The Woodcutter’s Shadow

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(Image credit: Gunnar Creutz, Falbygdens museum)

The girl in the red riding hood came and went. Sleepy eyes watched her from the shadows, but no pounce came. The woodcutter tightened his grip on his axe. He knew the truth now. The wolf was here for him.

He turned to confront the darkness. “Devour me if you will,” he shouted at it. “But answer me one thing

Why do you hunt me, o wolf of mine?

I am not young nor fair of face

My lips have never tasted the honey of grace

Why do you hunt me, o wolf of mine?

 

The darkness shuddered. From it rose a dry chuckle, disembodied, and with it a voice

 

I don’t want the blood of the saints, I want yours

It’s sweeter for all it is cursed

My maw delights in its bloodied verse

I don’t want the blood of the saints, I want yours

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