|The Wolf Cub
A dusty orange glow sifted into the cabin and
danced upon the tall man's eyelids as he slept. The morning was coming on and
the prone man would soon stir. The sun's rays created a warm feeling that grew
in intensity upon his face. Movement was finally evident and the bearded figure
awoke slowly, first stretching his limbs, yawning, and then rising.
The small rustic cabin smelled strongly of
hides and fresh game meat. The dweller of the cabin traipsed about in his union
suit preparing the breakfast fire which would also take the mountain chill off
his bones. A hindquarter of venison hung from the rafter, and the man sliced a
hunk from it to roast over the fire and fill his insides with the nutrition it
demanded. Nice thing, he thought, about fresh meat, is that it contains all the
vitamins and other necessities for the old bones. Some cook old frozen meat
until the best nutrition is cooked out of it. It was a shame that he could not
eat as the mountain men and Indians had - dipping fresh, raw liver into the
The meal satisfied him and he donned his
buckskin clothing. A large Bowie was then strapped to his waist and a possibles
bag was slung over his shoulder. He kept a little jerky in the bag for
emergencies. The canteen would be left behind. This would be a leisurely walk
through the mountains' forestland, and springs were everywhere.
The wildlife varied greatly here, but the tall
man was intent upon approaching what he considered to be the only den of wolves
left in the range. A good half-day's journey loomed before him, and he was
certain that he would see some sign of life if he could only be patient enough.
The small cave's mouth had betrayed some activity on the return from his last
hunt. If he hadn't scrutinized the tracks, he would have immediately sloughed
them off as coyote. What he didn't need was another grizzly encounter, for who
would be so lucky the second time?
The sun rose sharply in the sky as he walked
along the invisible trail in his mind. It warmed the environment and made
another mountain day as perfect as countless ones before it. The fresh pine
scented air never ceased to revitalize the well-muscled, lanky man, and today
the air carried to his nostrils the fragrance that only a storm could bring. He
discounted it for the wind was changing at that very moment. and he could rest
easier and enjoy his day that he had planned.
Topping a small rise, the man proceeded to get
down on his belly to stalk the entrance of the den. Ever so slowly, his head
came from behind a protective rock. A wolf was lying at the entrance with its
face away from him. After considerable time, the den displayed no signs of life.
It was surely strange that the wolf did not move even in rest. The man made the
decision to walk closer to the den, and his nose flared at the odor of death.
The wolf at the mouth of the cave would provide no threat this day. Upon closer
examination, he found no wounds on the wolf’s body, so he deduced that
poisoning had taken place to deprive the wolf of life. Looking around, the man
spied a furry form of a cub also dead. The local ranchers had apparently set out
coyote bait again to rid themselves of what they considered to be a nuisance.
The far-reaching effects of their ignorance maddened the man until his ears
picked up the muted cries from the bowels of the den. A half-starved cub was
crying in hopes that its mother would rescue it, but found that it had no
strength to resist the strange creature which now pulled it from its lair.
Pulling some jerked meat from his bag, the man chewed it till it became softened
for the young teeth of the cub.
As he ambled toward home, tears fell for the
senseless murder that had taken place. And as the tears fell more profusely, the
savior of the cub gained an anger that grew intense as though fire consumed a
dry forest. He would find the source of the poison and exact a sort of
retribution that would be appropriate. Soon, he noticed the results of the food
given to the cub. The young wolf was certainly lucky not to have received any of
the poisonous meat. Right now he fell asleep, apparently deciding that that
which fed him wouldn't harm him. The man decided to raise the cub as his own,
but felt that if he ever wanted his freedom, he would be allowed to have it.
Company would be welcomed at the cabin, as his only visitors were Mahqui Witco,
or Bill, and his lifelong friend from the flatlands.
Why can't ranchers and predators live together?
The big man felt that wisdom never reigned too high in those that did not live
close to the Earth Mother. He decided that he would let the area know he
intended to fight for co-existence, or no existence at all.