Before leaving to go out into the forest, I warned my kids to be on guard against the wolf. I knew that if he came through the door, he would devour them—every one of them—skin, hair and bones. He is voracious and he often disguises himself. I explicitly told my kids to look out for his rough voice and his black feet.

When I came home, the door to the house stood open. Table, chairs, benches, and wash-bowls were all thrown down on the floor, and my children were nowhere to be found.

The Old Mother Goat in The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids, Grimms. Picture by Arthur Rackham.