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Wolf Hut - complete draft

by andinadia 

Posted: 16 April 2015
Word Count: 955
Summary: Well, this is how it turned out. I hope the intriguingness of the opening has survived, even if it may have lost some of its Pinteresque ambitions!

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Wolf Hut
Spread 1
Big Wolf and Little Wolf arrived at their hut. Big Wolf looked at the sky.
“It’s not looking good,” he said.
They saw a large shape sitting on the ground.
Big Wolf narrowed his eyes. “Go and open the back door,” he told Little Wolf.
It started to rain.
(a/w: A park, around 8 AM on a winter morning. Big Wolf and Little Wolf are walking towards a simple sports hut that has been converted into a tea room. Its name is visible: Wolf Hut. Shape of pig sitting on ground, hunched up, wearing trilby, clutching a briefcase. He is protected from rain by awning or extension of roof. It should not be obvious in this picture that it is a large pig.)
Spread 2
“You’ll get wet sitting there,” Big Wolf said.
Little Wolf opened the door from inside the hut. The shape stood up.
“You’d better come in,” Big Wolf said.
(a/w: The pig stands up, while Big Wolf waits by the door. We can see that he has the silhouette of a pig, and his ears are just visible. Little Wolf is going round the back of the hut.)
Spread 3
The customer took off his hat, shook his ears and sneezed.
“Tea?” Big Wolf asked.
“Yes,” the customer said quietly.
Big Wolf narrowed his eyes.
“Please,” the customer said, and he sat at the table in the corner. Little Wolf put a flower on the table..
(a/w: A large pig in an undersized greatcoat and pin striped trousers enters the cafe. We can see the ends of his pin-striped jacket poking from the ends of his coat sleeves. Big Wolf is standing behind the counter. Maybe also a close up of Big Wolf’s narrowed eyes?)
Spread 4
“I thought you might like some cake too,” Big Wolf said. He brought a large slice of Victoria Sponge.
“Thank you,” the customer said, and sneezed again.
The customer sipped his tea. Little Wolf set the other tables.
The customer took a pen from inside his jacket and started to doodle on a napkin.
Little Wolf wanted to see the doodle. It was a house.
(a/w: Hogarth’s doodle)
Spread 5
The customer ate some cake. He closed his eyes, licked his lips with his big pink tongue, and opened his eyes again.
“This is lovely cake,” he said and smiled.
Little Wolf saw shiny teardrops in the corners of the customer’s small round eyes.
(a/w: Hogarth’s face, enjoying the cake, with tears forming in his eyes.)
Spread 6
“You are very kind,” the customer said. A teardrop dripped from his long pink snout.
Little Wolf did not know what to say. He had never seen anyone smile and cry at the same time.
“Do you live around here?” Big Wolf asked.
“Not really,” the customer said. “I don’t have a home. I lost it.”
(a/w: Hogarth’s tear falls.)
Spread 7
“That’s terrible,” said Big Wolf. He frowned.
“I’ll make you some fresh tea,” he said.
“Let’s make some cake too,” Little Wolf said. He did not understand how someone could lose their home but he knew how to make cake.
Big Wolf gave Little Wolf a look.
(a/w: Blank looks on all faces.)
Spread 8
“Did you make this cake?” the customer asked Little Wolf.
“Yes,” Little Wolf said. “Would you like to help make some?”
They made a Victoria Sponge, with real cream. The customer, whose name was Hogarth, loved mixing the flour with the butter. He made a mess but Big Wolf said it was okay.
Big Wolf put the oven on, so that it would be hot enough when the cake mix was ready.
(a/w: Making the cake.)
Spread 9
While he was mixing the dough, Hogarth told them his story,
how his house blew down when he was very little
(“I didn’t know how to build houses very well,” Hogarth said.)
how he lost touch with his brother and sister,
He told them how he went to work in a bank,
how he made a lot of money,
how he lost a lot of money.
(a/w: Vignette for each phrase in his sentence:
  • Hogarth’s straw house blowing away in wind
  • Older brother and sister living together in brick house
  • Posing with Ferrari outside mansion
  • Leaving bank, downcast, with briefcase in hand, wearing trilby)
Spread 10
“But I didn’t lose much, really. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t make other people happy.”
“I’ve never told anyone my story before,” he said.
Little Wolf poured the cake mix into the tin. Big Wolf opened the over door and Little Wolf put the tin in the oven.
(a/w: Little Wolf pouring the cake mix into the tin. Hogarth is watching.)
Spread 11
The smell of cake drifted from the oven. Big Wolf made some fresh tea.
“Mr Hogarth, what’s in your bag?” Little Wolf asked. Big Wolf gave Little Wolf a look.
“It’s okay,” Hogarth said. He picked up his briefcase and pulled out a silver cup, a medal and some photos.
(a/w: Hogarth is sitting at his table and picking up his briefcase.)
Spread 12
The photos were of his brother McTrough and his sister Sowberry.
“What are you going to do now?” said Big Wolf.
Hogarth looked at Big Wolf.
“You can stay with us,” Big Wolf said. “For a while. If you’d like to.”
(a/w: Photos show: McTrough in front of house of straw. Sowberry in front of house of sticks.)
Spread 13
“Maybe your brother and sister will come to the hut one day, Mr Hogarth,” said Little Wolf. “Lots of people do. We can ask our friends to help us look,”
Hogarth smiled.
“Thank you, friends,” he said.
(a/w: Sun is appearing from behind cloud.)

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Comments by other Members

a.m.edge at 16:01 on 16 April 2015  Report this post
This makes me think of that short story A Small, Good Thing by Raymond Carver, where the baker bakes rolls and gives them to the bereaved parents - in your story, the cake is the 'small good thing' that allows forgiveness. Great stuff, Andy. So understated and a heart-rending ending.
Just a technical point about the cake-making details in Spread 8. When you make a Victoria Sponge you mix the butter with the sugar first, then fold in the flour after the eggs. And sugar has more of a symbolic significance anyway. I'd suggest swapping flour for sugar.

andinadia at 20:01 on 16 April 2015  Report this post
Thank you Annie. smiley

And thanks for the baking tip. I love cooking but never bake. Though I'm a huge fan of Victoria Sponge, especially at Wolf Hut.

andinadia at 21:22 on 17 April 2015  Report this post
I'm interested to know, should the fact that Hogarth was one of the Three Little Pigs be indicated earlier, or is it better being saved to the end as it is now?

I'm also a bit worried about the doodle scene. Is it helpful? Does it fit naturally?

Skippoo at 09:11 on 20 April 2015  Report this post
Hi Andy,

Forgive my naivity here (as I've said before, I'm not experienced with writing for younger children or terribly confident with critiquing it), but what does 'a/w' stand for?

I have to say, I'm not sure about Big Wolf's narrowed eyes - at least not the second time you use the phrase. It's an interesting image and I suppose, partly why wolves are often seen as bad guys. It could also add to the tension around what the reader may expect of a big wolf (fairytale baddie or unexpected goodie?). However, narrowed eyes could indicate a variety of things (e.g. suspicion, disapproval, craftiness/evil, frowning/concentration), It was OK the first time you use the phrase. Here, Big Wolf seems as if he is just trying to work out how to manage the situation. However, the second time, I was unclear whether this was Big Wolf disapproving at the pig for not saying 'please' or if it was something else. And if I'm not sure, what would a young kid think? So perhaps a little too ambiguous? I thought this when I read your previous draft (which I didn't get around to commenting on!). 

Yes, perhaps the doddle is a bit forced. Could it be a photo instead? He later has photos on him, anyway. Maybe he gets them out earlier to check they haven't got wet or to dry them off because they have? That also gives you the option of dropping in that he's one of the three little pigs earlier, although I don't feel you necessarily need to do this.

'Little Wolf did not know what to say. He had never seen anyone smile and cry at the same time' I love this! A child getting a glimpe into the complexity of adult emotions.

Love the Ferrarri and mansion! I also love the way you've given a new twist to the 'hard work' moral in the original fairytale - how perhaps it got twisted in our greedy, capitalist times. Very topical. I wondered if you could make more of this by telling us a little more about how Howgarth lost his money or how he didn't make people happy.

I really like this all in all. Great title too - and love the fact it's inspired by an actual place!



*doodle, not doddle!

andinadia at 10:09 on 20 April 2015  Report this post
Great points, Catherine, all of them. I think we're all working with the same toolbox more or less, whatever our (hoped for) readers' ages.

a/w just stands for 'artwork' ie illustrations


Skippoo at 10:15 on 20 April 2015  Report this post
Aaaaah, of course! Thanks for clearing that up! :-)

TassieDevil at 16:33 on 20 April 2015  Report this post
Hi Andy,
This has taken shape well from the initial idea. Has a great positive feel about it. I wondered if the pigs in banks was a nod to those china pig family from the bank in the eighties or does that simply show me up as being ancient?

andinadia at 17:22 on 20 April 2015  Report this post
No, although I can see the idea (piggy banks/banky pigs!)

I'm not sure where it all came from, other than that Wolf Hut represents the simple life, and the theme of Wolves suggested Pigs. From there I went to the opposite of the simple life, ie the financial services sector and the crash. The story is meant to reference the Three Little Pigs story of course, but I also wanted to leave it a little bit open (the wolf is probably not the one who got boiled in the pot!) 

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