Don’t go near the cottage in the wood, the children whisper to each other.
(Terrible things happened there.)
The woman in the red cloak comes at each new moon, to buy the things she needs.
(The coins are old, and smell of must and blood.)
Once, long ago, she faced a wolf and was saved.
(The elderly hunter displays the ragged wolfskin.)
Once, long ago, her family was lost.
(And yet she stays, deep in the forest, alone.)
The wolves are gone, she says, and shows a sharp-toothed smile.
(And the children hear the howls when the full moon shines.)