Stepping into the forest robbed you of one sense and heightened the others. It was disorientating to be almost blinded but given the ears of a wolf. Even the soft susurration of the branches felt heavy in the ears. The sense of smell was sensitized, the loam in the earth and the decomposing leaves made the atmosphere close and thick. The blackness nurtured a sense of claustrophobia inside you even though the woodland stretched unbroken for miles. The narrow path, which was made uneven by the knotted roots that crossed it, branched at intervals. There was no map to follow, but even if there was the perpetual dark would prevent you from using it. Only the songs of the elders would take you through. That's why the children sang them every night before bed and then again after breakfast. They were the only way to navigate.