The Wolf


When Robin came of age, she did as her mother had done before her, and her mother’s mother before her, and so on for as long as anyone could remember: she made a cloak. Specifically, she made a cloak of her own two hands, wherein nobody else was involved enough in the process to claim any ownership or authority. 


This meant planting and growing a full crop of carrots, which she traded to the shepherd in his house on the hill for two and a half bags of wool. She piled the wool on the floor of her mother’s house and spent nearly seven hours cleaning and carding it all. At the end, she had filled her mother’s largest vat with water (ten trips to the well) and soft, clean threads of wool. The next day, when it was dry and after she had finished her chores, Robin carefully spun the wool into a single, thin thread of yarn. She worked until well after dark, when her candle had burnt so low it was nearly useless. The yarn was a bit lumpy, a little uneven, but beautiful for the time and effort she had put into it. Next, Robin prepared her mother’s old weaving canvas and strung her imperfect yarn across its pegs. The weaving took Robin’s amatuer hands three days to complete, but once she had finished it was a simple, if tedious, task to sew the carefully-calculated pieces together. By the end of the week, Robin had a soft cloak, white as fresh snow. It was slightly uneven, but thick and warm, all the more beautiful for its imperfections. 


When Robin showed her mother the cloak, she was finally allowed to go on longer, more important errands without supervision. Most of these were still relatively simple: go to the market and barter for the next month’s groceries, take the cow to the butcher and bring back the meat and hide, and so on. However, there was one errand that Robin had been anticipating her whole life: travelling to her Grandmother’s house.


Robin’s grandmother lived a few hours’ walk into the woods, and Robin and her mother would visit every month on the full moon to bring her spices, honey, and occasionally bags of flour or loaves of bread. Robin’s grandmother was not her mother’s mother, and Robin often got the sense, during these visits, that her mother kept a sort of grudge against her grandmother. For what, Robin had no idea.


A week before the full moon, Robin traded two skeins of freshly-spun thread to Mrs. Peters in exchange for a sack of grain from her wheat field. She took this sack to the miller, who ground it into flour in exchange for a portion. The day before the full moon, Robin used this flour to bake six loaves of bread, four plain and two with spices and nuts from the edge of the woods. As she fell asleep that night Robin heard the wolves in the woods and the wind howling in harmony.


The next day, she packed a basket with three loaves of bread, one plain and two with nuts, a small jar of honey, a half-gallon of fresh milk, a roll of soft goat’s cheese, and three bundles of dried meat, pulled on her pretty white cloak though the warmth of summer was still clinging to the air, and set off into the woods. The trees didn’t start until after the fork in the path, where one could either travel along the perimeter and eventually to the nearest village or venture into the woods. Even then, the forest was lush but young – the trees could not have been more than a decade old, thin and whip-like as they were. The path was wide and bright, and with the midmorning sun behind her Robin began to whistle. Even when the trees became larger, closer together, and the canopy blocked out direct sun, the woods still seemed a child’s wonderland: lush and green and beautiful, with birds singing and the occasional rabbit spooked by Robin’s unhidden steps. The path was seldom-used, save for Robin and her mother, and at its edges the forest was slowly creeping back in, as if trying to take back the land it once controlled. It was the end of summer, and still too warm to need many layers, so Robin was well in control of her skirts and they did not snag on any of the hanging branches. 


After a few hours of walking, when the trees had become so thick around that Robin wasn’t able to reach around them, even with both arms, she found a cut stump. It was too high and too rough to sit on, but she leant against it and pulled from her basket one of the loaves of bread and her knife, slicing into it neatly for lunch. By now the sun had just passed its zenith, and Robin hurried to eat so that she could make it to her grandmother’s with plenty of light to spare.


The path continued to wind through the woods, but the trees no longer grew thicker with each step. Before the sun was even a quarter of the way from the western horizon, Robin caught sight of her grandmother’s wooden fence and gate. The fence was old, but sturdy, and had an assortment of healthy lichens growing on it. Inside the perimeter it created, Robin’s grandmother had planted a sprawling garden, growing everything from tomatoes to rose bushes. It was organized carefully, with the precious, easily-disrupted food crops closer to the house and flowers and herbs lining the fence. As Robin walked the rough cobblestone path from the gate to the doorway, she could hear her grandmother’s chickens clucking about inside their cage behind the house. The house itself was small, only three or four rooms, with an angled thatched roof that snow could slide off easily. The walls were pale, with wooden beams just barely visible, and the windows were filled with thick, wavy glass, heavy shutters open and fastened to the walls with small hooks. The door was heavy, matching the shutters, all dark wood and iron. It rested in an arched frame, with one of the four attic windows only a meter above it. Robin grabbed the iron ring and knocked.


After a few moments of waiting, she heard her grandmother’s rough, sweet voice beckoning her inside. 


As Robin opened the thick door and stepped inside, she saw the same house that she had seen every month for as long as she could remember: the heavy old couch and armchair sitting around the fireplace and the spinning wheel placed behind the couch. Afternoon sunlight streamed through the windows, hitting the floor and soft carpets in slightly distorted ribbons. There were paintings on the walls of flowers and animals, some made by Robin using paints that her grandmother taught her to make from crushed berries and petals, most painted by her grandmother’s deft, practiced hands. Four chairs sat around a small yellow-brown dining table, though Robin had only ever seen three people in the house, and a narrow set of steep stairs led up into the attic and her grandmother’s bedroom. 


The woman herself was walking out of the kitchen, wiping her washed hands on her apron before rushing to engulf Robin in a hug. 


“Where is your mother, child?” asked Robin’s grandmother, stepping back to look her over.


“Hello Grandmother,” said Robin, “I finally made my cloak, it’ll just be me from now on.” She spun proudly, grasping the edges of her white cloak to show it off. 


“Very good. It fits you well.” Grandmother, who had never been one to mince words or give undue compliments, fingered the rough weave. With her approval, Robin hopped off cheerily to lay out the contents of her basket on the table. She pointed each item out to her grandmother, who watched with an indulgent smile. 


Robin’s grandmother was a large woman, nearly six feet tall and softly round. She only seemed to wear lightly colored dresses, always with a sturdy white apron and loose hair. Today she was in pastel yellow with tiny daisies painstakingly embroidered along the hems. Though she had a grandchild, she didn’t look a day over sixty and she was strong and capable, enough so to live alone in the middle of the forest without fear of bandits or wolves. 


That night, Grandmother served chicken with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes. The chicken was one of her hens that had stopped laying eggs, potatoes from her garden, and the mushrooms picked, she explained, from even deeper into the woods, where the trees blocked out all light and one had to carry a lantern even in daytime. Robin slept on the couch, still wearing her snowy cloak. Normally, her mother would take the couch and Robin would sleep in the cushy, oversized armchair, but she had recently begun to outgrow it, and either way she had come without her mother. Over the windows, the shutters were left open, so in the morning the faint hint of diffused sunlight showed through the curtains and woke Robin harshly with the dawn.


Along with the sunlight, Robin’s grandmother came out of the kitchen, carrying a small bundle of cloth. She stood over the back of the couch and smiled down as Robin blinked blearily up at her. 


“I made you some lunch for the journey back.” said Grandmother softly, as if she knew that Robin was still partially asleep. Robin always slept restlessly when visiting her grandmother.


In order to get home in time to do their regular chores, Robin and her mother always left Grandmother’s house early in the morning. As she prepared to set off, gathering her empty basket and the lunch Grandmother made for her, putting on her cloak from where it was draped over the back of a chair, Robin slowly became more aware and awake. She said her loving farewells to her grandmother and had grown energetic and excited for the day by the time she had reached the gate with its little archway of roses. 


The trip home was much the same as the way there, except that the sun shone in her eyes for most of it. When she stopped to eat an early lunch, Robin saw that her grandmother had packed her some candied fruits and elk jerky. She reached the edge of the village by noon and her home no more than half an hour later. 


Robin’s life with her mother was simple but comfortable. They lived at the edge of the village and did well for themselves with their gardening and keeping of twelve laying hens and a milk cow. Because there was no man of the house, and because they had no large field, the King’s tax collectors often passed them over. The land had been fruitful and the harvests large for decades, so nobody in the country starved either way, and the festivals each fall were splendid, even in Robin’s small village. 


Now, a month and a half later, after Robin had visited her grandmother by herself once more and while she was preparing for the harvest festival, fall was showing its colors. The forest had become a collage of reds, yellows, and the pervasive green of pines. The harvest had once again been plentiful, and winter crops were already planted. Robin was tying the most brilliant autumn leaves into garlands to hang for the festival. The festival lasts five days, culminating on the night of the harvest moon. Robin had never been present for the height of the festivities before, due to her visits to her grandmother, every full moon like clockwork. This year, however, she’s determined to witness the revelry and the bonfire that had her neighbors laughing for a month. 


Robin had already told her mother of her plan: an early visit, a week before the full moon. She doesn’t want to worry her grandmother by failing to appear, but she also doesn’t want to miss any part of the festival. Her mother had agreed, but only after quite some convincing.


Two days before the start of the festival, Robin gathers her basket and her heavy warm skirts, pulls her cloak tight around her, and sets off into the woods. She heeds her mother’s words, and does not stray from the path. 


After a few hours of walking, Robin notices a crawling feeling down her spine, as if she is being watched.  Though she looks around herself and walks faster, the feeling does not fade until she reaches her grandmother’s house. Once inside the safety of the fence, she turns to look back into the woods and only barely spots a huge grey wolf quietly disappearing into the trees. She stands there, feeling trapped and immobile. It is as if she is asleep and yet conscious. Then the paralysis passes, and Robin hurries to announce herself at her Grandmother’s door. 


Grandmother is wearing blue today, and looks shocked to see Robin a week early. She seems almost angry, in a way that Robin has never seen before, but lets her in anyway.


“Why have you come early, child? It is not yet time- It is not yet the full moon,” says Grandmother, gaze intense.


When Robin explains her intention to experience the entirety of the festival, to go to the bonfire on the full moon, Grandmother says she understands, though she still does not seem very happy. 


Dinner that night is thinly cut slices of veal, an entire plate of delicious yellow chanterelles, fried in butter and salt, and platters of sweet autumn berries. Robin sleeps on the couch, and wakes quickly, feeling calm and rested. Grandmother gives her lunch for the walk. As Robin is putting on her shoes and gathering her basket, her grandmother places a hand on her shoulder. Grandmother’s eyes seem to bore into Robin’s spine.


“You must not stay out after sunset on the night of the full moon. There are powerful things lurking in the dark that no bonfire can protect you from.”


Robin only smiles at her, says farewell, and steps onto the path. Her grandmother stands in the doorway for a long time, watching her walk away in her snow-white cloak. The trees are huge and dark, but enough of the leaves have fallen that there is sunlight streaming through the branches. Robin walks, well-rested and content, and listens to the birds singing and all the little mammals scurrying about. At one point, she spots a moose through a break in the trees, standing at the far edge of a clearing and grazing. When it notices her, it retreats back into the trees and Robin continues on her way home. 


Once home, Robin hurries to complete all of her chores. She is so excited for the festival she can hardly think. She is full of nervous energy, though she knows most of what to expect, and sleeps restlessly. She dreams:


Robin is walking the path to her grandmother’s house, but it is dark. Through the trees, she can see the full moon hanging fat and heavy in the sky. The path is narrow, narrower than it has ever been in her lifetime, and the huge grey wolf she is walking beside is nearly pushing her off it and into the forest. 


“You are very small,” he says, “I could crush you in my teeth without a thought. I could gobble you up and use your femur as a toothpick.” As he says this, he seems to grow, each word feeding him – or perhaps pushing down on Robin until she is very small, with uncertain feet and stubby fingers. She tries even harder to keep her soles on the dirt of the path, but it seems to be getting narrower.


The wolf looks like he is smiling.


Robin looks up, at the full moon, which only seems to be getting larger, and quickly back down to her feet. They have not strayed yet but she needs to grab the wolf’s fur to stay on the path, to avoid toppling over. 


She can see his teeth.


His voice rings out from the trees around them, not saying words but laughing and screaming, in anger or in delight. He is not there anymore, and the path is still getting narrower. She must stay on the path. It was the first lesson her mother taught her: stay on the path. She is running now. There seem to be eyes everywhere, and Robin is only a child, wobbling on too-short legs. The path is getting narrower and the trees are getting bigger, closer. The wolf is behind her now, chasing and still laughing as if it is all a game. It seems as if there are many wolves, all laughing with the same voice. Robin is afraid.


The path ends.


The first four days of the festival pass with much joy and merriment. They seem better than all the previous years to Robin, for they are not tempered with the knowledge that she will leave, will miss the finale to go visit her grandmother. Robin is more excited than she can remember ever being before, and has already forgotten her grandmother’s warnings.


On the day of the harvest moon, Robin watches the building of the bonfire and helps to pick apples to dip in thick caramel. She and the other children climb into the trees and hand down the ripe apples to adults waiting with baskets. The fruit is rich and red, and sticky sweet juice flows down her chin as she bites into them. Robin wears her bright red dress that evening, over thick, warm petticoats and under her snow white cloak. She celebrates with the others, eating the candied apples she helped to pick and waiting for the sun to go down so the bonfire can be lit and Ms. Anderson’s ale can be drunk. Robin is nearly vibrating, but she manages to speak normally, manages to only glance at the huge pile of carefully-arranged wood as often as her neighbors. 


Finally, the last dregs of sunlight drain away from the landscape and finally, finally, the bonfire can be lit. The smith keeps his fire burning day and night, so it’s his son who walks up to it with a lit torch. At first, nothing seems to happen, then there is a steady stream of thick smoke winding its way to the deep dusk sky. A few moments later, Robin can just see the barest hints of flames licking at the undersides of the bottom logs. Once they catch, it is only a matter of time before the whole structure is aflame, and Robin stares at it with naked wonder. It is the largest fire she has ever seen, and everyone else is beginning the festivities in earnest, in a way that the rest of the festival pales in comparison to already. There are people dancing around the fire, and a parade is carrying barrel after barrel of alcohol out of Ms. Anderson’s cellar. As the full moon rises, Robin laments that she has missed this all her life. She feels a savage joy, unlike anything she has felt before. She snaps out of her trance, rushes forward to the fire, to join in, and is no longer cold. Her fur is ruffled by the soft breeze and she joins the dance, leaping and singing in time. Everything feels so bright, so real. It is unlike anything Robin has felt before. Her dress is lying on the field behind her, and everyone else seems to be running off into the village. They’re leaving the bonfire behind! Are there more surprises in the village? Is there more to come? Robin sees them go and does not understand it. Why would they abandon the warmth and energy of the fire? She gets her answer before too long, as the moon creeps another centimeter into the sky and her bones become electric. She looks at the beautiful, wild forest and can’t help but chase that mystery, tongue lolling out and paws fast and sure. She is so, so happy. She feels strong. 


She howls to the sky, to the heavy yellow moon, and sets off at a sprint, tearing clods of long grass from the ground as she runs. Her claws and her strides are powerful. The edge of the forest is made up of young trees with plenty of space between them, and Robin runs freely. She is so alive she has forgotten to stay on the path. She is so fast. She is sure in her steps and her heart. Eventually, she slows, brimming with the wild abandon that this night brings. Robin looks up at the full moon and smiles at it with all her teeth. She feels like she is up there in the sky with it, staring down at all the little people. She hears a rabbit, snuffling just outside its burrow, and is suddenly so, so hungry. Robin lowers her weight, and creeps up to the tiny warm thing. She pounces, just barely catching the back of its spine in her teeth. She holds it down with one huge clawed paw and bites of its head. It crunches in her teeth and coats the fur of her jaw with warm wet delicious blood. Robin quickly snaps up the rest of the now-limp rabbit and it is the best thing she has tasted, better than candy apples and summer afternoons and freshly-baked bread. It was so small, though, so little, not enough to do more than taste. Robin remembers that there are elk and moose in the forest, and thinks that it would be lovely, the most lovely thing ever, to catch one and eat its so much too much flesh and gnaw its big thick bones. She has never tasted marrow before but thinks that it must be delicious.


Robin puts her keen nose and ears, each better than they have ever been before, to work. Her eyes don’t seem to work quite as well, but it’s well worth it for the power of her other senses. She is sharp and here and alive and she wants to eat an elk. There are other wolves howling, somewhere in the distance, but she ignores them. They are not what she is looking for. Eventually, the wind shifts and she smells big heavy hot animals with their shaggy fall-thick coats. She lopes off towards the scent, happy and focused on the scent. It thrills through her body and in her veins, and Robin cannot wait. Soon she will have good warm fresh meat. She doesn’t know how she could ever stand to eat the sticks of jerky her mother makes. They are horrible disgusting dusty old old old compared to the rabbit, compared to the smell of the elk. She is nearly there now, and the scent is laying thick and heavy in the air. It makes her mouth water. Robin slows to a crawl, silent and slow, until she spots the elk. It is large but young, with antlers of a medium size. Robin knows it will fill her, knows it will taste more incredible than anything she has ever eaten. She leaps into a run, and her jaws close on the side of the elk’s neck. The first gush of warm wet blood is even better than the entire rabbit, and Robin savors it for a moment before biting into the elk’s neck again, snapping its spine. As it dies she salivates. 


Robin has eaten nearly half of the elk and she is beginning to feel full sated full happy when another wolf comes into the clearing. He is smaller than her, and crawling on his belly pleadingly. She does not know him and does not want to share her elk. She lifts her tail, pushes forward her ears and growls with her whole ribcage. She is young and inexperienced but larger and stronger than him. She found and killed an elk on her first night as a beautiful powerful wolf under the full moon. If there is a fight she will win it, and they both know this. He backs away, submissive, and Robin continues to tear at her kill. The savage joy from when she first saw the fat moon has been tempered, but she still feels as though she is the bonfire, burning bright and strong and beautiful. The other wolf is long gone now and Robin’s belly is full. She doesn’t know where in the woods she is, but knows she will be able to follow her own trail back into the village. However, as she is now, big and gorgeous and powerful, Robin will not be able to fit into her bed without some discomfort, and she doesn’t really want to return to the village yet anyway. She wants to run and laugh and savor this ravaging love for the world, for herself. 


She runs, weaving through trees and leaping over streams, and when she tires she climbs to the top of the tallest lichen-covered rock, jutting up towards the canopy, and she sits, lording over her forest. When the energy seizes her again, Robin makes a game of trying to catch the scurrying rodents under the leaves without hurting them. Those that she accidentally kills, she eats, and they are like lumps of pure sugar. Eventually, she finds herself in a clearing, lit bright by the full moon, and sits staring up at it. It is hanging fat and heavy and orange, and she cannot help but howl, trying to thank it for this power, this energy. Robin has never felt alive before this night. As she sits watching, the moon slips silently below the trees and Robin slips, too, into sleep.


She dreams again, but now she is the wolf and there is no child and she is happy, oh so happy, to run off the path and into the woods. She is huge, with white markings reminiscent of a cape down her back and onto her tail, and her belly and legs are a beautiful grey. She is strong.


Robin wakes up in the middle of a clearing with the sun beating down on her from its place high in the sky, naked and barefoot. Somehow, though her other clothes and her shoes are gone, her snowy cloak is wrapped tightly around her, now dusted with the damp earth she is lying on. She is in the middle of the woods and she is lost.


Robin stumbles to her feet and tries to remember where she is and why she is here. The night before is a blur of happy happy blood running ALIVE that she wants to return to, but it is ultimately unhelpful. She got so turned around, and even if she were not, her memories of wolf senses do not translate well to human ones. And isn’t that something – a wolf! Her! So powerful and huge and beautiful, not that it will help her now. It is incomprehensible that she was once afraid of wolves. They are too good for that.


Robin watches the shadows as they drift ever so slightly with the sun, and sets off north, where she thinks the path will be. From there she can follow it to her grandmother’s house and ask why this has happened, why the one full moon she did not visit her grandmother she turned into a wolf. Eventually, her estimation is proven correct, and she finds the path. She follows it west, towards her grandmother. She doesn’t especially want to return to the village and her mother. She now understands that they were afraid, and she is afraid of them now as well, of what they will think of her. Besides, she is naked and her grandmother knows everything, and will surely be able to help. 


Robin must have gotten further into the forest than she expected, because she comes to her grandmother’s garden earlier than even the days where she set off at sunrise. The gate is hanging open, squeaking just barely in the breeze. Robin’s grandmother has never left the gate open as long as she can remember and she is immediately more aware, more vigilant and wary. The garden is untouched, and she creeps towards the front of the house. The heavy door, at least, is closed, but that does not set Robin at ease. She can feel only the barest hint of last night’s strength flowing through her veins but she is still more powerful than ever before, more prepared to fight. She cracks open the door and enters her grandmother’s house silently. She has long since let go of the edges of her cloak, freeing her hands to defend against whatever left the gate open. She cannot see her grandmother but she is not stupid enough to cry out for her. She did not hear or see her in the gardens so she must be in the woods or in the house and Robin is sure she is in the house but there is no one here. Robin creeps into the kitchen with the easy grace of a predator, and sees hanging herbs and odd, dried creatures alike. There is a brilliant blue something-or-other bubbling softly on the stove and bottles upon bottles of similar liquids labelled everything from “good health” to “tiger”. There is one that reads “Wolfsbane”. Robin has never been allowed into the kitchen before and now she knows why: her grandmother is a witch, and must have something to do with the wolf that sits in her bones and wants to hunt hunt play.


But her grandmother is not in the kitchen and so she leaves.


Robin walks warily up the stairs, taking care to avoid creaking, and softly steps into her grandmother’s bedroom. This she has been in before, and like before it is all wood and cotton. The bed is large and sturdy, piled with quilts. There is a dresser with numerous small nicknacks laid out on top and a set of soft white curtains over the window. And there is someone in the bed. They are buried under the quilts and their head is covered with a pale yellow bonnet, one that Robin has seen in her grandmother’s house but has never seen her grandmother wear before. She narrows her eyes and tenses her shoulders, and steps up to the bedside. 


There, she says, “Grandmother, are you alright?”


From beneath the bed, she is answered by a rumbling, low voice. “Only a bit ill, my dear. You must stay away so that you do not catch it.”


“Grandmother,” Robin says, eyeing the lump under the quilts, “why is your voice so rough and low?”


“A cough, my dear,” says the thing in the bed, which Robin is very sure is not her grandmother. “But it sounds all the better to greet you with.”


The thing shifts and Robin smiles with all her teeth. “Grandmother, why are your ears so large and hairy?”


“A curse, my dear,” says the thing, “but all the better to hear you with.”


As it speaks, Robin slowly grasps the quilts and gently pulls them, shifting only with the movement of its mouth.


“Grandmother,” she says, “why are your teeth so long and yellow?”


“This is natural, my dear,” says the thing as it lunges out of the bed, “but all the better to eat you with!”


Robin ducks to the side, batting the thing away. It scrapes to a stop, nearly toppling over into the dresser, and leaves deep gouges on the clean wooden floor of her grandmother’s bedroom. Its eyes are sickly yellow and gleam with unhidden malice. Robin casts her eye over it as the adrenaline pumps into her blood and sees the thing that was waiting for her in her grandmother’s bed, that left the gate open.


It is a wolf.


It is a huge grey wolf, the one that followed her on her last visit, before the harvest festival. It is the one that appeared in the clearing last night, begging for a bite of the elk she killed. It is lying in her grandmother’s bed, wearing her grandmother’s bonnet, and grinning toothily up at her. Its belly is thick and swollen, unlike last night, which must mean it has eaten her grandmother.


Robin is angry.


Robin has never been this angry before.


Robin feels as if the full moon never left.


Robin feels her teeth sharpen and grow in her still-human mouth, feels her nails harden into claws on her still-human fingers.


Robin rips the grey wolf to shreds.


He had thought that the wolf-girl would be weaker as a human, both in body and in mind, and had eaten her grandmother as revenge. She hadn’t shared her elk, and he was so so hungry. He had miscalculated, though, the extent of her rage. Robin slices from his throat down his belly, and reaches into his stomach. She finds the witch – her grandmother, her wonderful kind grandmother who has tried to keep her normal and human and not-bloodthirsty for so many years, who must have slipped the wolfsbane potion into her food or her drink with every visit – deep in his stomach, still whole and undigested (through some magic, Robin is sure), and pulls her out. The wolf’s blood sprays over her face and stains her cloak a deep, deep red, uneven but final. 


Robin’s grandmother is somehow pristine as she stands. She waves a hand over the cooling corpse, vanishing it and leaving a dark bloodstain in the floor. She cleans Robin’s face and body by hand, gentle and seemingly unaffected by the long hairs on Robin’s arms or the sharp teeth in her mouth. After a moment of deliberation, Grandmother runs a hand along the rough weave of Robin’s no-longer-white cloak, evening the red until it looks like bright wine, purposefully dyed. Robin’s grandmother hands her a too-big pink dress, which she numbly puts on under her cloak. Grandmother guides Robin gently down to sit in the dining room. She sits too, resting her elbows and folding her hands on the table.


“So,” Grandmother says, “I’m guessing you have some questions.”