As I said earlier this month, I love fairy-tales. These kinds of stories are our cultural heritage, but only valuable if we keep them alive with constant revisiting, re-imagining, and retrofitting into a world much changed over the centuries since they were first penned.
I'll leave you with a question about the cliche: do you fear the sheep because it might be a wolf in disguise, or pity the wolf for having to dress itself as a sheep?
Yeah, I know it looks overdone, but there's really sheep that look like this. You should know by now; the pictures are all over the internet. And really, why the hell not? If you're gonna look like a sheep you want people to relax, to get to know you and to not be scared. So you don't just look like a sheep, you look like the most adorable damn sheep there is.
You know they aren't really that nice. Oh, they look all fluffy and cute like kids' toys, but they have a mean streak. Not really mean, but more cliquish than a gaggle of middle school girls. Even if you look like one of 'em and smell like one of 'em, if they don't know you you get that cold shoulder of mutton. Another drink?
Yeah, I guess they would have their reasons, but you know I'm not like that. Not really. I really am a nice guy, even if I hunger sometimes. We all get hungry, but that's all anyone ever says about me. Yeah, I've heard the stories. It's OK if you tel them sometimes. Everybody does. Some of them are true, some are stretched so far that the true part gets kinda lost in all the extras people add. The bit with the three builders was like that. You'd think that nobody had seen a thatched roof before. Or that they saw it and just kept going because a thatched roof isn't quite crazy enough.
And for the record, I only took the tiniest bite out of the sun. It still burns sometimes, but we all burn sometimes. If you could look at it without going blind you could even see the corner that's missing. I still have that in my belly.
I knew you'd ask about her. Everyone asks about her. I'm not proud, but not for the reasons you think. It's another story everyone gets almost all the way wrong. It's one of those stories people tell so much that they don't even see that it makes no sense. The path is the shortest way. That's why it's the path. When a girl volunteers for a chore that takes her away from home for a while and she takes a shortcut that's really longer, don't you think she has something else in mind? Girls get hungry too, especially young ones just growing into their hungers.
I really liked Red, OK? I don't admit things like that but... she was special. She had style, just enough of an edge to be really interesting. Not enough edge to keep her safe, of course. It's a real shame.You could see it in how she walked, how she dressed, in her voice. The sweetgirly innocence was as much a costume as I'm wearing now. Really it was.
Yeah, I know the stories. The stuff with me and her granny is an outright fabrication. Really it is. And with her... well, not to be vulgar, but you know that "to eat" can mean more than one thing, don't you? Yeah.
They always like about the grandmother, but they always leave out a bit about the woodsman. Didn't it ever feel weird to you that he just happened by at just the right time? That's some coincidence there that Dickens himself would be embarrassed to write. Yeah, I know who Dickens is. Lupine don't mean stupid, you know.
Anyway, like I was saying, the woodsman isn't just some random guy. I'd never met him, but could see the resemblance even if he didn't call her "Daddy". That look in his eyes.... I know they say that I'm big and bad, but that's a look I'll never forget. More animal, more wild, more cruel than even my brothers.
I don't know. I really don't. The stories say he killed me, and maybe that's what he thinks he wanted to do. Maybe I ducked and that's why it ended like it did.
I don't think so.
His eyes, in that moment in the woods, weren't really on me, but on her. She'd grabbed that red coat she loved to cover herself, but it wasn't his gaze she needed to hide from. There's a lot of the story they make up, but it was true that he had an axe.
I'm not proud, but you'd have run too. You may as well admit it. I could hear the blade cutting the air, hear her scream cut off by the thunk of steel on flesh. Did he miss me because I ran? Or did he hit his target?
I don't know.
There never will be another Red, but there will be other girls curious to explore what's beyond the path.
I'm not wearing this for the next girl.
I'm wearing it for the next huntsman.
|Image shared from the "1 Million Women" |
Facebook group http://on.fb.me/ZGmud5