Τετάρτη 13 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

Wednesday Story: The Wolf And The Vixen


A lonely howl
of pain and despair.
A lonely howl
upon the midnight air.
Drawing closer,
ever near.
We open our eyes
and find a tear.
As we turn to peer
it is suddenly clear.
It was not he who made the sound,
but rather thee that shook the ground.
A tear drifts down
his ebony fur.
He heard us shout
and call him "Cur!"
As the night turns into day.
Each in turn will walk away.
Poem by: Kim Lane

                                            The Wolf And The Vixen

Once apon a time, in an ancient forest there lived a lone wolf in his prime with thick grey-black fur,uptight ears, sharp, pointed muzzle, massive shoulders, ruffs of long hair framing the sides of his faces like sideburns, strong jaws and intelligent, inquiring eyes.

The lone wolf of our story hated being part of a pack and he would rather live and hunt alone. Once he'd grown into an adult wolf, he left the pack he was born in and started wondering alone in the woods. He chose to do so mainly because he hated following the rules of a pack, its hierarchy meant nothing to him. He didnt wish to be the alpha, dominant male but he wouldnt submit to any other male either. He loved hunting alone for food, preying on smaller animals but he also loved the occasional sweet berry and fruit of the forest and so he never went hungry.

Also, he was known for making friends, or even mating with, the most unlikely of campanions, not just outside his pack but also outside his species. He was known to have befriended animals that could have been his prey, such as beavers or deer, to mate with domesticated dogs, with bitches that were too lonely and too eager for his mating services, to steal the alpha female from an alpha male wolf or mate with wildcats that would normally try to tear a wolf to pieces and vice versa.

Then one day the lone wolf was out hunting for his supper for that night because he had not eaten in many nights. He would usually hunt for large animals like deer or mouse, as they could keep him full for many days but today he was so hungry that even a mouse seemed like a good idea. He was horny too, for it was mating season. The smells and the inviting calls from far-off bitches on heat would drive him crazy day and night.

The snow fell softly on his grey ears and his raven hair. "So…Hungry…" He grumbled as he walked along the snowy path. Then he stopped, sniffing the cold, crisp air. His superior nose had located a smaller animal. ''"Dinner!" The wolf mentally jumped for joy. ''Around a mile from here. I can smell blood too and that creature isn't moving, so obviously it's injured. Ha! That's my lucky day! I won't even have to chase my food!''

He chose a path that was easy to follow, taking the same trail as his pray before him, but it was still some time before he reached the injured animal, as the snow was deep and he had to be careful to stay upwind and out of sight of his prey. Lying in the middle of the road was a female fox, a vixen, one of her hind legs trapped in a leg-hold trap, bleeding profusely. She must have been there for quite some time because her red tail and ears were soaked with muddy snow and she seemed too weak to even be alerted by the wolf' s presence. She must have fought hard and long to get her leg out of the trap, but to no avail, so she had given up hope and lain there, awaiting her fate.

Now there was this unwritten law of the forest that stated  that if ever a wolf was to encounter a fox within the forest, that wolf is to kill and eat the fox. If ever a fox was to encounter a wolf in the forest he is to outsmart the wolf (hence all the folk fables about the two).

The wolf drew closer, sniffing the vixen. A beautiful female , luxurious coat of red-golden hair with black tips on her ears and paws. He could sense fear oozing out of every pore of her body, but she neither put up a struggle nor pleaded for her life, as some of his prey would do under such circumstances. She just lay there, heaving up, fixing him with her intense stare, with eyes that had already taken on a feverish glare from losing too much blood.

''It wouldn't do to kill her'', thought the wolf to himself. ''True, I am famished, but I am still a wolf, not a pathetic jackal. I do not prey on the dead, the ill or the injured. Her leg looks infected already, if I eat her, I'll get infected too. I supposed I can mate with her,'' he added to himself, for he was still as horny as hell,  ''but I don't enjoy mating with dead meat, either''.

He was about to turn around and leave, but something in the vixen's stare held him there, transfixed. ''Maybe I can bring her back to health before I feast on her'', he thought again, not wanting to admit that something about this fox made him want to help her . ''If I leave her here, she is as good as dead, because another predator will get to her sooner or later''

He firmly grabbed with his teeth the metal claw that held the vixen's leg, pulled it up and released her. Then he grabbed the fox by the scuff of her neck and started on his homeward journey. He had to cover a 5 mile distance to get to his den and the bleeding fox was heavier than he thought. He usually devoured his victims on the spot or dragged them to a safer spot,but this time it was different. Before reaching his den he had to swim across a considerable stretch of a lake to wash off any scent of the bleeding animal so that other predators wouldn't get to them. He was a keen swimmer and very comfortable in the water, but the lake was almost frozen and his load made it even more difficult to wade through icy water.

At last, tired and frozen to death, he made it to his den, at the end of a long and narrow tunnel at the foot of a rock. It was warm and comfortable there and the wolf put down the vixen and immediately set to work. He tenderly licked the blood from the injured animal's leg and put a special haemostatic herb on the wound to stop the flow of blood.

The vixen looked up at him, surprised.

- ''Aren't you going to eat me?'' she asked.

- ''Why would I want to eat you?'' he answered.

- ''Because you're a wolf and wolves prey on foxes''

- ''Who says I am a wolf?''

- ''You smell like a wolf and you look like a wolf''.

- ''But do I speak like a wolf? ''he asked, in her own language (he was very proficient in other animal's languages, due to the aforementioned fact that he liked making friends with many of them).

- ''Also, wolves are known to hunt in packs. Did you see anyone besides me in the forest?'' he asked her again. ''Not to mention the fact that if I were a wolf , you'd be dead in my belly by now.''

- ''If you are not a wolf, what are you then?''

- ''I am a cross between a dog and a fox'', he lied.

- ''There is no such thing''.

- ''Indeed there is and he is standing right before your eyes, miss vixen''

- ''Where did you learn to disarm a trap like that?''

- ''I once had a hunter's little daughter as a friend''.

The vixen's eyes grew wide open. Befriend humans! Who could ever do that!

- ''What happened to her?'
- ''She grew up, got married and forgotten all about befriending wild beasts like me'', said the wolf, licking the vixen's auburn coat, nibbling gently with his teeth to remove the bloody and muddy notches off it. The vixen was weak and feverish, too weak even to stand up or walk, but after a while she felt warm and comfortable, covered her nose with her long nail and fell asleep.

 Then the wolf slipped out of his den to hunt.

He returned early in the morning, a dead beaver hanging from his mouth.

- ''Eat this, it will make you better,''.He hovered the dead animal in front of the vixen's mouth.

- ''I can't eat'',she protested, head between her paws.

- "Geez, stubborn…" The wolf chewed some beaver meat in his mouth then leaned down to the vixen.

- "You will get better" He grumbled before he forcibly opened the vixen's lips with his mouth  and gave her the food. After a while, the wolf, exhausted, fell asleep curled up next to the vixen. But it wasn't long before he woke up with a jolt. The vixen was  trying to drag herself out of the den and up the tunnel, apparently with little success, as she was still too weak to walk.

- ''Where do you think you're going?'' growled the wolf.

- ''Let me go!'' cried the vixen. ''You dont understand! I have to go now!''

- '' If you tell me why, I'll let you go''.

- ''I ...I have cubs.... an eight mile distance from here...they'll die of hunger if I don't bring them any food..''

The wolf sighed. This creature was too much trouble, it seemed. For a moment he was tempted to let her go. He had done his good deed for the day, she would have to fend for herself now. But the thought of never seeing her again was somehow too painful. He wearily stood up.

- ''I'll carry you there, vixen. You can't even stand up properly, let alone walk an 8-mile distance, not to mention that all those predators around here will be on your scent in no time.

So he draped her over his shoulders and tiredly carried her up to her den, where two very hungry and scared cubs greeted her with shrieks of joy. Then he went hunting again and returned several hours later with two dead rabbits for the hungry cubs.

''Thank you, stranger Fox-Dog'',said the vixen. ''God bless you for your kindness to me and my cubs''.

-'' I'll be coming back to check on you'', promised the wolf and true to his word he would return every couple of days to make sure the vixen was getting better, bringing along food for the little family''.

Within a week the vixen could resume hunting for her family but the wolf still kept coming back to her.

 Even after her cubs grew up to be young foxes themselves and left to seek a life of their own. The two of them, the wolf and the vixen, became close friends, often lying by each other's side, grooming each other and talking about their day, or playing it rough, shouldering one another, bumbing bodies together, flopping tails over each other's backs, leaping up each other's necks.

They both grew very attached to each other. There was only one thing that the wolf wouln't even want to hear about: hunting together with the vixen. No matter how she pleaded with him, he wouldn't have it. '' I hunt alone, little one,'' he would tell her. ''Don't ask for more than I can give you''.

The vixen grew suspiscious and decided to follow the wolf around in one of his nightly hunts.

 It was a beautiful night, lit by a glorious full moon. The wolf set out to hunt, unaware of the fox who kept herself downwind so as not to make her presence felt. After a while several shadows approached the vixen's friend. Five sturdy wolves greeted him.

-Good evening brother,'' said one of the strangers. ''We have located a herd of deer not too far from here. There is plenty of food and fun to be had for all of us. Are you game for it?''

-I'll gladly hunt with your pack tonight, brothers!'' said our wolf. ''Let's go!''

The vixen, appalled, watched all of them, her friend included, throw back their heads and howl to the mood in a true wolf manner.

-''He is a wolf! He lied to me'', wept the vixen. ''How could he? I thought we were friends...''

She tried to find some excuse for his lies, but she couldnt.

The more she thought about it, the more outraged she became.

She even followed her wolf around on a second night just to make sure and she saw him befriendind a wiesel.

''I am not a wolf,'' she heard him tell her. I am a cross between a dog and a wiesel.''
''You smell like a wolf and you look like a wolf'', replied the unsuspecting wiesel.'But do I speak like a wolf? ''he asked, in the wiesel' s own language.

- ''Also, wolves are known to hunt in packs. Did you see anyone besides me in the forest?'' he asked her again. ''Not to mention the fact that if I were a wolf , you'd be dead in my belly by now.''

-''The son of a bitch!'', cried out the vixen, choking with indignation. ''He goes about duping stupid animals like me into believing all sorts of nonsense about him, heaven knows for what reason...''

The next day the vixen confronted her friend.

-''You lied to me'', she accuseed him, eyes blazing with anger. ''You are a wolf, a predator of foxes! Did you honestly think I wouldn't eventually find out? Get out of my sight and never ever set foot on my side of the forest again. I don't want to set eyes on you again for as long as I live....''

She would have none of the wolf's explanations. She sent him away and sat under a tree, weeping miserably.

An owl hooted overhead.

-''Why are you crying, little fox? ''she asked.

The vixen, happy to be able to confide to someone, told her the whole story.

-''Αm I not right to be angry with him? ''she concluded.

The owl shook her head.

-''You think too much with your brain and too little with your heart, vixen.
You are keen on judging people's words, not actions.
True, he lied to you.But wasn't he the one that saved your life? The one that restored you back to health? The one that provided for youand your cubs when noone else would? Being ungrateful is a sin worse than lying.....''

-''But once a wolf, always a wolf! What if he wakes up one day and decides to tear me apart? After all, it is in his nature to do so! ''

-''Life is full of surprises, both good and nasty ones,'' replied the owl. ''You never know what awaits you around the corner. Today might be your last day in this forest. It that were the case, who would you rather spend it with? Replace fear with love and you'll know what course of action to take''.

Time passed but still the vixen could not find it in her heart to trust the wolf again.

Then it was mating season again and the vixen was in heat. Several interested foxes starting frequenting the area around her den and the ancient animal courtship dance began in full swing.

As the vixen stood amidst her suitors, boringly observing their courtship advances, she heard a distant and yet oh-so-familiar growl echoing through the woods. Her heart leapt with joy.

-''My wolf is coming to me'', she enthused.

Within minutes the wolf's intimidating growls and overwhelming presence scattered her fox suitors away. The wolf and the bixen stood there, facing each other, the wind howling through the woods. The wolf ran his tongue along the smaller one's bottom lip. The female mewed to the other's touches and he draped his paws over her shoulders. Their tongues meshed with each other until none of them could control it any longer.

-''We are not supposed to mate,'' said the vixen, breathless as the wolf flopped her on a bed of soft fern.''It is against the laws of nature for two animals of different species to mate''.

-''Says who?'' whispered the wolf in her ear, as he leaned himself over her.

-''Everyone...'', moaned the vixen.

-''Tell them to shut up and watch...'' whispered the wolf again, as he grazed lightly  the silken ,golden fur on her napewith his teeth , to which she replied with a playful bite of her own.

That very night the two of them moved to a secluded part of the forest, where no one would ever find them. Even though the war of the foxes and wolves still remains to this day, the wolf and the vixen of our story stayed together and lived happily ever after.

Oh and if you go up to the forest and walk along the over grown path you will find the cottage they once lived in..

Note: Injured wolves are indeed taken care of and intensely groomed by other pack members, providing both physical and mental comfort to the injured animal.

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