So I’m on my way through the forest, setting each paw down very gently as I walk because, even if I’m not hungry, it’s such fun to see the way everyone stands stock-still and stares when I appear from nowhere, just before they scarper. Honestly, do they think I’d let them actually see me if I wanted to eat them? They have no idea of the skill it takes to be a successful predator.
Anyway, as I say, I’m on the way through the forest and I’m not actually hungry, but, you know, who turns down an interesting morsel when it’s laid out before them. And ahead of me, in a clearing, I can smell human. Not the bad sort, either, those males who smell of sweat and other creatures’ blood. No, this one smells fresh and clean and young.
I could jump her. Maybe I should. But I have to admit I’m a little puzzled by this young female. Even though I can’t see her I can tell she isn’t moving. She isn’t hurrying through the trees checking around her as she goes. She isn’t gathering mushrooms or berries or firewood. No. When I creep to the edge of the sunny clearing there she is, sitting on a grassy bank picking flowers.
Threads of drool drip from the corners of my mouth. I never could resist a young creature and this one looks positively melt-in-the-mouth.
Perhaps it’s the noise of my tongue smacking my lips that alerts her to my presence. She looks up, big-eyed, but she doesn’t bolt. She sits quite still and she smiles.
“Hello!” she says. “Aren’t you gorgeous!” She stretches out a hand towards me. “Come on,” she coos. “Come here, I won’t hurt you.”
Now clearly, being treated like a dog isn’t exactly good for the dignity of a magnificent beast such as myself, but, I have to tell you, I’m intrigued. I drop my haunches to the ground. What’s she going to do next?
“Oh, I know,” the female says, pulling the little basket she’s got with her onto her knee. She takes the cloth from the top and hunts around in the contents. “I don’t suppose Granny will miss a little bit.”
She pulls out something round and brown and, after struggling with it for a moment, she breaks off a piece and tosses it towards me.
My nostrils twitch. Not meat, but definitely edible. Eyes still on the female, I stand. I take a step nearer to the food. I dart my head forward, snatch the morsel with my front teeth and toss it down my throat.
The girl’s still sitting there. She’s got another piece of the food in her hand. A bigger piece. She’s holding her hand out towards me. She wants me to come and take the food.
Has no one warned her about wolves? Doesn’t she know she supposed to run screaming for help? Doesn’t she know she’s not supposed to try to tease me into coming nearer?
“Come on,” she says again, moving her hand a little so that the food smell wafts towards my quivering nostrils. “Come here, beautiful. Don’t be scared. I just want to make friends.”
I step forward and carefully pluck the food from her fingers.