Monday, November 12, 2007

Walking the Wolf

Is this a new genre? The fictional essay.



Walking the Wolf


There is no such thing as a tame wolf or even a partly tame wolf. There can only be a wolf who, for the moment, has decided not to attack.

Walking for three or four miles with a wolf on a leash is never casual. There are no moments of illusion that you are one with your “pet.” You are only there as an adjunct to his hour. The leash only keeps you within each other’s boundaries in a vaguely consensual orbit.

There is always, in the pull and tug, the awareness of the relative pound for pound difference in your strengths. He is ninety-five pounds, and if you consider this in strictly human terms, you lull yourself into a false feeling of equality, or worse, superiority. A ninety-five pound man, when pushed, will fall. The wolf will not even allow himself to be pushed. His bones are light and his body fat is nonexistent. He is all muscle. And heart. And will. Pull hard and he may come, but you must always know that he will come on his own terms, and he may decide one time that those terms may be backed with anger. So you go together as a small pack, every minute weighing which of you is the leader.

You jog past a house with a fenced yard and in the yard is a large German Sheppard. The dog barks. The wolf stops. Wolves don’t bark, except when they are pups. We have bred dogs to remain pups through their lives and so they bark. The wolf sniffs. You feel a quiver through the leash, but the wolf calculates and in that moment decides the dog is not worth fighting and not worthy of inclusion with the pack. You move on.

Rounding the third mile the road heads home. A dog, sensing the nearness of his kennel will pull, or maybe drag back, tired from the walk. A wolf does neither. Home is where the wolf is. And wolves never tire.

12 Comments:

At Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 1:36:00 PM EST, Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Beautifully written. This is superb. Great ending particularly.

 
At Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 10:04:00 AM EST, Blogger Pythia3 said...

Jon, I hate you and I love you! You write as easily as you exhale and your writing is read as easily as an inhale. I feel refreshed after reading our words. You must publish and share yourself with everyone who is gasping for breath and well-written stories.
That said, you touched my heart with the subject; the wolf. I have read so much on wolves, dogs, etc for my Isabella's Gate book. I am revisiting that story now because it has been packed away for too long and I feel I must focus on one thing right now being that my ADD distracts me by taking me in too many directions.
I'll see you at the meeting.
BTW, e-mail me at:
Only1pythia@aol.com
from now on.
PS Do you have a hard copy of Billville? My printer does not work and I want to see it on paper and read it from beginning to end. I never got to the end because my e-mail was set to erase messages after so many days (I changed that now) and I did not save it in Word because I assumed I would have it in my Outlook until I moved it. When I tried to find the final chapters they were gone.
I'm getting to hate computers and the internet lately. I need the concreteness of ink on paper. Call me old fashioned. I've been called a lot worse before.
I will be at the meeting tomorrow - will you?
Hope to see you there.
Lindy

 
At Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 10:06:00 AM EST, Blogger Pythia3 said...

oops...YOUR words (not "our" words). The "y" escaped my Freudian fingers.

 
At Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 5:34:00 PM EST, Blogger Pythia3 said...

Hi Jon, actually, I was on my way and had to take a detour to rescue my daughter who accidentally locked her keys in the car with the car running when leaving work (the wind did it - so she said - blame it on the wind). Since I have an extra key (for this sort of thing) I had to drive out to Royal Oak and rescue her. I would have been too late.
I missed you guys - I love the grumpy club because we all agree - "oh those stupid smiling people!"
:) Lindy

 
At Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 4:06:00 PM EST, Blogger Pythia3 said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Jon. I wish you and yours a blessed holiday meal.
Lindy

 
At Saturday, November 24, 2007 at 12:54:00 PM EST, Blogger miller580 said...

I love the concept of the fictional essay. How do we promote it as a new genre...

This is a great little piece. Yet the last two lines "Home is where the wolf is. And wolves never tire." spoke loudest to me. Nice Job!

 
At Sunday, November 25, 2007 at 11:11:00 AM EST, Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Sounds like my romantic relationships, Jon! This is really well-written. Especially love the line about a wolf not ever being a pet -- just a wolf not choosing to attack. Words to live by!

 
At Monday, December 24, 2007 at 10:37:00 AM EST, Blogger Pythia3 said...

Jon, God Bless and Merry Christmas!

 
At Monday, December 24, 2007 at 12:54:00 PM EST, Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Jon,

Merry Christmas! Hope all is well with you.

 
At Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 9:23:00 PM EST, Blogger Kate S said...

Very nice, but where are you?

 
At Monday, December 31, 2007 at 8:44:00 PM EST, Blogger Kate S said...

Ok, I know you're out there somewhere. Saw you posted on Lindy's blog. Hope you're doing well and the new year brings you health and happiness.

 
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