Sam Peppardino was an historian, and Sam knew that history is always written by the victors. What Sam suspected – what he was exercising his brain on this evening – was that so were the fairy tales.
“Do you think ugly sisters are always nasty, Pippi?”
Pippi purred at the mention of her name.
“Or that step-mothers are invariably cruel to their step-children?”
Pippi stretched and then turned three times in Sam’s lap before settling down.
“Are all princes brave, charming and handsome?”
Pippi licked a paw and began cleaning her shiny black coat in a particularly awkward place behind her right ear.
“And what about old women who live in the woods: they can’t all be witches, can they Pippi?”
Pippi opened one green eye and stopped her cleaning paw in mid stroke, as if to ponder the question before answering it. Only she didn’t; not then.
Later, when Sam was fast asleep from all this brain-work of his, she would put the question to her friends in the forest glade where they were accustomed to meet on nights like this. For the night was a full moon night.