I could feel John-bo getting nervous with so many wolves around so I dismounted and carried on by foot. He was a good horse and would come when I needed him.
Because of my up-wind advantage I was able to get quite close to the pack. I counted nine of them, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get more than four before they dispersed.
I could make out the two alphas I had come to know. They were restless and stood back a way as the others seemingly oblivious to anything around them lazed in the afternoon blood sun.
I noticed neither one of them had feasted. Neither had blood on them.
I knew these two.
The previous fall I had had a run-in with the two while out checking my lines. It was a cold winter day and I had my head down as I plowed snow. A fresh layer lay on my path. My snow shoes helped. The black one with the white stripe between it’s eyes had been watching me for quite some time before I realized it, I guessed. I wasn’t sure whether it was wanting to become my friend or whether it knew about as much as I did about what to do.
At any rate, there it was about 20 meters to the North along the edge of a copse of birch trees. As soon as I raised my long barrel it disappeared. No more than 15 minutes later as I was coming around a large Fir tree it was right in the middle of my path waiting for me. As we both stood there motionless in the cold winter air, our breaths floating away like our whispering spirits, I saw the white one with the black nose tracing the path the white striped one had taken.
There was no shock. No cause for alarm. They weren’t growling at me, bearing all their fangs to scare. They were just watching me, like they might do to as their cubs played in the fresh earth.
[note: to read the full epic track my land]