Wolf Mountain - A Short Story (October 31st, 2013)
At the dawn of civilization a lone gray wolf lost in the wilderness approaches a man-made settlement searching for nourishment. As the wolf mills around the homestead, several tribal members try hustling him away, but one man realizing the animal is starving gives it food.
The wolf eating for the first time in days looks up at the man and realizes he's made a friend for life. As the centuries pass by, mankind will establish a benevolent relationship with the wolf, as a result some wolves are domesticated and reclassified as dogs...
It's a beautiful day Jack thought as he walks down the embankment. Glancing back at his family, he notices his partner Sue and two sons, Gary and James are struggling to keep up, so he slows down his stride. Jack is the male wolf, therefore his job is to feed and protect his family at all times.
As the family emerges from the trees Jack sees an old white stucco house in the distance, its chimney billows with white smoke. Moving with caution toward the edifice, he notices a strange looking creature moving about in the front yard. Realizing the creature is man, he instinctively gestures his family to move back into the safety of the woods. Humans are unpredictable creatures and confrontation should be avoided at all cost.
After backtracking into the forest Jack's head suddenly begins to tingle as a surge of intelligence funnels into his primitive mind. He feels euphoria as his brain grows exponentially, soaking up esoteric information about Earth, humanity and the universe. As his mind becomes saturated with knowledge, he howls with delight, it's Halloween.
Every Halloween, for the as long as he could remember he was given a gift, a gift of human intelligence. He is now aware of himself and his surroundings, "I think therefore I am," he thought. He looks up at the sky and sees the sun, and he knows he's living on Earth and that the planet is spinning on its axis as it revolves around the sun.
He glances at Sue and wonders if she has received the gift, but like in years past she has not... She is a wolf, with the mind of a wild animal. He looks his children at play, they seem unaware of his intellectual metamorphous.
Now that Jack is keen-minded, he wants to embrace humanity. He thought about the man he saw just moments ago in-front of the white stucco house, perhaps he could approach him and strike up a conversation. If the man is receptive and they might go inside, drink hot cocoa and talk about history, philosophy, and science. But its just a dream, for Jack is mute, incapable of human speech.
For the next several minutes he tries to utter just one simple word, but can't. It's a cruel joke to have mind of an erudite and the tongue of an wild animal. His mind drifts back to the man, perhaps he could try to communicate nonverbally, it's a possibility. However, in the end he decides to avoid human contact for now, at least until he can figure out the true meaning of his unique gift.
As day turns into night, Jack recalls a story about lone gray wolf searching for food in the wilderness, and how an empathetic human shared his meal with the wolf and made a friend for life. Like the gray wolf of antiquity, perhaps Jack's destiny is to cross paths with humanity and change history. He looks up at the moon and starts to howl. In '69 man first walked on the moon and will eventually go to Mars. Jack yearned to walk on the red Martian sands, to investigate Saturn's rings and to explore the far reaches of the Milky Way...
Suddenly his eye lids are heavy and it's time for rest. In the morning his gift will be gone and he'll be back to his old self. But before he drifts off into sleep, he wonderers what next year will bring...