number of pig farms we pass, the fields are full of little metal houses for the pigs, with straight roads criss-crossing them. Do the pigs give these roads names, or simply number them on a grid system, as in New York?’

‘And do the teenage pigs have to make their own entertainment, or do they expect it to be provided?’

‘Why do large pub chains make their pubs so incredibly unappealing?’


Now I must rush off and attempt to organise myself for the week ahead.

Speak soon!