The She Grey Wolf
Eyes so bright shine out of a darkness that is thick and heavy on this starless night. A mist swirls in dark patches, thickens blocking out the landscape, within minuets it clears, only to then regroup, and darkly condense once again.
In the distance a heavy dark squall line races across the far horizon and low clouds scud across the tree tops. The trees around me stand straight, their tops hidden in the moving clouds that grow blacker with the building storm pushing its way forward from the North. Looking in that direction one can see the intensity of the tempest as clouds, clash with clouds, and lightening flashes light up the sky as like a dull, silver daylight, and them one hears the thunder rumbling in the far distance.
The wind picked up, causing the boughs of the trees to jump and swing. This creates shadows that made them look like giant marionettes being pulled on their strings. Causing them to dance, sway and creak as the force of the wind brings then close to breaking pont.
Leaves are shaken and snatched from the trees and small dead
branches are picked up by the building wind and thrown
through the air where they crash into rocks, and tree trunks,
splattering them into thousands of pieces, only to be carried off
once again, and lost in the darkness of the night.
The fur of the grey she wolf is being lifted up on end and
then flattened by the wind blasts and she sinks closer to the earth in an effort to shield herself from the force of the cold, savage, striking wind.
“I have to find shelter” She thinks to herself. Pictures of past
hunts and adventures in this sector of the forest race through
her mind’ s eye. She sees the cave where she spent a long cold
winter many, seasons ago, driven there by the cold and the
paw wounds made by the man trap. Her thinking of this causes
the pain of then to be felt in the present. She is off in a flash, weaving through the trees and boulders that cover this area.
Thunder clashes, and raindrops fall. The large drops hit, and burst on the ground, pounding it so hard that dust particles fly into the air where these are beaten down by other raindrops now falling in their thousands.
The earth turns to mud, and the mud to small pools that in
themselves turn to into small lakes that soon bursts their banks sending racing rivers that carve a passage through the earth.
Downwards the rivers run until they drop off the side of the
mountain creating spectacular water falls. The she-wolf is
saturated and her coat of hair is flattened on her skin. She
looks so thin like this, that anyone seeing her would have
disbelieved her in being a wolf.
A massive redwood tree that has stood in this place since the
beginning of time, topples and crashes to the earth, ripping
smaller trees from the soil as its roots are wretched from
mother earth. It hits the ground hard, causing a crashing noise
so loud that it overcomes the pounding beat of the rain and the running of water.
On impact, the mighty tree trunk splits down the centre from
the root line to the top boughs, creating a sound so alien to this
environment. It then lies there, embedded deeply in the mud
and water. Water rushes into hole where the mighty tree once
stood, causing more soil and rocks to be pried loose and pushed down the mountainside.
The water speedily flows along the side of the tree trunk, which
is acting as a barrier and a dam to the water’s flow.
The water level rises faster and faster as more as more water rushes into what is now a small lake. The pressure of the water builds, forever pushing harder, never loosening it forward drive.
The tree moves oh so slightly, then faster, as the water builds
higher and higher. Then the trunk is off, it is being carried
downwards as another particle. It slides, hitting smaller trees,
flattening them as a roller to a blade of grass, and massive rocks in its way are collected up as part of the moving mass.
The mountainside starts to move. An avalanche of huge
proportions is on its way now. Nothing can stop its movement as it builds and builds, expanding its sides wider and wider. The rock face above the landslide topples and drops, coming down with such force that another landslide is started. Now, two landmasses are moving downward; the noise is unbelievable.
Looking down on this spectacle from a ledge high above, the she-wolf races off along the skyline, chasing away the thoughts in her head that this ridge could follow the others she just saw dropping away. The wolf slips and hits a large stone, sending it flying through the air. Without loosing any momentum she is down the next track and onto another before one could catch all of this in the blink of an eye. She knows life is precious and that reaching safety speedily is vital for survival. Soon, she is running on flat rock that stretches as far as the eye can see.
“Water just runs off this area, causing problems elsewhere.” thinks the wolf.
Stopping briefly, she sees that her original destination of the cave is gone with the slide of the mountain.
Thinking again, she sees the ledge that has a dark black hole. Viewing this in her minds eye, she knows it is close and heads that way. Once she leaves the smooth rock area, the mud is thick. It now cakes her paws, legs, and coat with thick brown mud, which weighs heavily on her weary limbs.
She races past familiar trails and trees, and she knows that soon she will be out of this rain and chaos. She rounds a large boulder and pushes through some brush and long grass to find himself in a cool, damp, black space, pushing forward some more, mostly by instinct and vague memories of this area, she comes to the back of a large cave.
Shaking herself to rid her coat of the wet, and mud, she drops to the dry, floor and is soon asleep with the exhaustion of her ordeal. The cave lights up like daylight, and a crack of thunder so loud startles her out of a well-deserved slumber. The air is alive with static electricity, causing the wolf’s fur to stand on end. She berries her head into the dust floor and uses her paws to block out the flashes that are dancing and running colours of red and blue all around the cave walls.
Terror causes her to whimper and shake, for this experience is new and unwanted. Sleep comes at last as the flashes, and bangs recede into the distance. The patter of rain stops and all becomes quiet.
She dreams of the cave where his first cubs were born and the man boys who came and fed her cub boy and small frail daughter. The dream jumps to the night she lost her mate and cubs. She makes small whimpering sounds and moves around restlessly in this turbulent sleep. She sees where the land became a fire that burnt in all directions.
While the wolf sleeps the land is turned into one large lake for as fare as one can see in all directions. The mountain range has changed after the storms beating. Many landslides have caused the whole area to change beyond any recognition one may have had of this terrain in the past. Very few trees now stand; mostly they are piled into a tangled mass at the bottom of the mountainside. Many float on the plains that are now a lake of mud and slime.
The sun shines brightly and warmly, causing the land to steam and shimmer for as far as one can see. A rock the size of a huge mountain blocks the plains to the sea, and steam rises from its sides where it sits in the waters of the lake. Massive clouds are forming above the area as the heated steam races to the heavens, and begins to block out the bright day’s sun. Soon massive rainclouds start to form and as they build blackening the skies, and rumbling thunder creates a crescendo with their sounds thrown from one mountain range across valley’s to strike another mountain range and bounce back once again. The sodden earth once again receives a beating from the pelting rains, causing the visibility of the land to close like a black cape being thrown over it, dousing one’s perception of the present.
She awakes with a start, unsure of where she is. It all comes back to her, the rain, the cold, the earth that moved and went sliding down the valley, pushing huge boulders and trees aside with its mighty force and drive to reach the valley floor.
She stands on shaking legs, body aches, and hunger pulling at her stomach. A shaft of light from above lights up the whole cave, and for the first time, she takes stock of this place, this sanctuary she has chosen. Dark stickmen and animals are depicted on the walls and ceiling. One side of the wall shows a herd of animals all spread out, and the other side shows stickmen firing the grass, which panics the herd into stampeding. By their actions, it looks like they are driving the animals over a cliff, as many are depicted lying at the bottom in a horrible pile. Looking at the animals, she feels the hunger pains and turns to leave the cave. Returning to the ledge, she gazes out across the land. What confronts her is totally unknown. She knows there will be no game in this area, for the valley is now a massive lake for as far as she can see, and it just continues on and on. Looking at the mountains in the distance, she knows that is where she must go to find food or die of starvation.
With her mind made up, she is off. She gets into a steady trot, and the miles will soon be eaten up, that is, if she can maintain this pace. She is happy to be on the move again, and her limbs feel strong after her rest. In the late afternoon, she reaches the shoreline of the lake and continues to run along its edge. A jackrabbit is spotted floating in the water ahead of her, and she stops to see if it is edible, only to catch the putrid smell well before it is reached. She slide away and continues on her way, stopping every now and then to fill her belly with water, as this seems to keep away the hunger pains. She continues through the night, stopping to rest in short spells, and as the sun rises, she sees the plains ahead of her and takes her last drink before leaving the lakeshore. The sun is hot on her heavy hair coat. Her limbs are now painful, and her paws have been burnt on the hot sand and stones that littler the landscape before her.
A few small bushes ahead offer a little shade, and she makes for these, but before she reaches them, she sees a lizard basking in the sun. Dropping to her belly, she edges slowly towards this meal, this lifesaver. One pounce and it is in her mouth. She shakes her head, places the lizard on the ground, eases a paw across its body before letting it out of her snout, and she releases it, only to once again sink her teeth into its head, tearing it from the rest of its body. The taste of blood runs over her tongue and she cannot wait to eat its small body. In not time at all, head and all is gone, evidence it was there is the small red stain in the dry earth and a few traces of its tracks in the sand.
The shade is refreshing, but the hunger pains seem worse
now that she has eaten. She snoozes until the sun goes down
and is off again in the cool of the night. An old, familiar smells suddenly hits her olfactory senses. The man smell is strong ahead of her. She has good and bad memories of this smell to do with man, so proceeds with utmost caution.
She keeps heading into the wind, her body close to the
ground, hiding, sliding into the long gullies so that she cannot be seen on the skyline. She has to keep backtracking to keep the man smell ahead of her. Whilst doing this, she sees a hare’s track, and the familiar rumble really starts to play up inside of her stomach.
Although her mouth is very dry, she starts to salivate. She
breaks loose from following this man smell and turns her attention to others that will bring nourishment to her body.