As Annemarie walks through the woods with the basket over her arm, she shivers in the gray, chilly October morning. The path curves deeper into the forest, and Annemarie picks up speed. She runs through the woods, imagining herself as Little Red Riding-Hood—a story she has often told to Kirsti at bedtime. At the same time, walking the familiar road, she remembers the story Mama has told her of her own childhood, walking through the woods to school each day. Annemarie tries not to worry about her mother, though she can’t help thinking of the poor woman with her hurt ankle back at the house.
Annemarie has always been the one who comforts her younger sister with fanciful stories and fairy tales. Now that she is in the dark woods on her own, in pursuit of completing a mission whose failure could pose danger not just to herself but to many people she loves, Annemarie is the one in need of comfort, and she turns to familiar tales of bravery and intrepidness to bolster her spirit.
As Annemarie gets deeper and deeper into the woods, she keeps hearing noises, and thinks of how, when telling the story of Little Red Riding-Hood to Kirsti, she always makes sure to draw out the part where Little Red runs into the wolf and make it as scary as possible. Annemarie tries to tell herself that the noises she’s hearing are just rustling trees and snapping twigs, but just as she rounds the bend that empties out into the harbor, she finds herself face to face with four Nazi soldiers—and two large dogs.