There are a few stories here that are true. Even the ones with foxes merit scrutiny. And the benefit of this trove of fiction to its author is the opportunity to speak plainly on those matters that engorge his heart, as I shall do now. Yet adroit readers will know that is just the sort of introduction to be wary of. What better way can an author lull his victims than with a friendly guarantee that nothing fantastic awaits them? What better way to drop the floor out from under them than with the comfortable carpet of fact?

Of course that is the great challenge of life: is the masquerade to be trusted or is it really a friendly face after all? How far can I take your faith in hand and into the woods which only I know? Will I lead you through, whole, or will I take you astray, diverging from the present reality to leave you fumbling for the reason and rhyme that should govern good stories?

But where was I? Ah yes, I remember now, in the midst of remembering the true story I had to tell, and in the midst of it remembering the veil of fiction that can render such confessions inchoate. It is a fine thing, telling stories.

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