There comes a morning when you realise that going to Grandma’s house is not the project you thought it was.
You are not the maiden seeking initiation. You journey towards Granny’s house year on year, towards the darkly feral woodland grandmother you must become. It is your own self you ahve been looking for in all those empty cottages.
First you let your leg and armpit hair grow. In time, you will let your eyebrows follow their urge to meet in the middle of your face. You will let your upper lip grow its pelt and will no longer pluck the fur from your neck and chin. You will let grandmother come in through your skin in all her wildness. She is kin to all the other wild and dangerous beings of the woods. In time you may need to grow teeth or tusks, but it is early days yet.
Every day is a step closer to the house in the woods. Once you arrive there, nervous would-be acolytes will bring baskets, challenges and the hope of being bitten. You let your hair turn grey when it will, and wonder whose bones you may be called upon to gnaw a little.