I’ve seen a lot of winters so you can easily mistake me for another tree in the forest. I am grey, gaunt, and crooked as my staff. But ignore me at your peril, son!
The huge, wild forest you are entering is so full of ravenous beasts that if I were to cut your horse into tiny morsels and throw them to the monsters, there wouldn’t be one bit for each hundred of them.
Still want to enter the forest, son?
Old Forest Guardian in The Witch and Her Servants, Yellow Fairy Book. Picture by Gustav Doré.