Spirit of the Forest

A dark silhouette moves from tree to tree,
stealthy, silent.
She can see in the dark
and her sensitive nose detects the prey.
Too small, she realizes,
but tracks it to itıs burrow anyway.
Any and all will do. She gobbles the hapless field mouse down.
Back to the trail. She is far from her den but she needs more.
Her belly is growlingly empty and her young ones are waiting.
There are mouths to feed. She hunts again.
The moon rises and her eyes glisten,
gray pools that speak of mystery and ages past.
Her kind have hunted this forest forever, and she knows every sound.
She cocks her head.
There! A rabbit! She pounces!
A quick bite to the throat; a short, desperate struggle.
Another meal, bolted in the moonlight.
Through the forest, through the night, the mother prowls,
killing, eating barely enough to sustain her.
The winter has been a hard one; half her litter of pups has died.
A sigh/snarl/whimper and she turns toward home.
Home. A hidden den of starving pups, hopefully safe.
She hunts alone to protect them. If the pack found them,
the pups would provide dinner for the adults.
That she will not allow.
She does not like to hunt alone. She misses her pack mates.
The mother begins her long trek back to the den,
settling into a trot that ate up the miles.
Despite her stark thinness, she is a perfect example of her species.
Broad head, narrow muzzle, deep, penetrating eyes;
her coloring, black tipped with silver.
She is big, proud, powerful.
An alpha female, she is strong, resilient, careful, intelligent.
Some would think sinister, but no;
not sinister, but dangerous.
Not only a destroyer, but also lenient and gentle within her pack.
She is many things: mystery, symbol, god, killer.
She is a wolf.

İ EM 10/21/00

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