Grandmother's Tale

Delivered on 8/18/17 in Stuart, FL


HOWL. The woods, where the trees are tall, a hundred feet tall, and the leaves form a canopy that lets in just a few rays of light from the setting sun. In these dense woods is a young teenage girl, walking down a narrow, twisted path. She’s going to grandmother’s house. But not HER grandmother -- there’s an old lady who lives in a cottage out in the woods, and when a girl reaches a certain age, she’s sent to visit the grandmother and learn from her wisdom and experience. This girl has never been here before, but she knows the way very well--her mom has told her about it, her sisters have talked about the path, and she knows exactly how to get to grandmother’s house.

She reaches a point where there’s a fork in the road, two paths: the way of the pins, and the way of needles. They both take you to a clearing in the woods, where grandmother lives, but good girls always go the way of the pins. HOWL. She hears a howl, and turns her head to see a tall, handsome man approaching her. He’s got piercing eyes, broad shoulders, some scruff on his chin, and an open shirt showing the curly hairs on his chest.

“What brings you to the woods, young lady?”

She’s a little scared. But a little excited. You know that feeling when you see somebody you kinda like? And you heart beats fast? And you just run your mouth and say whatever comes to mind?

“Well, I--I’m going to grandmother’s house. I’m gonna learn from her. She’s gonna teach me all there is to know.”

“I see. I know where she lives. Let me take you there.”

“Oh no! I know the way. I wouldn’t want to trouble. Really. No need.”

“Well, I tell you what. You have these long, beautiful legs. Wanna race there? Both of these paths will get you there. Will you go the way of the pins? Or the way of the needles?”

“Oh… okay… I’ll go the way of the pins, of course, because I’m a good girl.”

“Very well. You go on ahead. I’ll take the way of the needles and we’ll see who gets there faster.”

The girl sprints down the path as fast as she can. And that man, he goes the way of the needles, and he starts running, and he get on all four. His bones bent out of shape and he lets out a howl. HOWL. Because that man is Bzou, wolf man, werewolf. He runs on all four, gets to the clearing, and realizes he got there first. He bursts into grandmother’s house, jumps into her bed, takes a big bite right out of her neck.

EAT. He eats all of her meat--she was very stringy.Then he eats most of her bones--brittle and crunchy. And he realizes that his dessert is on the way. So takes out a piece of grandmother’s liver and puts it on a plate. Then he wrings the blood out what’s left of her body into a bottle. And he sets those out. Then he puts on grandmother’s night gown and cap, jumps in bed, and waits.

That’s about when the young girl reaches the clearing in the woods. She looks around, very happy. “That strong and tall man wasn’t nearly as fast as I was.”

She comes into the house. “Grandmother? Where are you? I’m here to learn. I’m here to learn.”

She hears from the bedroom, “Welcome! You must hungry and thirsty after this long journey. Please, have some meat and drink some wine.” The girl cooks up that meat, pours herself a glass of that wine, and she’s about to eat her first bite when a BLACK CAT shows up.

“This slut is about to eat the flesh of her grandmother.” “What did this cat just say?” “Oh don’t mind that cat, throw your shoe at it.” So she threw her shoe at the cat.

And she’s about to take a sip of the wine (which she’s never tasted before) and black bird lands on the window and says, “This whore is drinking the blood of her grandmother.” And she hears, “Don’t mind that bird. Throw your other shoe at it.” And she does.

The girl finishes her meal. Bzou, dressed up as the grandmother, says “You must be tired from your journey here. Undress and come lie with me.”

She starts undressing and asks “Where can I put my clothes?” “Oh, just… throw it in the fire. You won’t need it anymore.”

She gets under the sheets and notices something is off.  “Grandmother, what hairy legs you have?” “Oh, it’s to keep you warm. Now shush.” “But grandmother, what big ears you have?” “Oh, it to hear you with.” “But-but grandmother, what sharp teeth you have?” “Yeah! It’s the better to eat you with.”

For some reason, THIS was point when the girl realized she was in trouble. She says, “Oh, grandmother, I… I need to go to the bathroom.” “Well just do it in the bed.” “Oh no! I can’t. I have to go outside.” “Fine! But I’ll tie this string around your ankle so I don’t lose you.”

As soon as that girl gets outside, she crouches down, bites into that string and ties it around an oak tree. And then she runs.

After a few minutes, the Bzou gets angry. “Well? Are you watering the grass or feeding the trees?” And he gets up to check on her and sees her far, far away. He gets on all fours and chases after her.

As she’s running, she finds a river stream too deep to cross. There are some women nearby, washing sheets. As soon as they see this naked girl in distress, the stretch out their sheets taught and make a way for her to cross. And she keeps on running.

When Bzou gets there, he says “if you don’t stretch out that sheet for me, I will shred you to pieces.” The women comply. And as he’s walking through, his paws get wet, and water comes up to his thighs. He turns around just in time to see one of the women let go: Oops! And he drowns and sinks to the bottom of that river.

That little girl knew that she was now a woman. Because like her sisters and all the older girls in town, she had come to visit grandmother, and boy did she learn something.