You lean against me, heavy limbed and droopy eyed.

Quiet, so quiet, too tired even to grind your teeth.

Slowly and gently your day clothes are removed, your comfy pajamas put on with hugs.

I roll you carefully into your sling.

And you greet the slow descent of the hoist arm with a slight smile.

Thanks Mum, it says.

The final proof that bedtime is here.

Up and down you go until you're resting on your pillow.

Pink of course.

I pull and push the foam sleep system until you relax in its snug embrace.

The duvet is up to your chin.

But wait.

What's that I see?

A little hand sliding out from under the covers to rest on your chest. It's always this way. Always the right hand.

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Young Werewolf by Cornelia Funke