I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

Caroline calls it Mimi Time, as in “I think I need some Mimi Time” (her name for me is Mimi) and I call it Caroline Time, as in “I think I need some Caroline Time.” She is almost five, her birthday is next week, and I am almost 56, my birthday is in June. But we both are old enough and young enough to like good dog Pearl, playing outside, coloring, listening to Christmas music in January, and reading out loud.

 Our current favorite storybook, discovered by accident — she chose it for the cover yesterday at the library after Story Time– is a version of the Grimm fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood” re-told and illustrated by Jean-Francois Martin and originally published in Paris, which seems oddly timely, and it is also oddly and pleasantly, for we Americans anyway, uncensored and bittersweet. It begins, “One day her mother said to her, ‘Little Red Riding Hood, here’s a piece of pie and a bottle of wine. Please take them to your grandmother. She needs a treat!'” It ends with a hunter cutting open the wolf and pulling Grandmother and Red Riding Hood safely out of his belly. “The wolf, of course, did not survive the operation, and so that was the end of him. The hunter took the wolf’s fur to sell and gave some of it to Little Red Riding Hood, so her mother could make her a nice fur coat. Everyone was happy. Grandma enjoyed the piece of pie and the wine. And Little Red Riding Hood was especially glad just to be safe.”

— Especially glad just to be safe– I keep thinking about that. Will  “Especially glad just to be safe” be our grandchildren’s version of happily ever after?