Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wandering Wolf


Here's an excerpt from a piece I started during a workshop with Heidi Durrow the author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky. Heidi was the guest presenter at the annual Oregon Writing Project Renewal Day this year. We were working with character and looking at how certain elements can develop character. We also applies various descriptors of our own personality to the characters.
Since I've been fascinated by the ongoing story of OR-7 the tagged wolf who has made his way over 700 miles from Eastern Oregon to Northern California. The researchers think he's looking for a mate. The ranchers thinking he is after their cattle.


By late afternoon, I was well beyond the little valley. Beneath the deep green and rust of this new landscape, my charcoal coat appeared ashen. It worked. There had been a burn that scarred the hillside for at least 10 miles. I fit in here and decided to spend the night in relative safety.
The change in landscape held my thoughts until the last light slipped behind the timber line. I licked my paws, my tongue sliding over two scars that told the story of an encounter with a trap that misfired and left a deep cut, but failed to immobilize me. Perhaps that's what affected my ability to hunt for food in the same way. I seem now to rely more on what I find rather than initiate a kill. Am I growing soft? Is it true that there is more t sustain me out there? I may have to return to my ancestor's ways.
What I couldn't tell anyone was- I'm driven by a force stronger than hunger.
It's a different kind of pleasure. Not sexual. Something that is not fleeting at best. Something deeper, lifelong. My need to belong; to be with my mate; to define myself by those around me and ultimately the strong instinctual desire to pass on what I know to my children-my family. Without her I can do none of these things. I will keep moving until we unite.
This water that falls from the sky hits hard. Never felt it that way before. It wets my coat, and stings. Sometimes little nuggets of ice fall with it. Still I move. It comes and goes like the changing landscape.
Now there are no large trees. The ground is red. Wet clay...mud. It changes my appearance. For the first time in many days I feel fear. I feel vulnerable. Keep moving until I can blend in. Bed down somewhere.

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