To that end, he liked to tell the story of how he once ventured off into the woods alone. He was a very young boy then and the forest was, then (and now), a very old and dark and unfamiliar forest. And this was why he ventured off into it-to become familiar with it, that is. Not to get as old as it. Because the forest had a headstart and was far out of reach.
Having read Hansel and Gretel, Allister knew that adventures made by children into old, dark, unfamiliar forests required planning, required leaving a trail behind you to follow on your return home. But, having made sure to read to the end of the story, Allister knew that the old, unfamiliar forest's unfamiliar birds would swallow your trail if it were made of breadcrumbs- or crumbs of any kind.
And, so, Allister left a trail of cyanide capsules.
Allister chose cyanide capsules for two simple reasons. One, they were solid and would not wastefully seep into the ground like so many other liquid poisons. And two, he lived in a place where cyanide capsules were readily available-his father being a chemist specializing in cyanide capsules.
Of course, most children do not have access to cyanide capsules. But, there is a myriad of poisons you can use-everything from bleaches (but do take note of liquid poison query mentioned earlier) to, the more obviously named, rat poison. And much in between and around the house and forest (also, in chemist labs)-hemlock, topical anesthetics, deadly nightshade, battery acid, beans of the castor bean plant, lead paint, strychnine, arsenic, paint thinner, and furniture polish, etc, etc.
In these times of convenience, in fact, most poisons can easily be found by locating a "Mr. Yuck" sticker.
But, it should be stressed at this point (as well as various other points throughout this story and after), especially for any children presently reading this story (stress this doubly for them), that children should never ever never play with poison...
...unless they are going on a trip into an unfamiliar forest.
This is the one place where children carrying poison should be absolutely encouraged. Because, unlike Hansel and Gretel who were almost eaten by a witch when their trail of bread crumbs disappeared, Allister returned home safely by following the trail of dead birds that lay before him-as well as a few larger animals who had tried to eat the dead birds.