Alpha

He hesitates at the tree line,
then trots out of the forest, head up,
using his long-sightedness to search for prey
against the white on white background.
He is glorious. Starkly beautiful.
Brindle-coated, his teeth glisten,
his lolling tongue is red and he uses it to swipe
the tickling snow off his nose.
His eyes are piercing, inscrutable, timeless.
He moves with supple grace.
The top predator in this frozen arena, he fears nothing.
His pack mates are near, just over the ridge.
They follow his lead, for he is the alpha; supreme.
They track the herd,
always close enough to scent them on the wind.
They come inexorably nearer,
closing in, surrounding them.
searching for a advantage.
Strength and intellect are on their side.
The Alpha is a canny opponent.
He sets an easy pace.
They can wait. They have time.
The prey is chosen and they strike,
working smoothly; interconnected.
Team hunting.
The herd is panicky, thundering across the plain.
The pack has brought down a full grown caribou.
The others wait, hungry, growling and whining while the Alpha eats.
A sign from him and now they feast, tearing at the carcass,
snarling and snapping at one another,
Barely chewing, they bolt their meal, always aware; alert.
It has been a successful hunt for the wolf pack.
Soon, they head back the way they came,
muzzles bloodied and bellies full.
Far away now, the herd slows and then plods on,
fewer in number but safe.
For now.

Ellie Maziekien
10/29/2000

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