By Jill Witty
Look, Officer. You’ve got it all wrong. I didn’t murder either of them. Hear me out.
First, this girl comes skipping by my pad whistling like a Sunday cardinal, and so I go out to shush her, because all the kiddos are asleep, you know. She shows me this lunch she’s bringing to her grandmother and invites me to join them for a feast. The smell of sweet cherry pie hits me hard, and my mouth starts to drool, and all I can think is how badly I want to bite into those plump, luscious jewels. So I say sure, I know which house she means, I’ll meet her there.
But when I show up, nobody answers my knock. I peer in the windows but the curtains are shut, and I’ve got this eerie feeling, like maybe something’s happened to the girl. So I walk around the house and find the back door unlocked. I tiptoe in, round the corner, and there’s Grandma, pointing a shotgun right in my face. I raise my arms and try to explain that the girl invited me, but Grandma doesn’t listen, tells me to scram, and then she shoots. Lucky for me, the old gal misses. Before she can try again, I dive for the gun to knock it away from her. In our skirmish, the gun fires, and Grandma collapses.
What could I do? Any second now, the girl’s going to breeze in, and I know she’ll scream if she sees her grandmother like that, bloody and limp. So I drag Grandma’s body into a closet, and I cover the stain with a rug. Then I figure, maybe if I dress up like Grandma and pretend to be asleep, the girl will just leave the basket and go home.
I smell the pie before I see the girl, and I duck under the covers. She approaches the bed and says “Hi, Grandma!” I don’t answer, but she doesn’t take the hint. Instead, she’s describing her walk, the flowers she picked, the pie her mom baked. Then she’s looking at me real close, and she’s jabbering about my features, my eyes, my ears, like I’m in the doctor’s chair or something.
In my best old lady voice, I remind her how ill I am and beg her to let me sleep. But she gets right up in my face, opens my mouth and inspects my teeth, which are pretty sharp, I’ll admit. Her hair tickles my nose, and I can’t help it—I let out a huge sneeze. Her head’s still in my mouth, and the sneeze causes my teeth to catch her throat and slice it in two. Blood spurts everywhere, bright red like her cape, and the hood flops over the stump of her neck, while her head rolls off the bed and stares up at me with eyes like ripe grapes.
So you see, Officer, I’m not a murderer. I’m just an unlucky wolf with an insatiable craving for pie.