The child huddled beneath its sheets as the wind blew in the trees outside the window. She tried to tune out the sound but it continued to howl, even when she put her hands over her ears. A whimper escaped her lips. As she heard the door creak open, she realized it was a louder whimper than she had thought.
"Child," came the voice of her grandmother. "What is wrong?"
"Nothing," she whispered back to the older woman. "I'm fine." She forced what she hoped was a smile to her face.
"You do not look fine," said her grandmother, sitting on the bed. The child opened her eyes, to see the older woman looking at her, filled with worry.
"It's the wind, grandmother," said the child at last. "It frightens me. It's so loud."
"Is that all?" said the older woman. She let her head back and laughed. "Why, child, you mustn't fear the wind. At least, not in this house which is safe and secure. Why, if you knew the truth you'd pity the wind, for it is such a sad and a lonely thing..."
The child blinked and stared. This sounded... intriguing. "What do you mean, grandmother?"
"Oh, it is a sad tale, of long ago days, when the world was young," said the older woman. "I would love to tell it to you." She looked around and began to rise. "Still it is late, and you are doubtless tired, so..."
"I... I think I could listen to it, grandmother," said the child.
"Very well," said the grandmother, sitting down once more. "Where to begin.... Oh, yes. 'Once upon a time'..."