Bitesize Episode 17 - A Modern British Commentary on Little Red Riding Hood

Aug 15 / Charlie Baxter

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What's this episode about?

In this episode Charlie takes a look at a classic Children's book and adds commentary as a modern British person. Let's see if the author's writing of Little Red Riding Hood goes down well with Charlie.
This is a bitesize episode that will give you your fix of The British English Podcast with plenty of native expressions for you to learn from in context. Enjoy!

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By Charlie Baxter

Bitesize Episodes (17-32)
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Transcript of Bitesize Ep 17 Transcript

Charlie:
Hello and welcome to the British English podcast. My name is Charlie Baxter and you are listening to the show that helps anyone and everyone improve their British English and better understand British culture.

Charlie:
Today, we are going to be doing another modern British person's commentary of a fairy tale. And today's fairy tale is Little Red Riding Hood. Little Red Riding Hood. Yes. The reason I'm doing these short stories is because I find them fun to do. And it often creates a natural way for me to expose you to advanced vocabulary that natives use, because when I'm commenting on the story, it comes up. And then, of course, you know, it's quite nice to remind ourselves of the story of some fairy tales that we were read when we were children. And yeah, as the title says, it's it's my take a British person's take on the story. So if it sounds a little bit far fetched, if it sounds a little bit different to what a British person in this modern time would kind of think, I'm going to I'm going to address that. So, yeah, welcome to this bitesized episode. If you do want to get the transcripts, then they are over on the website and you can get the premium podcast or join the academy where we've got exclusive videos breaking down the language of the season based episodes, got pronunciation, practise, drills, quizzes, assignments, a complete online interactive experience for for the learner. And we also do weekly speaking classes.

Charlie:
But yeah, so we've got the premium podcast to listen to this with the transcripts and the glossaries. And then we've got the academy where you can dive even deeper with a ton of content. We've now completed two seasons, but if you're not interested for now, then make sure you get the free worksheet. That goes over some of the best vocabulary in this episode, which is all over on the British English podcast dot com. OK, so let's get into a modern British person's commentary of Little Red Riding Hood.

Narrator:
Once upon a time, there lived a little country girl, the prettiest creature who was ever seen.

Charlie:
Wow. OK, so straight off the bat, the author has declared themselves as a paedo. And yeah, we can't really go labelling people like that these days, can we? A country girl might as well call her an inbred. That's kind of, you know, suggesting that I know it might not mean that, but. Yeah. And the gender. Come on, what are we doing? We're in a world of gender neutrality. We can't go calling her a girl. No, no, no. She's a gender neutral human who lives in a rural geographical location. Yes. That's better. Much more poetic, isn't it? No, I'm exaggerating. But the UK has gotten pretty liberal about gender. Um, I know that the London Underground has actually changed its greeting from.

Announcer:
Ladies and gentlemen, please mind the gap.

Charlie:
To just.

Announcer:
Hello, everybody. Please mind the gap.

Charlie:
But there we go. So according to the author, a ten out of ten little girl lives in the middle of fucking nowhere. Brilliant great start. All right.

Narrator:
Her mother had a little Red Riding Hood made for her. Everybody called her Little Red Riding Hood.

Charlie:
Hmm, sounds like the neighbours are rather thick in the head, don't you think, you know, say what you see. I mean, my girlfriend often wears an oversized cropped grey crewneck jumper when she goes to yoga. So if she was in a fairytale and she lived near these people, would that be her nickname? Would she be would it would the story be oversized cropped grey crewneck yoga jumper? That would be the title, wouldn't it? But in their defence, it's quite catchy. Little Red Riding, it's nice to say, Little Red Riding Hood. Anyway,

Narrator:
One day her mother said to her,

Mother:
Go, my dear, and see how your grandmother is doing. For I hear she has been very ill.

Charlie:
I'm thinking the mom could probably go as well, considering the grandmother is actually her mum, or considering nowadays we've all installed Portal into our grandparents living rooms, she could just call her up on that couldn't she. But it wouldn't make for a good story, would it? No, no, no. Okay.

Narrator:
Little Red Riding Hood set out immediately.

Charlie:
Okay. I mean, there's poetic licencing and then there's ridiculousness. This this girl is most unusually obedient kid I've ever heard of. Most kids nowadays either need to be bribed to do anything or they'll go, but they'll go kicking and screaming won't they.

Narrator:
As she was going through the wood, she met with a wolf, he asked her where she was going.

Little Red Riding Hood:
I am going to see my grandmother.

Wolf:
Does she live far off?

Narrator:
Said The Wolf.

Charlie:
I've got a few things to say here. Firstly, she's happy to talk to a stranger. The mum clearly hasn't made Little Red Riding Hood streetwise, has she? I mean, I know I know it's irrational, but I remember my parents when when they let me out on my own, you know, into the big wide world. They said when you play out on the street, it's- you know, you've got a high probability of being kidnapped by a paedophile in a white van. I don't know why I'm laughing, but I guess looking back, the street that I was raised on, it was the most heavenly little cul-de-sac you could possibly imagine in Surrey, a county outside of London. But they still managed to scare the shit out of me to think that that was going to happen. So much so that I remember we even had rape alarms. We carried them in our bumbags. God, thankfully, bumbags are cool again so I can carry my rape alarm around once more. I can't believe that actually thinking about it. I mean, when I'm a parent, will I do that? Only time will tell, but I will certainly I will certainly be telling any of my children, if a wolf comes up to you, friend or foe, don't go telling them where your grandmother lives, because we all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, don't we? Maybe Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother had to sacrifice herself for the greater good for everyone else to learn the lesson. Maybe that's why I had a rape alarm in my bumbag. So sorry to spoil the story if you haven't heard the story before, but yeah, thank you to the grandmother for sacrificing herself. Anyway, so she responds, totally oblivious to the fact that it's a wolf. When is a wolf ever a friend in a story? You know, you've got to wait hundreds of thousands of years before it's a dog, then it's man's best friend. OK, so she responds,

Little Red Riding Hood:
Oh, it is beyond that mill you see there.

Charlie:
So rule number two, never give out your home address or your nan's especially to a wolf. And I suppose a mill is going to be outdated now. So what would a mill be nowadays? Ay ay ay ay ay ay ay brewery, a brewery, a microbrewery, yeah, let's go with that.

Little Red Riding Hood:
It is beyond that microbrewery. You see there.

Narrator:
It was not long before the wolf arrived at the old woman's house, he knocked at the door.

Grandmother:
Who's there?

Charlie:
Oh, God, I've got to I've got a wolf being a little girl.

Promotional Charlie:
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Narrator:
He knocked at the door.

Grandmother:
Who's there?

Charlie:
Oh God. I've got to. I've got a wolf being a little girl.

Wolf:
Your grandchild, Little Red Riding Hood,

Narrator:
Replied the wolf, faking her voice.

Charlie:
And if it was Stacey, would it be?

Wolf:
Your grandchild? Oversized cropped crewneck yoga jumper girl,

Narrator:
replied the wolf, faking her voice.

Narrator:
The good grandmother called out.

Grandmother:
Pull the string to her and the latch will go up.

Charlie:
Hold up, hold up. If this grandmother is so bedridden that she's gone out of her way to invent a door opening device, then we can only point a finger at her daughter or any other family members for neglecting her for too long. She needs some loving attention. And for a Brit, that would be getting her a full time or maybe part time carer and a weekly membership to hellofresh.

Narrator:
The wolf pulled the string and the door opened. And then he immediately fell upon the good woman and ate her up in a moment.

Charlie:
Well, at least he didn't play around with his food now, did he? And because of that, she did leave the world rather swiftly, but she was eaten alive. But then again, it sounds like she was on her way out already and it was most likely going to be a long, drawn out affair. What with the pulley system she's rigged up and all that, plus the wolf had a meal, you know, a wolf's gotta eat, right?

Narrator:
He then shut the door and got into the grandmother's bed expecting Little Red Riding Hood, who came sometime afterwards and knocked at the door.

Charlie:
Oh, God, I've got to go, Wolf. Pretending to be a grandmother.

Wolf:
Who's there? Who's there?

Little Red Riding Hood:
It is your grandchild, Little Red Riding Hood.

Narrator:
The wolf cried out.

Wolf:
Pull the string and the latch will go up.

Narrator:
Little Red Riding Hood pulled the string and the door opened.

Little Red Riding Hood:
Grandmother, what big arms you have?

Charlie:
I do not remember that line in the version I was read as a kid. Arms!? What big arms you have!? Wolves have skinny legs, don't they?

Wolf:
Only better to hug you with my dear.

Little Red Riding Hood:
Grandmother, what big ears you have.

Charlie:
Okay. She's starting to be a bit too direct now, and she hasn't even asked how her grandmother is yet because, you know, she's ill. But yeah, let's see how we would make that more indirect, more British, maybe.

Little Red Riding Hood:
Grandmother, there's something slightly different about you. Did you get a haircut or a new top? Or a new pair of earrings,

Charlie:
Either way, Little Red Riding Hood should be accepting of her grandmother's new looks and empathetic towards her illness or acknowledge that there is blood all over the place and very clearly a wolf in your grandmother's bed. And if you're going down that route, hope for the best and make a dash for the front door immediately. Anyway, the wolf / grandmother replies to the the the big ears compliment or comment.

Wolf:
All the better to hear you with my child.

Little Red Riding Hood:
Grandmother, what big eyes you have.

Charlie:
Again, I don't think wolves have massive eyeballs, ears sure, but their eyes are pretty standard.

Wolf:
All the better to see you with my child.

Little Red Riding Hood:
Grandmother. What big teeth you have got?

Charlie:
I'll allow that one. That's an obvious observation, but again, very direct. And one might say, um hmm. "Ah, did you get Invisalign or something, because your teeth look great." All right, so she says,

Little Red Riding Hood:
Grandmother, what big teeth you have got.

Wolf:
All the better to eat you up with.

Narrator:
Fortunately, a hunter was passing nearby the hut. He heard the wolf and recognised him right away. He ran over to the window. He took a good aim.

SFX:
[Gunshot SFX].

Narrator:
And that was the end of the wolf,

Charlie:
Which did save the girl, but the hunter has now caused the grandmother to die in vain because, you know, the wolf didn't get to enjoy the nutritional benefits of eating an old lady hole. Argh, just thinking about the poos you'd have after that, eating a human whole, especially if she had dentures.

Charlie:
Anyway, sorry to go down that route, but there we go. So that was the end of the story and that was the end of my commentary, being a modern British person.

Hope you enjoyed that bitesized episode on the British English podcast. Remember to get the free worksheets to get a few of the best expressions explained. That is the end of Little Red Riding Hood. Thank you very much. I've been Charlie Baxter. You've been a great student as always. Remember to get active with your learning and yeah, I'll see you next week on the British English podcast.

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