Result of a Chase
A young wolf bounds through the brush, excited in chase. For fifteen minutes he had pursued his prey and the moment was fast approaching when he would finally catch it. The rabbit bounded forward in desperation, swiftly jumping over fallen branches and through the thick brush which was the only real thing preventing the wolf from immediately catching the poor creature.
Over the course of the chase, the rabbit lead the young wolf across gentle streams, over steep hills and through the vibrant forest in hopes of losing its pursuer, but the wolf would not be denied. Finally, the rabbit reached the largest stream in the forest and was unable to continue forward. It abruptly turned to bolt up the stream, but in the brief moment that it paused in order to make its turn was more than enough for the wolf to snatch it in its jaws, as the wolf had no qualms with not slowing down and bounding into the rather shallow water. After quickly clenching his jaws to snap the rabbit’s neck, the wolf waded over to the land from where he came carrying the rabbit in its mouth, and lied down right next to the stream.
As the wolf lay there eating, he was almost invisible on the stream-bank. His dirty brown fur blended in perfectly with the naturally dark ground, especially with the additional help of the massive trees of the area casting down ominous shadows for further protection. From above he appeared almost as a pile of leaves occasionally rustling in the wind as he occasionally shifted his weight while eating.
The wolf ate fast, not caring of the blood getting all over his paws and mouth. Still young, he did not like to stray far from the pack, and if he brought his catch back with him, surely one of the larger, older wolves would rob it from him. As the wolf was just picking the last of the flesh from the rabbit’s bones, he heard a rustling noise a little ways upstream. The source of the noise was revealed when a deer came gingerly out of the woods and walked slowly to the stream. Immediately losing interest in what remained of the rabbit, the wolf locked his gauze on the deer. Licking his lips, he could still taste the warm blood on his tongue and was hungry for more. The wind rustled the fur on his back as he eagerly watched the deer approach the water. The deer, with much effort, cautiously lowered its head, and as soon as it put its mouth to the water, the wolf rose to stealthily sneak up on his new found prey while it was most vulnerable. As soon as he got to his feet, however, he heard the bushes rustle once more, this time much closer to where he was. The wolf looked to his side in the direction of the noise, but what rustled the bushes this time was something the young wolf had never seen before… a man.
The man was a hunter who had been waiting in the brush by the river in hopes that just such a situation would arise. What the man had not noticed though, was the wolf laying only feet away from him by the stream. The wolf was too preoccupied with his meal to notice the man sneak up beside him, and the man was too preoccupied with the deer to notice the well hidden wolf lying by the stream-bed. When the young wolf rose to his feet, he startled the man and now both were fully aware of each other’s presence.
The wolf, mouth and paws still colored crimson from the rabbits blood, stared into the man’s eyes unsure if he should be excited or terrified of this new creature. Although he had never encountered a man before, he did not like him and was immediately wary of the man’s strange movements. The man stared at the wolf as well, but was constantly diverting his gauze to the deer to make sure that it did not escape. After a few seconds passed, the man lost all interest in the wolf and gave his full attention to the deer, which was still lapping up water from the stream.
The man raised the rifle he had by his side to eye level and began to take aim at the deer. The wolf, however, was taken aback by the man’s sudden movement and began to emit a low growl. Closing one eye, the man continued to steady his rifle, tightening his grip on the front of the barrel so as to lessen the involuntary shaking that came to his hands every time he prepared to fire his gun. The man was oblivious to everything save for the deer, and paid no head to the young wolf’s warning. At last, the man slowly brought his right index finger to the crescent moon-shaped trigger and left it there as he inhaled a final deep breath to calm his nerves. Right as the man brought down his finger though, the wolf let out a terrifying roar that echoed throughout the forest.
The sudden noise led the man to flinch which caused his shot to slightly miss its intended mark. Instead of hitting the deer on the side of its head as intended, the bullet hit the deer in the upper part of its front right leg. Upon getting hit, the deer immediately fell over and for the next few moments, struggled to get to its feet. When the wolf heard the deafening crack of the rifle, without hesitation he charged the man taking the noise as an offensive action on the man’s part.
The man never had a chance as in one quick leap the wolf was upon him. The man was knocked off his feet and proceeded to tumble around on the ground for a while, but there would be no escape, as the wolf had caught him by the throat and with a quick jerk of the head, completely tore open the man. The man continued to thrash around with the wolf for a bit as life flowed out of him, but it was the last resort of a dying man. The wolf just kept his jaws clenched as he felt the familiar taste of warm blood fill his mouth. The wolf remained like this until at last the man stopped moving and just lied still on the ground. The wolf stayed on top of the man and continued to hold on to the man’s throat long after he become still to assure that his opponent was not getting back up. Finally, when the flow of blood slowed almost to a stop, the wolf released his vice-grip and got back to his feet. He looked down on the man unsure of what to do with the large carcass on the ground before him. Surprisingly, he got no pleasure out of this kill and decided just to let it be for the time. He then turned his attention back upstream to see what became of the deer that only moments ago he considered preying upon.
The deer was still struggling to get to its feet and was clearly wounded. It was only just coming to the realization that it would not be able to put any weight on its leg and as it tested out walking, the wolf continued to look on. He could have very easily brought down the poor creature, but for some reason he felt no desire to do so anymore. He continued to watch the deer, as it slowly made its way away from the stream and back into the dense brush, leaving a trail of blood behind it. When it was out of sight, the wolf turned and made his way to the stream.
The water was just shallow enough for him to stand in as he leisurely lapped some up. He emerged from the water fully cleansed. He had unintentionally cleaned all of the blood off of his mouth and paws while wading through the water, and he felt rejuvenated as he made his way back over to the dead man. He really had no desire to do anything further with the carcass and sniffed it a few times more out of boredom then interest. As the sun began setting he peered into the dead man’s eyes a final time, almost with a feeling of compassion and regret. He was brought out of his trance though, when a mournful howl sounded in the distance and the wolf once again remembered his pack. With quick, deliberate steps the wolf disappeared into the woods in hopes of catching up to his brethren before night fell on the forest.
© Copyright 2017 Roland Masters. All rights reserved.
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