Wolf Blood

Wolf Blood

Three wolves are loping through woods. The three the wolves were on the urgent matter of hunting for food. The group of wolves was made up of two males and a female. Greta’s primary concern is getting enough food for her three pups back at the den. One of the males was Lucifer, Greta’s mate. Lucifer’s muzzle and face were white. The rest of him was black ears, forehead, and body.  Greta’s fur was gray except for brown on the edge of her ears and the top of her muzzle. The other wolf was known as Gus had found some rabbit burrows in a small meadow about ten miles from their den. That is where the threesome was heading. Near the knoll, they stop.

Greta and Lucifer circle around the meadow to find a spot where they can spring their trap. Gus with nose to the ground searches for a promising burrow. Gus stops for the third time and frantically starts digging. Seconds later a large rabbit pops out the ground and starts to run. Gus tries to herd the rabbit in the direction of Greta and Lucifer, but then it happens.

The three wolves were so intent on their kill that they did hear the thump, thump approach of helicopter rotor blades. Greta and Lucifer watch as Gus crashes into the turf. His nose hits the ground at the same time the ground was being chewed up chasing the rabbit until it too stops running. The Alpha couple doesn’t understand what is happening, but they know they are in danger. They turn and run toward the woods, running side by side searching for safety. Greta running for her life driven by a combination of rat-tat-tat and the thumping of chopper blades then red liquid spurts out of Lucifer and he goes down.

Greta plunges into the woods, but her fear keeps driving. She runs for another mile crashing through the forest, her heart beating faster and faster, until she trips.  After Greta rested awhile, she returned to the meadow where she last saw Lucifer. However, the only thing that is left of Lucifer and Gus is the scent of their life blood. She sets off on the trot back to the den and her three pups.

An hour later Greta is getting close to her lair when she picks up the scent of death again. There were areas where the smell was strong and getting stronger.  As she approached the entrance to her den, she spots the lifeless body of one of her seven pups, just outside the entrance. She enters the hole only to find the remains of her other two pups. A female member of her litter no longer has a face. Greta returns to the forest which has always been a safe haven for her. That night Greta casts her voice on the wind mourning Lucifer, her pups, and the rest of the pack.

 For the next week, Greta survives on carrion and berries, staying deep in the forest. Then the wolf spots a rabbit. Greta gives chase until she feels an explosive burning pain. It is harder for her to breathe or run and then she falls to the ground. Her life blood flows out her.

Jack a veteran park ranger had been listening to wolve howls for decades. He bragged that he could distinguish the difference between wolf howls. A man in his forties, broad shouldered, red flyaway hair, jade eyes, sat on his back deck listening intently for his beloved wolves for the second night.  For three nights he had only heard a single wolf howl, and that was Greta’s. Tonight she was silent.

The next morning as soon as he pulls up to the main office he knocks on his boss’s door.

“Doug, I think the Tioga Pass Scoundrels have been wiped out,” Jack said.

“That will make the cattlemen outside of the park, happy,” Doug said. After taking a deep cleansing breath, he continued, “I’ll have dispatch put out a cautionary call for all Rangers to keep a watch out for them.” Doug’s physique had suffered from sitting behind a desk for a few years. His brown, thin, hair was graying at the temples.

“Thank you,” Jack gave his boss a gracious smile.

For the next few days, Jack jumps as he receives each radio notice.  Then on the fourth day, he finally receives a call to him from the dispatcher. He races to the site the dispatcher told him about.

“What did they find,” Jack asked Doug as he got out of his jeep?

“Jack, some young kids found a body and told the local sheriff,” Doug said. “They thought it was a big dog.”

“She’s over there,” Jacks boss to a group of uniformed men. “She’s a female wolf. Unless you’ve seen her up close, I doubt you’re going to be able to identify her.”

“I saw her through my field glasses. I’ll know,” Jack said.

Jack and Doug trooped over to the group of lawmen. As soon as Jack broke through the circle, he saw the ravages of mother nature. He knelt down next to the body. Jack touches the head, “Sorry girl, you deserved better than this.”

“Why are so emotional over a wild animal,” the sheriff asked with a sneer.

“She is one of God’s creatures,” Doug’s voice bellowed.

“Can we take her back and bury her in the park,” Jack asked.

At the park office, they wrapped her remains in old blankets and then put the body in a pine box. Then a group of Rangers carried the box to a whole which had already been dug.

Later that night, Doug pulled up to Jack’s house. Before he got to the front door, Jack stepped out, “What do you want,” Jack asked.

“Well if you have some beer and CD player I have something to play for you,” Doug grinned.

A few minutes later Jack came back out, and each of the men leaned up against a porch post. After a few moments, Jack cleared his throat, “You said you had something to share.”

“I recorded a wolf howling a few days before you came into my office. I copied it to a CD.”

Jack placed the proffered CD into his player. The sound of a lone wolf howling started Jack to tear up. 

“Oh no,” I didn’t want to get you all weep eye,” Doug said.

“That’s Greta howl.”

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Something Is Missing

      “Professor Christopherson, I have been told you can help me,” her voice was like a lifeless monotone.

    At the time of the student’s interruption, I was sitting at my desk looking over student papers. My preference would have been to look out my window at the building across the quad. In my small office, I have bookshelves on both walls and a credenza underneath the window. I am used to students walking into my office asking for help with their assignments. However, I am not used to seeing a student whose appearance speaks of someone in shock. She looked like a white sheet just laundered. Her olive eyes were dull and glassy.

      “Miss what is your name,” I asked?

      “My name is Lucia Schroeder. I am a business student at this university.”

      “Why don’t you have a seat,” I heaved myself out of my chair and pointed to an uncomfortable chair on the other side of the desk, “are you hurt?”

      Lucia sat in the chair prim and proper giving me the impression she was well bred, but her wardrobe told a different story. She wore jeans with holes in them and a loose-fitting sweatshirt. Her attire did nothing for her curvaceous body. I studied her for a minute trying to figure out what would bring her to me. A business major coming to me seemed a little odd especially since I teach sociology.

      “What can I help you with?” I looked into olive colored eyes.

      “My friend Jenny is a sociology major and said that you were a great instructor,” Lucia’s spoke with a hitch.

      “Are you thinking about switching majors?”

      “No! No, it’s not funny. Can’t you see this country is flushing itself down the drain?” I retreated to my side of the desk, all the time trying to remember a student, named Jenny. The next time I would meet her I was going to remind her I was a sociology professor and not a psychiatrist or a guidance counselor. However, I surmised that she was taking the vitriol a little too seriously.

      “Miss – Miss, what is not funny?” “My name is Lucia,” she reminded me, “you were making fun about what I said.”

      Not realizing it, I might have been chuckling, “let’s start at the beginning.”

      Lucia explained that because that the national election was her first time to vote, so she immersed herself into the process. She wanted the experience to be special, to her was a sort of right of passage, from teenager to an adult citizen. Lucia was taken by surprise, by the level of hate and violence, at some of the rallies. Because of all of it Lucia’s confidence level had taken a major hit along with her lifestyle. She felt naive, gullible and oblivious instead of being confident, rational and prepared.

      “We are going to go back to some basics. The type of basic which is the essence of whom we are. We’ll be talking about moral and values. I want you to think about your definition of values,” I said.

      I was startled, when her soft voice stated, “I am not sure, what you mean by values.”

     Clearing my throat I answered, “the meaning of values may be defined as a measure of something worth and good.”

     Lucia slipped out my office door, in silence and deep in thought. I was about to return to reading student papers when it dawned on me. When I realized, we hadn’t scheduled our next meeting time. I dashed into the hall, looked in both directions, but she was gone.

     Three days later I was searching for a book which was on the right wall of my office when I smelled perfume. Lucia stood in the doorway.

     “Lucia you ran away before we were done. Can we agree to set up another meeting time before you run out of here?” My husky voice must have stupefied her?

     “I was dismayed that I hadn’t learned anything about values before I came to college,” she looked glum. Despite that glum look, I could listen to her fluting voice.

      It is unfortunate that prosperity overwhe  lms a society. During my teaching career, I have seen students that have come from homes, in which their fathers trying to achieve the American dream, work themselves to death. And the mother who has to go to work to help. In the end, both parents have forgotten that the most important gauge, of their success, is their child. Lucia did not have any values incorporated into her life.

      “Surprise! Very few young people are prepared for adulthood,” I motioned her to a chair.

      “I believed after twelve years of schools I should be better prepared for life,” Lucia argued.

      I laughed too heartily at her statement because high cheek bones turned ripe tomato red, “no one in human history has ever been prepared for adulthood. Especially the humans that went through the school of hard knocks.” I commenced stifling a chuckle.

     “Well, I guess I better go back to class. I am very sorry I took up your precious time,” she stood up to leave. “Oh, no I signed on to help you. Which I still want to help to do.” I walked around the desk and blocked her. “So, what are your values?”

     Lucia sat and rattled off that she valued honesty, dependable, reliability, committed, motivated, and respectful.

     “OK,” my smile was guarded. “So, now that I’m aware of my values are. Where do I go from here?”

     “We need to decide what type of values you have,” I clamped my eyes shut. I wanted to go slow because Lucia’s inner being was so shaken.

     “What are the types?” “Core, social, and moral. The values you claim as yours are core values. Those values are in a state of flux. People improve some, add or subtract others.”

     “Why wasn’t I aware of all this,” Lucia was visibly shaken?

     “Values are not taught in a classroom. They are not part of a classroom exercise. Values are taught by parents, family, teachers, society, and church.”

      Lucia looked at her watch and looked up into my face blinking a lot, “I have class in about ten minutes.”

      Lucia was excused after we decided on our next meeting time. I instructed her to set aside, a lot of time for discussion when we met. I planned that the next time we met we would finish this discussion. Then we would give it a time and then discuss how she felt. When Lucia came into my office the next time. I saw signs of improvement. She was walking a little straighter. Her expressive face was less drawn and more alive.

     “So where do we start,” I asked as she sat.

     “Let me ask you some questions about you. Because I am wondering if I am understanding morals and values,” she suggested. “From the look of your nose, I would guess you’ve been in a lot of fights.” Her high cheeks changed to light red. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude.”

     “Don’t be. Your summation was right. In my youth, I learned to box which helped me to fight for what I believed were the right causes.”

     “So you believe a person should fight for their beliefs?”

     “Yes,” I smiled back, “so tell me what kind of values are we talking about,” I asked? I wanted to get her attention off of me and back on her.

     “We’re talking about morals.”

     Lucia and I talked about the areas of human life from which morals were derived from society, government, self, and religion. I repeated that values and morals are not taught in a classroom, but are learned as we go through life.

     “So moral values are in a constant state of flux,” Lucia argued.

     “No —— yes. They are in flux, but not necessarily all the time. Let me illustrate most civilized societies derives their own morals and laws from the Roman System of Law. As societies advance the old system of laws to erode.”

     “OK. Explain to me how we get moral from our own self.”

     I used the example of infants and young toddlers. A child that is forbidden to touch or take an object in early life, learns to look over the shoulder if their being observed. Over the years a child derives the capacity to discern right from wrong.

     “We have discussed core and social values and with your help, I have also learned that values are derived from the self.”

     “The last source is religion. All of the world religions have their own lists of right and wrong by which a person should live. Most often a follower of a given religion will give a big show o f following those religions behavioral codes.”

     “So where does that leave us,” Lucia asked?

     “For your generation, the job is going to be finding you own sets of values for this country. It’s not going to be easy,” I said.

     “Can we go back to the old set of values,” she eyed me with skepticism?

     “It’s up to our society what values it wants to go by, so I can’t give you a definite answer.”

     “What about you?” “Years ago a question was brought up concerning why some of our youth has joined ISIS. I have resolved that our country’s values have been replaced by the deadly sins. I understand from history that this has happened to all nations that were considered great. Just, before the fall.”

     “It is a little sad isn’t it,” she said.

     “Yes! Greed, gluttony, lust, covetousness, anger, envy, and sloth. What is sad is that the human race keeps doing it. If we paid attention to history, we could avoid all of this.”

     “I have to admit that I have seen all of it the last few years. Jenny was right you helped me,” Lucia stepped forward and hugged me.

     “You did the work. I just guided you like a fog light.” Lucia left my office smiling. All I hope is that Lucia and her generation will learn that greed, gluttony, and envy will not make America First. Our society values and morals will do that.