Lost in the woods

As they went through the woods, the children left a trail of breadcrumbs so that they would be able to find their way back. They did not see the birds that swooped down and ate the crumbs as soon as they were out of sight.

When they were deep in the forest, they met a handsome wolf whose fur gleamed in the moonlight. The wolf moved ahead of them and then paused, waiting for them to catch up. They looked at each other and then hurried after their new friend. By this means, the wolf led them deeper into the forest. They continued to leave their trail of crumbs. And birds continued to swoop down to eat them.

But, with every stop, the wolf's fur seemed shabbier. And he moved more awkwardly - as if he was old and would rather have been walking on two feet. As they neared a small cottage at the very heart of the forest, one of them said to the wolf "What big front paws you have, Mr Wolf - almost like hands!"

And the wolf, standing up on his back legs, and reaching for a small stick that was standing propped against the cottage door replied "All the better for casting a spell upon you, my dears!"

But, before the wolf, who was now, unmistakably an old woman, could even make the cackle which all witches are honour-bound to make before using their wands, the smaller of the children chopped off her head with a single swing of the small axe which they had carried, hidden, under their cloak.

The children turned to retrace their steps but their breadcrumbs were gone. Luckily, they had taken the precaution of poisoning the breadcrumbs, so they were able to follow the trail of dead birds out of the forest.

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