Arthur Rackham, 1909
For Rebecca and Jenny.
A few things to remember if you ever find a wolf hiding behind a tree in the woods.
Don't stop to speak, though his smile is a friendly, 'Hey there,' smile, a hand-holding smile, and your paws are really very cold.
Don't look into his eyes, which are wide and open as the idea of fields. Don't forget, you're in a wood, things are different here.
Don't sit down beside him on a moss-covered trunk, and rub your elbow while he talks. Don't give in to the urge to lean a little closer when he lowers his voice or looks lonely.
Don't stroke his fur, no matter how thick or how curly, and don't breathe his scent, which has something of the secrets of forests.
But most important of all, don't let him show you the anemones that are blooming on the earth all around, which you hadn't noticed until now; so you start to suspect that he's made them appear and you wonder, if that's true, and he has, could he really be so bad after all?
*** So much for going down the rabbit hole. ***