The Black and White Edition.
A bad summer, and the crops didn’t grow. Now winter is coming. Everyone is hungry. People search desperately for the last of the nettles and acorns.
Elka and her little brother Daw huddle under their blankets, trying to keep warm. Elka is too hungry to sleep. Awake in the dark, she overhears her parents whispering.
“I don’t want to watch them starve. Take them into the wood and leave them. Take them far in, so they won’t find their way back, and leave them.”
The next day their father takes them into the wood, to look for mushrooms. Daw goes along innocently, holding his father’s hand. Elka follows because she doesn’t want Daw to be alone.
The light fades. Their father vanishes into the darkness among the trees. He doesn’t come back.
And then come the wolves…
Where do these lost children belong – in the village with the people who left them to starve?
Or, in the wood, with the wolves?
(The black and white edition.)
'No one writes this kind of dark tale better than Price... brilliantly reworks folk themes... an atmospheric and poignant story. Not a word is wasted.' Books For Keeps.
'This is a powerful piece of writing -- a folk tale where difficult issues are confronted, no compromises allowed and no happy ending guaranteed. There's no escaping the anger of the little girl who decides to leave the world of her parents and remain with the pack of wolves who looked after her - nor the loneliness of the brother who pines for her at the edge of the forest. This is a classic.' Carousel.