Once upon a time, in the days before The War of Roses, there dwelt in a small hamlet of simple farm folk and sundry tradesmen just nigh of the great forest of the north, a very beautiful and charming maiden. Fair of skin, buxom of form, and blessed with self-bounty, this sweet maiden’s name was Rose. The youngest daughter of a miller, she lived in peace and grace, cherished by her family and her neighbors as a vigorous soul and loyal friend. She was fondly dubbed by those in that shire as ‘Red’, not only for her lustrous mane of dark red hair, but for a long hooded cloak of red velvet her grandmother had made for her. Thus, she came to be known far and wide as Rose the Red.
Rose dearly loved and cherished her grandmother who lived in another small village to the east, on the other side of a vast and dark forest. She lived alone in her small cottage and wanted for little as friend or neighbor. It was common in those days for Rose to venture to her grandmother’s to deliver things or to render aid and perform chores for the dear old woman. Rose was always happy to visit her and spend hours at her side. It was not a tremendous journey and it could be endured quite easily and without conflict, except on certain occasions.
It also happened that within the dark woods that lay between the shire and the village to the east there dwelt a great and terrible wolf. The stories told that the great, black wolf haunted the dark depths of the forest and struck fear in the hearts of both village folk and travelers alike. Not many had seen this great wolf. Those who did, spoke of a tremendous black beast, lager than a buck deer and that it sprang from the shadows with the speed of a horse and chased its prey with an unnatural cunning and relentless resolve. No brave huntsman could track it nor armed company capture it for it only haunted the woods at night and then only on nights when the moon showed full. To be certain, all townsfolk and farmer alike dreaded the dark woods on such times, and all who heard the chilling howl of the great wolf cowered in fear and kept their doors bolted against the night.
One late summer’s day, her mother called Rose from her morning’s chores and bade her take to her grandmother a restorative she had brewed for the old woman’s rheumatic ills. Her mother placed the remedy in a strong basket woven of thatch and heather then told Rose to bear it to her grandmother but to tarry naught and be home ere dark for the night of the full moon was upon them. She kitted Rose with her red cloak and nubuck heels then sent her on her way.
It was a beautiful morning as Rose made her way past pastoral hedge and gate with a merry heart. She set herself to pass through the dark woods entirely in daylight and had no concern of peril nor impasse. She was making good time and then just before she came to the woods she spied her dear friends Astrid and Addie, two charming maidens of Rose’s age. They greeted each other warmly and began customary fain prattle.
It was well along when Astrid asked, “Where to Rose? What chore calls you to the road with neither cart nor horse?”
“Nay, friend Astrid.” Rose laughed. “Tis a visit on my Grandmater through the wood.”
“Were it I in the wood, tis a certain handsome woodsman I would visit,” proclaimed Addie with a mischievous smile.
“Why dear Addie, whoever could you mean?” asked Rose with a knowing smirk.
“Why Ulric the Fair, silly lass,” chortled Astrid. “Who with shoulders so broad and arms so strong, a happy girl I’d be to just rest in his shadow.”
“Tis his bed I would be happy to rest in,” plotted Addie and all three laughed.
It was common knowledge among the cater-cousins that they all fancied Ulric. And true it was that Rose kept a special place in her heart for him. Dreamily her hours were spent in secret yearning for his sturdy build, his gentle spirit, and his considerably stern face with so wistful eyes. Rose would have loved dearly to bask in her friend’s company and trade longing wishes over their favorite topic, but the day was wasting and to her grandmother’s she must avail. She bade them a fond ‘rest ye merry’ and she ventured onward into the unchancy gloom of the Shirewood.
Rose passed through the forest with barely meeting another soul until she neared the far side. Then, who should she meet but Ulric himself. The sturdy, strapping woodsman was clad in his leather jerkin and leggings and looked as a dream to any available maiden alone in the forest.
He was coming from the opposite direction and leading his yoked team of oxen. Her heart leapt with joy as he greeted her with the warmest of smiles and gallant bow. “Fairest of all, what brings Rose the Red to my humble forest?”
“Why good neighbor Ulric, how long must a young maid wait for an invitation to your humble forest?” she responded with her practiced cureckitycoo comportment.
With a bemused look in his eyes, he advanced a step toward her and played into her sport, “Had I the time, I would have delivered one myself.”
Thrilled by his approach, she hopped a step backward and teased, “Had I not a dearth of good men’s fancy I would have received you.”
He smiled at her playfulness and stepped toward her again, “And yet you pry yourself from all these good men’s fancy to visit my humble forest.”
She laughed, hopped quickly to one side, and swung her basket behind her to clasp with both hands, making herself completely helpless to his whim. “Pry as I might, tis to your forest I come,” she mused. For the moment, he was hers and she thought that if the mood was right he just might try to steal a kiss.
With the most charming of smiles, he lifted his mighty hand and touched under her pretty chin and said, “And here it is I would beg you to stay if not for...” The thought seemed to slip his grasp and after a brief pause he changed the subject. The two chatted briefly about acquaintances and events about the shire.
She so enjoyed his easy, aptycock banter and grandiose gallantry and would have gladly spent the remainder of the day in his gaze and trading eliads in the warm summer light but she had her errand to run. She begged her leave and her hope to see him again. “Should your fancy yearn, you can find me back down this path,” she added in a flippant manner and as she said it she spun round to let her hair fly about her, for his delight.
He caught her hand as she twirled and stopped her still. “Harken the dark,” he said sternly, brusquely out of step with his gentle nature. He bent forward over her hand and inhaled deeply before kissing her wrist. Looking up at her under his surly dark brow he imparted to her this warning, “Proffer your trade and forsake the forest before dark, for it is the night of a full moon and the wolf will be about.”
His face was grim and his tone was grave so that Rose took his warning with great charge. She curtsied in exchange of his gallant gesture.
They bade each other fond but modest farewells and Rose continued on her way. As she crested a hillock, she turned to capture a last glimpse of her affection’s mark. It gave her heart a thrill to see that he was watching her part. They both waved again and then turned about to each their paths.
It was just past noon when she came to the crossroad where the forest path met the much longer path around woods and she knew she was near grandmother’s cottage. Rose broke into a happy trot and soon found herself on the dear old woman’s stoop. She knocked vigorously and announced herself before opening the door. As her eyes adjusted to the dim light, she called out again and then followed the old woman’s weak reply from the far corner. It was a shock for Rose to find her dear grandmother dauncy in her bedclothes and a in a moribund state.
Rose hugged her, saw to her comfort, and then went straight to work. She built a good fire and warmed the restorative brew her mother had made. She set a cup of it before the old dear and then busied herself with chores about the house. She did some quick cleaning. She chopped some wood and brought it in be the fireplace. She pulled up some roots from the garden, washed them, and set them ready in her larder.
By the time Rose had finished her chores, her grandmother was spryly on the mend and soon parwhobble with chatter. And so the two engaged the rest of the afternoon, chatting, singing, and enjoying each other’s company. Rose made them a supper and as they finished she noticed the long shadows on the floor. It was long past time to bid her farewells and get herself home.
Red set homeward and it was not long after leaving the safety of the hamlet she found herself back at the crossroad. Rose stopped and pondered the choices presented. With night approaching she knew the shorter path through the forest would get her home faster. But the longer path was safer with many friends and refuges along the way. And yet again the forest path drew near the house of Ulric the Woodsman. Haply, good Ulric would take her in and give her lodging. Haply, warm hospitality would be offered. Haply, even more. Surely if the trail proved too treacherous she could call upon him for sanctuary. Rose recalled in her mind his fair face and manly frame and her mind was made; the forest path and a friendly visit to the woodsman.
The sky was still light when she came to the center of the forest and neared house of Ulric. She knew the way to his home from many a visit with her father and brothers. Not far from the forest path, she arrived among his sturdy structures of stone and timber and knocked at his door anxious for his warm hearth and warmer smile. But there came no answer. She knocked louder and called out his name. All was silent from his house and outbuildings. All about betokened vacancy, his livestock were put away and the barn boarded shut as if for a storm. She thought he must be away and it troubled her, for now her gambit for the forest path became a foolish risk which may cost her dearly. The full weight of her mother’s bodements condemned her folly.
There was no time to linger on it. With night coming on fast, her only hope now was to forge onward quickly in hopes of reaching the edge of the forest or perhaps meeting Ulric somewhere along the way. She proceeded on the path at a hastened pace and her heart grew more anxious as the sky got darker and the path collied. Worse still, dappled light of a rising moon harkened the true danger of the forest. A night of the full moon and in the heart of the great wolf’s realm.
Rose quickened her pace to a trot to put as much of the forest behind her as she could. She had made a great deal of progress and began to reassure herself that the edge of the Wald was within safe grasp when she heard in the distance that dreadful howl she knew all too well. It was the wolf, could be no other. Rose froze in her footsteps and listened. That mournful bellow broke the stillness again. It came from behind her, from whence she came.
Rose broke out into a full run. She knew he would surely pick up her scent if he had not already and needed to find safety before he could catch her. The path that was treacherous enough in daylight became deadly ordeal of snares and obstructions. Just as she was beginning to make headway Rose was tripped or became entangled in the dark maze of brambles and branches. As she picked herself up from a particularly bad fall she heard that terrifying howl of the wolf again. He was closer now and quite obviously in pursuit.
There was no order to her alarm any more. Rose fled down the path in desperate panic. Finding the edge of the forest was now a fight for her life. She completely abandoned the trail and now sought any clearing or lighted patch in the darkness. Her fear-maddened mind thought the light to mark the end of the forest but each clearing revealed only more bosky darkness beyond. She ran onward from clearing to clearing, hoping each to be safe haven. But each clearing betrayed her and she soon feared she was only plunging deeper into the forest.
She heard the howl again, this time only a trite space behind her. She screamed her fear when she heard it and threw herself recklessly into the dark. A bright spinkie-den opened before her and she flew toward it as her last prospect. Branches tore at her clothes and whipped her flesh. She could now hear the footsteps of the beast falling on the ground behind her and despair seized her.
As she broke into the light of the clearing she quickly glanced back over her shoulder to mark the wolf’s presence. The sight of the beast gasted her anew for not only was he much closer than she had thought, he was much larger than she had thought as well. Most startling of all was that his forelegs and hind legs were unusually long for a wolf and he was running after her on two legs.
She now screamed out her fear in desperate hope she could call on aid or mercy. She turned back in fright but not soon enough to see an old tree root that jutted up from the grass. She caught her foot on the root and tripped headlong onto the grass. A fatal blunder.
The shock of striking the ground knocked her senseless for only an instant but when she recovered and rose up to her hands and knees to spring onward, she heard a deep growl from right above her head. Frozen in fear she felt the wolf’s breath hot on the back of her neck and expected his fangs in her throat the next instant. Instead of a merciful death, she heard the wolf sniffing about her. She felt his presence as he stepped around to her side. She saw his large paws as he passed before her face and all the time his sniffing her with his great nostrils.
In her tumble, her skirts had tossed up over her backside and she now felt the beast’s breath on the back of her legs. He began to sniff intently about her rump and she nearly cried to have this indignity compound her impending death. His nose was cold on her skin and she quivered at his touch. Then, to her shock, she felt the raspy wipe of his tongue sweep over her. He licked. Licked again, and then washed over her exposed sex with his tongue. He lapped at her for quite some time and had not she feared for her very life, she might have had to admit she rather fancied it.
She was hoping for his abstraction to disarm his wits and she might purchase an escape. She tried to compose herself and made a plan to bargain his interest in her backside for a quick spring into action. She thought if she could not outrun him, perhaps she could scurry up a tree where she might outwait him until dawn. Before she could affect her move, the wolf forsook his lapping and stepped over her with both front paws astride of her shoulders and she knew her chance had passed.
In fear of his fangs, she drew her hands about her neck her face fell upon the grass. Instead of sharp pain of a terrible death, she felt the wolf’s forelocks close about her ribs and then the coarse hair about his haunches pressed polrumptious against her upturned backside as he crouched low over her stooped form. The wolf began to thrust himself against her bottom and at once her present horror of a brutal death was replaced by a new one. He sought to bestialize her!
No escape was feasible as she felt the weight of is chest drop upon her back. With his newfound leverage, his thrusting wolfness pressed forward against her bum. Between his driving hind legs she could now feel the shroud of his weapon shoving against her maiden’s nest with every stroke whilst his wet, pointed tuck shewed from within. On one furtive stroke the weapon found its mark and the succeeding thrust it slipped atwixt the delicate petals of her womanly flower.
Rose gasped in shock as a long, hard, slippery lance pierced nether and thus in one quick plunge the wolf had made her his mate. The stiff, slender spear quickly gained her feminine gates and plundered her depths. His slippery red dart poked and yerked within her feminine sheath and the wolf made good use of her proffered charms. His hairy haunches slammed against her upturned bum while sliding and pressing around her fleshy hips.