"My! What Big Teeth You Have, Mr Wolf!"
Once upon a time, a lone wolf slunk un-noticed into a tiny village, which sat in the lea of the vast and difficult terrain of an enchanted range of mountains in a far away land. The village had an air of tranquility suited to the wolf, who only wanted peace and quiet, one decent hot meal every other day, and a pantry in which to hoard his favourite nibbles - most notably of the kind that satisfied his sweet tooth, like sticky nougat and chocolate buttons, for example.
No one noticed the wolf's arrival in the village, let alone knew of his existence among a huddle of deceptively small dwellings off the beaten track. Stealth, utter commitment to keeping the peace, and a penchant for sleep had ensured his anonymity thus far.
"What a life I lead", mused the wolf as he sipped fine ground coffee one morning. Gaily coloured birds flitted and flew around his perfectly tended garden. "Such a fine sunny morning, it is; perhaps I'll take a stroll around the village before it gets too much hot."
He swished his long, sumptuously soft tail, as was his habit when under the influence of an act of pondering; which created a delicious breeze about his person to help in his decision making process. He had to think very carefully about the implications of going outdoors during the day. Make no mistake, particularly if you're of a sensitive disposition or fear strangers of any kind, the wolf did have an engaging personality, in addition to having a propensity for getting to the root of things that he found either interesting, suspicious or just down right curious. He knew that if he started courting friendships, he might well find himself getting into more bother than he or they had bargained for. He would mutter something about the need for breaking eggs when making omelettes, but it only served to confuse some in the village because this was fancy language indeed; besides which, not everyone had a hen-house!
So, with his customary morning ablutions dispensed with, he brushed his tail and groomed unruly whiskers about his nose. After a final check of his appearance in the looking-glass, he set out onto the road. Adopting his signature loping gait, the wolf soon came upon residents of the village. In the hope that all their wishes would come true, they had gathered by the cosmetically challenged tree-folly to post missives to their fairy godmothers. Some of the fairest of them all were placing orders for glass slippers, or looking to see if anyone had a spare bag of magic beans.
At first, as can be expected in polite society, the wolf doffed his hat, flashed a row of serious looking teeth, and bid 'good day' to all he met. Many of the residents embraced the wolf's propriety (albeit in a metaphorical sense) and his capital southern manners. There were others, however, who viewed him with deep suspicion and turned their backs on him, preferring instead to trade such a show of refined social behaviour with pecksniffery never before encountered by the wolf. Ho hum, thought he, as he turned on his way back home in time for a currant bun and a pot of chamomile tea, but not before picking a sweat smelling boutonnière along the way.
Not long after his encounters with the folks of the village, the wolf's ears, which were considerably large, even for such a distinguished looking specimen as himself, pricked up at disturbing rumours once again doing the rounds. They had long since wafted around the local populace, weaving in and out of the various tea houses; such yak and confabulation babbled like snow melt off the mountain, whispered through the long grass on the village common, and tapped on the kitchen windows of scallywags and fair-folk alike.
The nature of this scuttlebutt alarmed the wolf to such an extent that he felt it imperative to undertake one of his legendary investigations. Suitably qualified for the task at hand, the wolf took as a possibility for an initial source of information, his attendance at an open meeting of the local confab. Armed to his aforementioned recently whetted teeth with important searching questions supported by admissible research, a freshly polished nose honed for sniffing out rats and rapscallions of the most unsavoury sort, and dressed as sharp as a Turkish barber's razor-blade, the wolf entered the Chamber of Confab, to the ascertainable astonishment of the assembled convocation.
For a moment, the wolf thought he'd accidentally walked into the butcher's shop, such was the unexpected flash of vermilion of the most garish hue by way of decoration on the walls. But since he failed to smell anything remotely meaty to eat, initially at least, he concluded that he was indeed in the right place. He couldn't help wishing, however, that he'd chosen his Bvlgari shades rather than his more practical Ralph Lauren spectacles; such was the unsavoury glare from this unfortunate choice of colour.
The wolf soon found a seat upon which to sit - not difficult, as it happened, since he was one of only three daring dwellers to have descended on this apparent den of iniquity in time to challenge the hitherto unchallenged on matters of bamboozlement.
"What big ears he has", observed one of the consuls with a flick of her hair.
The wolf nodded in agreement, "All the better to hear you with, my dear."
"What big eyes you have", was the nervous observation of another.
"All the better to see you with", was the wolf's reply, with eyes as burnished as a pair of conkers blazing over the rim of his spectacles.
"What a big nose you have", came the rather rude remark from under a log.
"All the better to smell you with", was the wolf's retort, wrinkling his nose in disgust at such a show of ill regard towards new-comers.
"Have you seen his teeth?", a comment that did not go unnoticed by the wolf - he really did have big ears, and missed nothing.
Enough was enough. On this last obiter dictum, the vermilion walls seemed to pale in comparison to the wolf's sight of a red of the most petrifying chroma!
"All the better to eat you with!", roared the wolf, to the utter horror of the assembled assembly.
This appreciable turn of events quite stunned the consuls in their attempts to exert authority over the wolf. He was having none of it, and proceeded to ask difficult questions, wield awkward statements, and generally cause an uproar - no pun intended.
The consulors endeavoured to gather their wits before the wolf devoured them all outright. But for the probable bout of uncomfortable indigestion sufficient to keep him up all night, the wolf abstained, for the moment at least, from sinking his teeth any deeper into his investigations.
Not given to giving up easily, and with a nose for bad smells, the wolf's pursuit of his quarry was relentless, until finally, a breath of fresh air assaulted his nostrils and raised his spirits for the better. It would seem, as with other tales of derring do, there comes a time when those who cast a dark and dangerous cloud over their community, all the while peddling misdeeds of a nature too scandalous to believe, soon get their comeuppance. In this case, the perpetrators of doom and gloom took it upon themselves to recognise when their time was up and disappeared into nowhere of any consequence; and equally as far away as to satisfy the wolf that things could change for the good of all.
The sun shone once again in the village, as the sign of peace was exchanged amongst the humble. Sadly, however, there still remains another faction of particular interest to the wolf. It is thought that some of them hide in dells and under bracken, they dine on mischief, devilment and such waggishness so far from gaiety as to make one woozy with the bane of it; behaviour most certainly not in the interest of the fair folk of the village.
There is hope, mused the wolf as he raided the sweet pantry for sugared almonds before retiring to the parlour to put his feet up for a snooze, there is hope. Before long, there could be heard by anyone brave enough to get close, the satisfied snores of the wolf. He'd fallen into a deep sleep worthy of the type undertaken by bewitched princesses. Snuggled up in his favourite chair, under his cosy red shawl trimmed with antique lace, he dreamt up the next stage of his plans to help make the village he loved a brighter, faction-less, and friendlier place to live.