Once upon a time, in the shadow of a mountain lived a witch. She wasn’t an old and ugly wicked witch. She was a caretaker of the mountain forest. Her hut was covered in flowers and the beings that lived in the forest knew her well.
One day, a strange wolf came to her hut. He was neither friendly or unfriendly, but seemed curious. The witch always welcomed all the life of the mountain forest to her, so she set out some food and water for him, bid him good day, and went about her daily chores. The wolf ate the food and drank the water, and watched her as he she worked. Everyday the wolf came and the witch would put out food and fresh water for him and he would watch her tend to her chores.
Then one day the wolf did not show up, but a man. He was injured and asked for her help. The witch thought it curious to see a man so far into her forest, but she couldn’t turn him away. She invited the man in to her hut and tended his wounds. He stayed with her for some weeks while he healed. They often spoke well into the night of all manner of things. The witch began to fall in love with the man, and he with her.
They often took walks in the forest and made love to each other in the moonlight. The days passed and everything seemed perfect until man told her that it was time for him to leave. He told her he loved her, but could not stay. He confessed he was the wolf that had visited her before, and had asked the forest gods to make him human to be with her if only for a moment. The gods agreed to his request, but only for a short time. When this time passed, then he would have to go back to being a wolf in the forest.
She cried at this, not wanting give him up. She begged him to stay. But the forest gods warned him not to stay too long, he said, or he would devour her.
She again begged him not to leave saying she would rather be devoured and no more than to live without him. He refused saying he could not live with the knowledge of hurting her. He kissed her farewell and told her that he would always be in the forest protecting her.
As the man left her hut, he turned into the wolf from before and loped into the forest only looking back once.
The witch, heartbroken, fell to her knees and wept.
Witch by Idgie Stark is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.