After rubbing tummies, ruffling ears, doling out food and refilling water buckets, I sat upon a rock in the wolf enclosure. Manitou, the big alpha male, came to sit beside me, my companion, as always. He leaned into me, and I into him, and we sat for a time and contemplated all that was around us. Manitou warned away anyone, any of the other wolves that is, who tried to interfere in our communion - I was "with puppies" in his mind, and no one was to bother me. I reflected on how I had come to know I was pregnant, how suspicion turned to certainty when his behavior with me changed. He knew, even before the test confirmed it. Long my partner, now he was determined to protect me from any disturbance.
Sitting there with him, he treated me as his mate: moving behind me, Manitou placed one big paw on my shoulder, and proceeded to groom me in wolf fashion. His teeth, that could crush a bone with ease, sorted through my hair, looking for fleas, I assume. He licked my neck gently, affectionately, then collapsed at my side, leaning hard against me. I ruffled his fur in return, feeling a great silence fill my soul.
I've always rather thought that the wolves had the been given the better life - they do not feel the kind of restless discontent humans feel. They are content to sit or lay in silence for hours, just "being", that most marvelous of states that so many seek through meditation, prayer, or spiritual practice. Sitting there with Manitou, sharing his silence and peace with the world, I would gladly have changed my human skin for wolf fur.
Later, leaving the enclosure, I found it hard to think in words, hard to lose the silence I'd found in my soul. The man who had watched from a distance stopped me to say he had never understood before: why I had them, what they were to me. "But I see now," he said. "You are really one of them."
It was the greatest compliment I ever received.
Rules of the Pack...
"Take care of the young for they are our future. Never question your existence. Keep your wild spirit. Be sociable. Live life like play. Live for the hunt, hunt to live. Love your freedom. Those who hunt in numbers...accomplish larger tasks. Move swiftly...leave only tracks."