Big Bad Wolf on the Broken Prison System


All the better to…

Big Bad Wolf got out of the joint a changed man.
He saw God in lockup one day while
carving his name in his cement cell
and resolved the change his evil ways
when he got out of solitary confinement.

Wolf grew up on the wrong side of the bear tracks,
but he wasn’t a bad pup,
just sad and lonely:
the last of a pack of dogs
who got caught in sheep’s clothing.

As a puppy, he was always picked last for team games,
warming the sidelines instead of playing “find the little pig.”
He suffered from asthma, and dreaded the full moon,
afraid his howling voice sounded more like
Little Bo Peep, the wheezing Queen of Emphysema,
than a proper sheep eater.

Every moon cycle, he would claim illness with
a fake doctor’s note and spinach pill to make him sick,
rather than face his classmates ridicule.

Another pup once called him “Lil huff and puff,”
and Big Bad bit his snout clean off.
The rest of the wolf pack
didn’t talk to him after that.
Maybe that’s where his anger came from:
those lonely days with only his rage to keep him company.

After doing time for geriatricide,
Big Bad studied the religion of turning the other cheek.
He realized it’s the deeds
that make the canine,
not his upbringing,
and following his finals,
Big Bad suddenly had
a college degree in theology.

He spent his Sundays at the soup kitchen,
baking bread for children who lost their grandmothers,
and his probation officer even agreed to let him
wander the woods, provided he began
a rigorous 12-step program.

Wolf was on his way to rehab
when Red stepped into his path.
He could see her scarlet silhouette etched into the tree line
from miles away, and as he crept into the shadows
to avoid temptation, he remembered his training.

Big Bad was on step 6 on the list to forgiveness,
and realized he had to apologize for
what he did to Red’s grandmother.
As the little girl rounded the bend
and her red hood came into sight,
Big Bad leapt out of his hiding place to make amends.

Little Red was ready;
she aimed wolfsbane directly in his face,
sprayed until the can was empty,
and ran away into the darkness.

To this day, the Wolf is chasing her,
trying to say he’s sorry.

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