© By Abraham Lincoln
I woke up that hot and muggy morning and remembered the wolves I had spent some time with. A commotion caused me to walk outside and go around back between the fence and where the shed used to be. I found the ground was covered with feathers like those found on the ground when a fox gets into a chicken house. A whole wing lay there as if it was dropped when the wolves fled.
I figured the wolves heard me and were up before I got there but then I saw them with ears laid back, licking bare teeth—I feared I had doomed myself to a terrifying death—torn to pieces by the wolves that were circling around me.
A pup stuck its head out of a hole in the rocks, almost too small for a grown wolf to pass through, and howled at me and then I bent low to pick up the chicken wing and offer it to the pup.
The scene of the old man being torn apart and gulped down growling throats caused me to tremble thinking that I was that old man and was about to experience primitive man’s best friend in a way I would keep secret forever.
The wolves grew closer—I could feel their bodies brush against me. This caused me to shake like a leaf in a summer breeze. I was scared to death when the big Alpha male jumped at my throat and knocked me backwards—sending howling wolves everywhere.
The scene must have looked like a circus—colors, yells, barks, whines and smells.
Flat on my back, waiting on the death bite, hearing nothing but silence, the first feeling was a wet, sloppy lick across my face. Stunned that my throat was still intact, my eyes popped open and there, on my chest, as dominant as any Alpha male or female, was the pup—joyously lapping my mouth and nose and eyes with sloppy kisses.
With a bit of whining the wolves backed away and laid on the rocks around their den entrance—the adults were settling back to watch the pup tear me to ribbons—I thought but it never happened.
Still, smoking nostrils flared wide with canines dripping; a growl from his gut sends pups scampering for safety closer to their mom. She licks each one and that seems to calm them down as the Alpha male trots away to sulk under a wild grapevine. Such is the life of a wolf family along Wolf Creek, where we live, in Ohio.
My dad said he spent his “growing-up years” on the farm, in Preble County picking up rocks in the fields and hauling them over to build fences with.
He remembered hearing wolves howling at night but never spoke to me about seeing them.
Most people talk about their temperament and how dangerous they are but they are, for sure, man’s best friend’s ancestral cousin.