The other side of the story…
Are you frightened? You do not need to fear me – I will not harm you. Well… not unless you give me reason to. Threaten my family, my pack and I will not be held responsible for my actions. Otherwise you go about your business and I go about mine. Mutual respect.
You don’t say it but I see the question in your eyes. The things you’ve heard about wolves. The stories that are told about us following people, misleading people, carrying them off and tearing them limb from limb. Tricksy, nefarious, dangerous wolves.
You shouldn’t believe everything you hear. I did not eat the grandmother or destroy the houses of the little pigs. As for the girl in the red cloak… I did not lure her from the path. She sought me out. She wanted things she could not have. She is dangerous, that one, a wild, dark spirit that should never have been contained in human form. But she wanted what she wanted and when I could not give it she wreaked vengeance not just on me but on my whole bloodline. Words have power you know. A rumour here, a story there, a pretty young girl with a sad face and a knife covered in her grandmother’s blood well hidden in her basket… no wonder the woodcutter was taken in. And the huntsman and the villagers and so many people since. Including you, it would seem.
What did she want, you ask? My skin. Not just to wear it, but to inhabit it. She wanted to oust me from my own body, to use it at will, become a shape shifter. She thought I had the power to make it so, that I would capitulate for one so young and pure and beautiful. But I cannot perform sorcery. I am just a wolf. A talking wolf, you make a fair point, but a wolf nonetheless. There are far stranger things than me in this forest. And even if I could, I am too fond of my own skin to give it up. So I snapped and snarled and eventually ran, her promise ringing in my ears. That I would regret my choice. That my skin would be difficult to live in for ever more. And her lies have made it so. I am maligned, hated and hunted along with the rest of my kin.
You have heard of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. The irony! The girl, the innocent, who wanted to wear a wolf, just because she desired more power, more control than her looks and her wiles gave her. What big eyes she has. All the better to see you with. What a lovely smile she has. All the better to lure you with. What a sweet voice she has. All the better to fool you with. What a black heart she has. All the better to break you with. It’s her you should run from, not me. She still roams these woods so be sure not to stray from the path…