Where is my grandmother?
There’s nobody here but we two, my darling.
Now a great howling rose up around them, near, very near, as close as the kitchen garden, the howling of a multitude of wolves; she knew the worst wolves are hairy on the inside and she shivered, in spite of the scarlet shawl she pulled more closely round herself as if it could protect her although it was as red as the blood she must spill.
Who has come to sing us carols, she said. Those are the voices of my brothers, darling; I love the company of wolves. Look out of the window and you’ll see them.
Snow half-caked the lattice and she opened it to look into the garden. It was a white night of moon and snow; the blizzard whirled round the gaunt, grey beasts who squatted on their haunches among the rows of winter cabbage, pointing their sharp snouts to the moon and howling as if their hearts would break. Ten wolves; twenty wolves – so many wolves she could not count them, howling in concert as if demented or deranged. Their eyes reflected the light from the kitchen and shone like a hundred candles.
It is very cold, poor things, she said; no wonder they howl so.
She closed the window on the wolves’ threnody and took off her scarlet shawl, the colour of sacrifices, the colour of her menses, and, since her fear did her no good, she ceased to be afraid.
~Angela Carter, The Company of Wolves