A tale of a legally blind girl trying to run errands:
Once upon a time, a little blind girl got ready to go to the market. She put on the gloves her father gave her, the scarf her mother gave her, and the little red coat she wore to make sure people saw her even when she could not see them. You see, the little blind girl lived in a part of the forest where the carts would go crashing past without looking for pedestrians or obeying the cart traffic signs nailed to the trees along the path. So the little blind girl stepped out in her red coat with its nice warm hood and went to the market.
On the way there, the little blind girl saw a cart approaching the point where the paths in the wood intersected, just where she was going to cross. The little blind girl remembered what her mother had told her: “Beware of strange carts in the wood, my child. Give them a wide berth, and do not trust them to go straight when they do not signal to turn.” So she waited patiently for the cart to pass her by.
But the cart did not pass her by. Instead, it wove back and forth as it approached the point where the paths crossed. The driver appeared to be distracted by the smoke signals he was issuing as he drove, holding the air bellows between his ear and his chin as he struck the flint. ‘My, what a large bellows that man is holding,’ thought the little blind girl. “I’d better get an answer!” yelled the cart driver. ‘My, what a loud voice that man has,” thought the little blind girl. “The wind had better hold off. The smoke signal reception here is terrible!” shouted the cart driver.
“My, how fast you’re going, sir,” said the little blind girl to the cart driver. “I hope you can see me, in my little red coat. I wear it so drivers will be able to notice me.”
“All the better to run you down while I turn at this intersection much too fast without signaling my intention!” screamed the cart driver, maddened by rage and frustrated by the wind disrupting his smoke signalling. He turned suddenly, heading right toward the little blind girl. But the little blind girl, who had been well taught by her father and mother, jumped out of the way of the cart. As the cart passed, she threw the scarf her mother had given her through the spokes of the wheels.
The little blind girl then went to the inn where the King’s soldiers were quartered. “Good heavens, little blind girl, where are you running to in such a hurry?” asked the startled sergeant on duty. “Oh, please, sir, a cart just nearly ran me over,” panted the little blind girl. “Did he not see your little red coat, which you wear so that drivers will see you even when you cannot see them?” inquired the puzzled sergeant. “Oh, yes, I am quite sure he did,” responded the little blind girl.
“But how will we find which cart it was that nearly ran you over?” asked the sergeant. “Though the driver could not know it, you would not be able to read his cart license, and there are so many carts on the paths.”
“I threw the scarf my mother gave me through the spokes of the wheels,” replied the little blind girl. “Just look for a cart with a little red scarf fluttering behind.” And so the King’s soldiers found the cart with the angry smoke-signaller, who had not noticed the little red scarf in his wheel, and brought him before the King, who sentenced him to be rolled through the intersection in a barrel filled with spikes for nearly running over the little blind girl in her little red coat.
And the moral of this story is: use your mother-loving turn signals when you’re driving, will you? You’re making me crazy!
Audio reading of Little Blind Red Riding Hood: