On the Way to Grandmother's House
Illustration by Allison McClay
Details"Careful, child, there are wolves in the woods," the butcher says to Louve's back as she walks through the village gates on the pale dirt path. But when the boys play at chasing the girls up and down pebbled roads she is the one who is never caught, so she thinks she is faster than wolves. She just gives the butcher a wave and continues on, blonde braid dancing behind her.
Usually her mother comes with her to take the weekly basket of food from the market to her grandmother, but her mother is sick and her grandmother never leaves her cottage in the forest. Louve is feeling very important as she carries the basket between two walls of trees, green-tinted sunlight spotting her round face. Remembering the wolves, she makes a game out of seeing how fast she can walk without breaking any of the eggs nestled in her basket. She reaches her grandmother's house with sweat on her brow and a wide smile that reveals gapped-teeth.
Her grandmother calls her "my lovely" and ushers her inside the dark-wood cottage to feed her sugared biscuits and tell her stories about her mother's childhood. They sit by the fire as she tells the story of the time her mother ran away from home because she refused to do her chores. Her father spent a whole afternoon looking for her in the woods...