Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meeting My Dad's Challenge

The wind cuts through.  Pups yip, and Alpha stirs, stands and postures.  Her eyes scan, and we stand, ready.  Two moons and new snowfall - it's time.  Position first, then move through fresh snow.  Stay low, move slowly, silently.  Keen eyes, focused.  Turning ears, focused.  Soft crackling, and then a snap.  Stop.  Ears perk, breathe, get low, move slowly.  Ears perk again, leaves rustle, her ears hear it too, and his.  New position: three strides from him, five from her.  Scan the forest as those run around to flank and startle.  Tree, bush, grass... it's there, behind those trees.  Antlers behind branches covered in snow.  Wait, focus.  Wait, focus.  Stay low, stay still.  Wait, listen for those to come.  Focus.  Wait.  Snow falls, focus.  Wait.  Burst, growl, bark, lunge.  Antlers crash through branches, hooves dig through snow, she cuts it off, stay low, quick, run into its legs, no trip.  Hit harder into them, no trip.  Again, trip, fall, he lunges at its side, him at its throat, but misses.  It gets up, lunge at its side, he tries again for the throat and latches.  Jump on its back, bring it down, stay away from hooves.  Hold... hold... hold.  Howl for others.  Eat... survive.

When I was in high school I wrote a lot of short stories, most of which dealt a lot with feelings and inner turmoil.  My dad once challenged me to writ a story about a wolf on a hunt.  No thoughts, all instinct and observation.  I never took him up on it.  I said it was because I didn't want to.  The truth:  I didn't know how.  I'm not saying I know how to now, but here's a first attempt.  This one's for you Dad.