What happened when our favourite children's characters grew up?

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Katharine Busby
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Ever wondered what happened to your favourite literary characters from childhood? As we have moved on our friends have remained firmly on the page, captured as a moment in time - until now.

From Goldilocks to Moomintroll, we imagine what the futures of beloved children’s book characters might look like - many years on from their infamous jaunts...

  • Little Red Riding Hood

    Red, as she is now known to her friends, had an unexpectedly tough time after the woodcutter saved her from the Big Bad Wolf.

    Despite initially being hailed a hero, the timing of the incident coincided with the rise of “hoodie culture” and quickly she became seen as a figure of danger in her small village. No matter how much she wore her hood down and told people of the wolf’s intentions, she was somehow deemed a thug with a penchant for animal cruelty.

    Red eventually moved into her deceased grandmother’s cottage on the other side of the forest, from where she set up a support group for those who feel marginalized by society. She left her hooded cape behind and uses an umbrella in the rain.

  • Topsy and Tim

    The famous twins tried really very hard to do their own thing and be individuals –-Topsy went trekking around Nepal and Tim was briefly married to Josie Miller - but years of doing absolutely everything together had rubbed off and really they were destined to never leave each other’s side.

    Today they share a home (with bunk beds, obvs) and a business, being partners in a law firm specializing in divorce.

    They are both single.

  • Goldilocks

    The fair-haired thief has had a jam-packed life since her run-in with the bears.

    She initially dyed her hair brown and took up professional burglary – her career high being stealing all the three blind mice’s electrical goods while they were actually in the room.

    However, crime never pays and Goldie landed herself in the clink, which was a true turning point.

    While banged up she attended cookery and nutrition classes and on her release she started her blog “Golden Delicilous”, featuring “healthy, sugar-free cakes and snacks – always… just right”. Her friend Ella Woodward calls her turn-around “remarkable” and will be attending the launch of Goldilocks' first recipe book next month.

  • Sophie (The Tiger Who Came To Tea)

    Dear Sophie was charmed and amused by a large tiger popping round during her formative years, but she unfortunately suffered long-term trauma as she grew up, after understanding the true scale of the danger her mother had put them both in when she invited the feline in.

    After years of therapy, Sophie has, however, found herself happy and content in life. She works as a zookeeper, and every Thursday evening she meets her mum and dad in a café for sausages, chips and ice cream.

  • The Cat In The Hat

    Having come back in volume two of his furry adventures, The Cat In The Hat then left Sally and her brother alone, and the siblings often wondered what had happened to him.

    Sadly, modern life caught up with the Cat - he was cautioned more than once by police, who told him to stay away from children who had been left alone in their homes, and informed him that breaking and entering was a serious offence, no matter how much your banter rhymes.

    Since then the Cat in the Hat has chosen show business as his future of choice, allowing him to entertain without breaking the law. After finding his paws playing house cats in EastEnders and Casualty, The Cat In The Hat performed in Cats in London’s West End and is next due to appear in a touring production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

  • The Three Little Pigs

    A clear hierarchy was established between the trio after “that business with the wolf” as it’s become known in pig lore.

    Unsurprisingly, “brick” pig was the one who excelled at school, got a first from Campidge and quickly noticed, back in the day, the need for internet security (the last thing you want is a wolf hacking into your system), immediately setting up his company Fine Swine Securities.

    However, never one to leave his brothers behind, brick pig employed them both within his firm, paying them a decent enough rate to both purchase their own houses. Brick ones.

  • The Old Lady Whispering Hush (Goodnight Moon)

    Still there in her rocking chair, still hushing, she recently made it into the Guinness Book Of Records for being the oldest person in the world, having just celebrated her 146th birthday.

    She credits a bowlful of mush every morning as the secret to a long life.

  • Moomintroll

    Sensitive and sweet, the word “troll” in Moomin’s name never really fit with his charming character.

    As he reached his teenage years, his feelings for his friend Snorkmaiden developed into something more mature and he spent most of his time pouring his heart out about her to Moominmama.

    As an adult, Moonimtroll capitalized on his now extensive button collection by setting himself up as a tailor; however, it was Moominmama who designed and made the wedding dress when Snorkmaiden finally decided her feelings matched his.

    Little My acted as bridesmaid and Moomintroll’s best man, Snufkin, gave a moving speech about the simplest pleasures in life, as the Moomins are fond of enjoying to this day.

  • The Gruffalo’s Child

    Not quite the brave soldier she thought she might be, the Gruffalo’s Child developed terrible agoraphobia and had to be cave-schooled by her father, the Gruffalo.

    As she grew older, despite still having an acute fear of mice, she began to venture out a little more often but steered clear of the deep dark wood.

    Eventually the Gruffalo’s Child decided she would be better suited to an urban lifestyle, so she moved to the city where she now lives with the Gruffalo’s son-in-law and the Gruffalo’s grandchild. She currently works as a rat-catcher.

  • Lola (Charlie & Lola)

    After a somewhat unorthodox childhood featuring a distinct lack of parental guidance, it is unsurprising to learn that after her brother Charlie headed to university the teenage Lola went somewhat off the rails.

    She and best friend Lotta spent many years on the party circuit, diarizing their antics through a series of selfies on Instagram.

    Although still demanding and unreasonable, Lola eventually calmed down enough for her to focus on the future and few people know that she is the brains behind the shopping website; she also has plans to launch, and

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Katharine Busby

Katharine Busby is a writer and editor. She knew she was a feminist when she realised it didn’t mean chucking away her lipstick, but having the choice to do so should she wish.