December 15, 2011

Untruths About the Desirability of Wolves, By Megan Engelhardt

People like to think there was something sexy
about the wolf. 
There wasn't. 
It was a wolf and I was nine
and wouldn't have known what to do with a sexy wolf

The sexiest thing in the woods that day
was Grandma,
who sometimes still goes dancing
with the widower cobbler from the village,
now that those elves do all the work.

Even if he was a smoldering pillar of manhood
(or wolfhood)
how would that have helped?
It's not like he seduced us into his stomach. 
Not like he batted his eyes
and showed some chest
and told us how beautiful we were
as we crawled into his belly. 

Sexy wolf?  Ridiculous. 

Here's the truth:

He was a wolf, big with big full eyes
and big ears and big sharp teeth. 
His paws were big enough to knock you senseless
with one blow,
his appetite and his jaws big enough
to swallow you whole. 
His stomach was big enough to fit two people. 

Being eaten was fast and it was hot and it was wet
and it was over before I even knew what was happening. 

Being pulled out by the woodsman was like being born,
like fireworks and waves on the beach
and a gasp of air when you've been holding your breath. 

What's sexy about that?

And if I have grown up to become a wolf hunter,
a leather- and wolf skin-wearing hellion,
it seemed only natural,
and what I do with my wolves
is my business.

Megan writes: "I have always wanted a red riding hood of my own, even though I never go riding and capes aren't currently in fashion.  I have previously been published in Silver Blade and the Silver Boomer books anthology From the Porch Swing."


Katrina said...

Oh, I liked this. It was vivid and beautiful, and so perfectly phrased.

Lissa said...

Well done--I loved the ending!

Kristina T. said...

The first line in this poem caught my attention immediately. The idea of anyone referring to the wolf as sexy really intrigued me. When she mentioned being nine to offset any ideas about the wolf’s attractiveness, then I was really interested. The detailed descriptions toward the end about how it felt to be eaten was graphic, but really left me feeling like I knew what being eaten by a wolf felt like when I was done. “Being pulled out by the woodsman was like being born, like fireworks and waves on the beach” was an incredible two lines. Being ripped from a wolf’s stomach was like fireworks bursting gave me an incredible image in my brain that I would love to see illustrated or painted. I did find the ending to be quite different than I was expecting. Little Red becomes a wolf-hunter in the end? That idea really never crossed my mind, so I found that to be a unique spin on the story.