Myth Perceptions 01bythe_bigbadw0lf©
[The Big Bad Wolf has featured prominently in many tales. . . and as in history, it is the teller that shapes the truth of a story.]
1. Little Red Riding Hood
An Intruder was in the Forest.
I did not move from the rock on which I was sunning myself, but my nostrils flared as the scent drifted on the cooling breeze. The Forest had been my demesne for as long as I had been . . . well, let me say alive, to avoid the complicated explanations. Woodsmen, hunters, explorers, surveyors, adventurers; all have learned the futility of a foray into my domain. A few that I have spared spread the tales far and wide, and humans now fearfully avoided this swath of heavy woods. Oh, the Witch (as they called her, though I know not know why) has special dispensation; she amuses me and honors the Forest, doing no harm. But all else must take a circuitous route between the two villages bordering my forest, skirting the tree line without entering the shadow of the woods.
Until now. My lip twitched, and now I sat up, ears perked forward to catch any sound that might aid me in my hunt.
Human. In the Forest. Too far away for me to hear, but in the thick, unfiltered air of the Forest, scent travels far.
I slipped off my warm perch and sauntered under the umbrella of the trees. As always, the underbrush was no concern. The Forest knew me, and branches that would have clawed and grasped at a human parted for me, acknowledging my place among them. Those that did not were turned aside by my thick, shaggy pelt. Above the verdant canopy, the sun was setting in a golden glow that was already tinged with a rosy hue. My lips peeled back from my muzzle. Someone's light would be extinguished with the sun's last rays.
But the ball of fire had nearly sunk below the horizon before my ears picked up the sounds of clumsy progress. The human had made it to the Thundering Rain, and pounding water had masked its movements to my ears. No longer. Branch and leaf, bough and rock; everything it stepped on or turned aside echoed in my ears now. I slunk low, belly touching the ground, but my pace slowed not a whit. I am a hunter, and these things I can do. Under the lightning-struck tree that marked where a fox this spring had borne her young, past a tangled dance of twisted poplars, I roved, and when I broke into the open, a mere pounce from the drop off, I glided to the edge of the escarpment and looked out over the waterfall.
Down below, there was a woman by the pool.
I shrank low, wondering why even as I did. She could not see me. Turned away, she was knee deep in the pool, bending down and filling a skin from the clear waters that rippled around her. Her skirts were soaked, floating and swirling with the water's movement. Though she was some distance from the falls themselves, errant spray had soaked her white blouse, plastering it to her skin. I thought of this sacred spot, the pure waters hitherto untouched by man now sullied with a human's greed, and my lips peeled back from my teeth in a silent snarl.
Then she turned, looked up, and my muzzle relaxed in something like astonishment.
She was beautiful!
The nature of my origins has never been clear to me. I have seen many wolves, but none can think as I do, plan as I do or place the importance on terrorizing Man as I have. Indeed, they flee the approach of Man, heedless of my disdain for their caution. My natural kindred are much smaller than I; to a human they might seem large, yet I outstrip them in size, speed and ferocity. I do things that they will not, and many that they cannot. While they hunt solely to feed, I kill to assuage a desire in me that requires no physical sustenance. Even my own name that gives me reason to believe that without Man, strange as it seems, I would have no existence . . . for without them to fear me, would I be The Big Bad Wolf?
And so perhaps it is because I am a thing of Man that I saw her beauty. Yellow hair, sparkling with moisture in the dying sunlight, framed a round face of innocence. Her lips were full and pink, pursed in concentration as she forced a stopper back into the wineskin. A spray of freckles bridged her cheeks and nose, and soft brown eyes swept over the sky in concern. She could not see me, with the glow of the sun behind me and the tumbling waters partly obscuring her vision. I looked, and looked, and when she waded determinedly out of the pool to wring her dripping skirts out onto the pebbled bank, I looked some more.
She hiked up her skirt to squeeze as much water as she could from the cotton shift and skirt, and warmth rushed through me as she showed me the soft curve of her hip. When she dropped her skirts and flapped them out, I exhaled in a muted 'woof' that the roaring waterfall drowned.
I could not slay her. Not yet.
I waited until she recovered a red cloak that lay folded neatly on the grass along the bank and slung it over her shoulders before removing myself from my vantage point. Something was stirring in my chest, echoing some primal ache in my loins. I had to get closer.
When she began to move I was already poolside, crouched hidden in the underbrush. Like a lupine statue I tracked her with only my eyes as she walked past, humming some country tune. I was not fooled. She was frightened, her scent said. Her humming was bravado, the tremor in her voice spoke. Had I chosen, I could have snapped at her skirts as she walked by. She was that close, and never knew I was there.
I flanked her, pacing myself to her speed, taking deep breaths of her scent. She smelled like a village farm, hay and chickens and goats and burned wood. In her hand, recovered when she donned her cloak, was a sack that smelled very much like mutton and fresh greens, along with a familiar herb that, although I had never used, I knew well. It grew only in the forest, and only near the pool at the base of Thundering Rain.
Ah. One mystery explained.
The sun was setting quickly, and the Forest's shadows deepened. It further unnerved her; more and more she cast her eyes upward as if hoping to penetrate the tangle of trees that occluded the sky, and as a result the grasping undergrowth would trip her maliciously, punishing her inattention. The fourth time she went down, gasping as a thorn bush pricked at her legs, I sighed, and asked the Forest to allow her passage.
It was not something that needed be said aloud, like Man-Speech. I simply wanted it done, and the Forest responded. No, I was not the Master of the Forest, no one is, but the heart of the Forest was open to me, and I spoke to it as I pleased. I am the Big Bad Wolf.
The woman moved quickly now, no longer hindered by the Forest which moved every creeping trailer and entangling brush out of her way as she fled the encroaching night. I ghosted alongside her, now and again so close that if she stopped my nose would have been buried in her ample backside. Once I even gripped the edge of her cloak in my teeth then darted aside as she yanked at it, clearly believing it had caught on a branch. I laughed my lupine laugh to myself, and then stopped as I realized where her path was taking her.
The Witch's home.
Now, as I have said before, I have nothing against the Witch. I have heard the humans call her that, on the rare occasions when I have stalked the villages by night. She lives on the edge of the Forest, they said, as if that alone were enough. Others talked of her uncanny bond with animals, her advanced age, her pact with the Devil, hexing children, cursing livestock . . .
One of the many reasons I take satisfaction in killing the intruders in my home was their stupidity. The Witch was old, she was kind to animals, children liked her because she told stories, and some desperate people had once asked her to help them save their cows from the Black Tongue. When the silly cows had died anyway, they blamed her. I could see why she chose to live in the Forest's grasp. Few came out here to bother her. And she would sometimes leave morsels out, which I thought was a sign of her senility, until I realized she was leaving them out for me. That showed her good sense. The villagers long resented her, because she baffled them, and Man feared that which He did not understand.
Why indeed was she going to the Witch?
The sun closed its eyes as we reached the little wooden fence that surrounded the Witch's ramshackle home. The woman nearly tripped over it, so inept are human eyes in the darkness, but she recovered and all but ran the remainder of the way to the Witch's front porch. She hammered on the door with the flat of her hand, bam-bam-bam-bam, and called out, "Gramma! Gramma! It's me, Gramma!"
Ah, I thought smugly. Another mystery solved. I wondered what she would do when she realized no one was home. The Witch had gone out a day or so earlier, and had yet to return; I could tell from the smell of the place, even at this distance. Would the woman try to make the return home, or--
No. She pushed the door open, and went in.
Outside, the moon rose.
I paced, and snarled, whirled to make for the tree line, spun instead and returned to the fence. I snapped irritably at the fireflies that began to glimmer, and wondered why I did not return to the shelter of the Forest proper. While I vacillated I could hear Her busying about within, humming to herself (more confidently now that she was indoors, with a lamp and a fireplace, which she wasted no time in lighting). In a moment, that took my breath away, I could hear the whispering rustle of her clothes dropping to the floor. My paws were wet. It took me a moment to realize, with that whisper of fallen clothing, that I had begun salivating.
While I was working myself into a moment, the moon climbed high..
The Witch's house was still.
I'd sat and rumbled inaudibly till the moon had shrunk from its gibbous, yellow-tinged globe near the treetops to a shiny silver coin directly overhead. The hut was quiet, disturbed only by the crackling of coals in the banked fireplace inside, and the woman's steady breathing. No reason to investigate further. It was human. It had been in the Forest. Now it was no longer in the Forest. Nothing to investigate . . .
Except the window shutters were ajar.
I could hear the smallest of creaks with every shift in the air. Old and haphazardly repaired, it did not surprise me in the least that the Witch's home was not entirely secure. Without any idea how long I'd been sitting there, I found myself under the rough window shutters. I'd been watching them rock, ever so slightly, as I breathed on them.
I pawed at the shutter.
It creaked open further. I licked my chops, aware dimly that I was salivating again.
I turned to look at the Forest trees. They swayed gently in a breeze that rustled their leaves
(like yellow hair)
in a sussuration that spoke of caution, warning me, calling me back. I paused, one ear cocked, listening to the Voice of the Forest as I contemplated this madness..
And then I leaped.
There was a rude wooden table under the window, and my claws scrabbled furiously for purchase before I regained my balance. The lamp on the table tilted, spun around once lazily, and righted itself. I felt as though my amber eyes must be blazing, and wondered why they didn't light up the room with their glow.
Dr-- Oh yes. I licked my chops clean again. I was panting.
The smell. Oh, Goddess. The smell.
The woman lay on the Witch's bed, one hand under her head, the other outstretched to the window, as if inviting me. Her coverlets had been thrown aside, and lay dangerously close to the grate that covered the fireplace. Hooked on the back of the door were her day clothes. She was clad in a thin shift that exposed her arms and shoulders and it had ridden up as she slept, almost clear to her hips. Her legs were slightly parted . . . and from the shadow between, a most intoxicating aroma.
I licked the saliva from my muzzle again.
I slid from the table, careful not to knock the lamp over with a careless move, and the moonlight poured in through the open window. Her golden hair was spread about her like a halo, and as I watched she sighed, soft lips parted, and frowned as if in thought.
After a moment's pause, I licked the tip of her outstretched hand.
There was a moment of sudden doom, then she seemed to relax, and the little line between her brows eased. It was the right thing to do.
I wondered what else I might lick to ease her dreams.
I padded around the room, heedless of caution. The scent in the air was calling to me, much more insistently than the Forest had. I stood at the foot of the bed (little more than a cot, really) and put my forepaws on the sheet between her feet.
The scent grew stronger. Musky. Exhilarating.
My paw brushed the inside of her knee as I shuffled forward, and a crystal pearl dropped from my muzzle onto her thigh as I shuffled my chest closer, rear paws bracing me. I did not care about the risk. I was intoxicated. Drunk.
I nosed the cotton shift, attempting to move it out of the way. Instead it slipped over my muzzle, and my nose was between her legs. My massive jaws between her thighs and my fur must have caused some disturbance in her dreams, because she sighed again, and her thighs parted further.
My nose touched something warm. It was the source of her. The aroma stabbed through my nostrils, through my brain, and into some parts of me that I knew wolves had, but had never used. It controlled me, lured me.
I nuzzled forward, and took a tentative lick.
When my tongue brushed against her center, I thought that my fur would stand on end. The natural taste of her skin, the salty sweat of her day's travel, the pungent aroma seeping from her tender slit, all these things I could taste not just with my mouth, but my nose and my whiskers that tickled her inner thighs.
I licked again, this time with more conviction, my claws rending holes in the sheet between her legs. Yes. There was more of her this time, and I could hear her pulse rise, almost imperceptible.
Her slit was liberally moistened by my tongue, but I could sense a change in the taste that I gleaned from her tender center. It was thickening, becoming more pungent, sweeter. And her cleft was beginning to pout, like the petals of a flower beginning to bloom in the spring. I could feel something happening, in my own body that I did not understand . . . but drove me onward.
I cocked my head to the side and began to lap in earnest.
My ears flicked at a tiny gasp as she sipped in air, but she still slumbered. My tongue was a little rough, but long and flexible. I wanted to taste this ambrosia that was spilling from her now, sweetening her and driving my unnamed desire. I strove to lap up all that I could, muzzle working under her shift, careful not to nip her with my fangs as I sought to devour her juices in a kind of delirium.
When my tongue slipped inside her, I nearly howled. Here was paradise!
Dimly, I was aware that she was beginning to rouse, but I did not care. With my nose pressed firmly against the top of her tender and tantalizing slit, I curled my tongue inside her secret place, and lapped out the slippery nectar that had drawn me to her. I was lost.
I did it again, my nose pressing firmly against a tiny nib at the top of her slit that, like the unfolding petals I pierced with my tongue, had developed as I sampled her.
When my tongue curled inside her once more, the soft walls inside her clamped down.
Startled, I jerked my tongue back, but in my madness, I would not relinquish my assault on her. I lapped at her furiously. Sometimes the barrier was relaxed, and I could devour the delight that now all but gushed from her opening sex, and when she clamped down I would madly lick her cleft's apex. A fever rose in me, and in a growing frenzy my tongue slivered along her entire seam, from the pink whorl of her anus all the way up to her belly button. My rear paws were scrabbling on the wooden floor, gouging wood chips as my forepaws shredded the bed. Both the woman and I were panting, and somewhere inside there was an alarm trying to get my attention and wake me out of my lust driven madness --for finally I recognized what I was feeling, what had driven me here, and what alien member was sliding remorselessly out of my sheath, aroused and pulsing in answer to the scent I had all over my muzzle.
I lapped at her, recognizing that she was rising from sleep like a dolphin might shoot to the surface of the water, and there was a thought in me that the thing that now protruded from my own groin, needing and red and thick, might best be served where my tongue was.
Even as I gathered my rear paws to spring onto the bed, this:
My tongue still lapping inside of her, the woman almost sat up.
Her hands gripping the ruff under my ears, knees clamping TIGHT around the barrel of my chest, she opened her eyes, and howled. MY Howl. Only I had ever voice that weird, ululating, guttural cry; my natural kin had no throat for it.
And as she howled, there was a surge of liquid musk, primal scent and she arched her back, fists still tight in my fur, and howled!
And there was a shattering somewhere inside me, and I felt myself release, pumping hot fluid from my own unslaked sex against the foot of the cot, onto the floor. My own answering howl was buried in her sex and somehow emerged from her mouth as hers and mine mingled together, wolf and woman, hunter and prey, and right then I bared my teeth and would have devoured her right then, blood and bone, for what she had broken
in me. I was no longer a
scourge of Man, but something deeper. Some terrible, irreversible alchemy had been wrought, and a price would be paid.
And as our howls trailed off, her sex still gripping me, her thighs pinning me between them, while I felt myself begin to diminish back in to my sheath still spurting my seed, I heard, clearly, someone say outside "Kill the Witch!"
There was a roar of Human voices tarnishing the night, and in the rattle of a mob, someone yelled, "Burn the lot down! Kill her before her demons 'escape!" and an elderly female cry of pain.
My eyes focused. The Woman's did too. No words were actually spoken in that slice of time as our gaze locked, but there was a theater of silent negotiation in which much was said, to whit:
I: I will pretend that I'm not a wolf here to ravish you and will extricate my tongue from you, because we're about to be attacked. By a mob.
She: I'll pretend that I didn't actually enjoy that, and I'm going to carefully untwine my legs from around your chest so you can go take care of business.
I: If you'll ignore any unusual scratches and ah, stains on the floor, I will not mention that you still have your hands dug into my fur as well.
She: Thank you for not mentioning that. Now that's my gramma out there--
I: No guarantees.
Well. . .
* * * * * * *
Mobs ready to burn a notorious Witch and her home are notoriously easy to disburse when a real devil shows up. Delayed in the village, the Wit-- that is, Gramma had been accosted by drunks who had quickly fired their smoldering resentment of her into flames of madness. They'd brought her to her home to make an end of it, and her, in one frenzied orgy of violence. When I burst out of the window of her home and set to among them, they'd run like mice when the hawk's shadow passes overhead.
What happened to the-- to Gramma afterwards? None of the villagers thought to come by her home for a long time, and every once in a while I would leave her a morsel or two. But in three days time she was dead anyway, an old woman who was kind to animals and gave children sweetmeats. She was very old, after all, and had been roughly handled.