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Once There Were Wolves - Charlotte McConaghy

"I’ll alert the villagers to lock up their wives and daughters. The big bad wolves are coming."
I meet his eyes. "If I were you I’d be more worried about the wives and daughters going out to run with the wolves."

“He’s a monster,” I say.
“You’re giving him too much credit. He’s just a man,” Duncan says.
“That’s dangerous. That’s how you let people do terrible things.”
He doesn’t take to this. “I’m not minimizing. It’s just that if you paint a picture of him as a monster then you make him mythical, but men who hurt women are just men. They’re all of us. Too fucking many of us and all too human. And the women they hurt aren’t passive victims, or Freud’s masochists who like to be punished either. They’re all women, and all they’re doing, minute by minute, is strategizing how best to survive the man they loved, and that’s not a thing anyone should have to do.”

“Do you think it can ever be?” he asks me softly. “Bred out of a creature?”
“The wild?” I reach to pat the dog and my fingers come very close to his. I want to touch him so badly I could combust. “It happened to us, I think,” I murmur. “Most days I think we couldn’t be farther from it, that it was slowly bred from us until we became more like machines than animals.”
“And the other days?” he asks.
“On the other days,” I say slowly, “I think I will go mad with the wildness.”

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