Archives for posts with tag: children’s stories

Everybody Knows a Wolf Can’t Smile
by Daniel McGinn

A wolf walks at her side. He keeps growing with the shadows, stretching his big bad self across the woods, loping smoothly with a six tree stride. The fur on his back is wild and electric, not soft and pretty like the hair that slips in haphazard curls from between Red’s hood and cape. The wolf has forgotten about the basket of goodies and is fixated on the scent of little girl blood. His paws move silently. His ears stand erect as he focuses on her footsteps, snapping twigs and comingling of breath that joins the girl to the animal. Look at the moon resting on Red’s riding hood as if she is the source of light. Look at the wolf, housed in darkness, hidden by trees, his eyes lit bright and yellow like a blackbird that waits and watches and almost smiles.

IMAGE: “The Woods Belong to Me” by Budi Satria Kwan. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel McGinn‘s work has appeared numerous anthologies and publications, his full length collection of poems, 1000 Black Umbrellas was released by Write Bloody Press. He recently earned an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He and his wife, poet Lori McGinn, are natives of Southern California. They have 3 children, 6 grandchildren, two parakeets, and a very good dog.

by Mary Bast

Yeah, I know you’ve heard of me, probably via H.C. Anderson. Some say you shouldn’t take me too literally. What kind of girl would, #1, be so desperate for a pair of shoes she’d do anything to get them? Oh, have you forgotten a stranger took me in? How do you know what happened to me before? Maybe I was a victim of human trafficking. I was a cute kid and knew how to charm people, so there’s no way I was going without those fancy slippers. I wanted them because no one else had such elegant footwear, and for the first time in my life I felt special. I saw no reason for the demand to not wear them in church. A stupid rule, asking to be broken. #2, do you think I knew the damn shoes would never stop dancing?

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: According to Bruno Bettelheim, fairy tales give children a structure to work through shadow issues. As a child, my favorite fairy tale was about a girl, “more than nice,” who was finally given a pair of red shoes she coveted. The shoes made her want to dance and she wore them everywhere, even to church – though she’d been ordered not to. Whereupon the shoes kept dancing, clinging so fast when she tried to remove them, she had to have her feet cut off! Macabre though it seems, what a great metaphor for my shadow longing to not be such a “nice” little girl and at the same time worried about dire punishment if I strayed.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Bast writes poetry, found poetry, and memoir. Most recently she’s been in Blue Monday Review, right hand pointing, The Writing Disorder, Pea River Journal’s “Remaking Moby Dick,” and Poetry WTF!? When Mary’s hands are not on computer keys, they’re holding brush to canvas, inspired by North Central Florida’s woodlands, lakes, and prairies.