Writing Prompts

Word Prompt: Step | Story Prompt: from the book “The Almost Widow” by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

I Saw a Wolf

MEC 21 October 2023

A wolf crossed the road in front of me yesterday. It didn’t pause, it didn’t look my way. It skipped across if truth be told. Its steps seemed joyful as I watched for that split second – my walk stopping so suddenly, my eyes watching widely to take her all in. I didn’t want to lose sight of her, but she disappeared quickly and quietly into the bush on the other side of the road and I was disappointed.

She skipped across and I noticed how healthy her fur looked. It was lush and glistening with colour – blacks and whites and greys and just a touch of brownish red across her shoulders – and I wondered where she was going. She wasn’t on a full-out run, but it seemed as if she had a destination in mind.

A wolf crossed the road in front of me and as I stopped, my hand went right up to my heart, and I whispered, “thank you”. My eyes and my brain tried to take a picture to keep her. I can still see her now if I am still and my eyes are closed. She wasn’t afraid of me; I’m sure she knew I was there long before she crossed the road in front of me like that, on her way to get something done or just to go somewhere else.

It wasn’t windy and the road was still and quiet, the odd leaf letting go and fluttering down, landing on the sandy gravel with a “pic” sound. Pic… pic…….pic… And there I stood, listening to the quiet of autumn, one of her many moods. Then I was walking again, scuffing my shoes in the fallen leaves and reveling in the noise and the lovely, full scent and there was no way I’d have heard her approach.

A wolf came out of the bush and crossed the road right in front of me yesterday, and I was grateful for her showing herself to me and pleased that she hadn’t been frightened by the racket I’d been making with my walking, just then. She also wasn’t the least bit frightened by my scent. The scent of what? Of laundry soap in clothes, of my strange breakfast smoothie, the scent left behind in my hair of shampoo and on my hands of lotion, and beneath it all, could she smell the raw scent of just me? She was too fast, too far away – there was no way I could ever catch her scent. If I could have, would she have smelled of strength and warmth and wildness, the tang of blood?

A wolf came out of the bush and I’m so happy to know there are wolves around here, where they should be, where I live. I think about how I am part of “here” too, and how I need to be sure I’m a responsible neighbour not only to the people who live here but also to the rest of the life all around. Chipmunks and chickadees, turkeys and foxes, blue jays, deer, wolves. Bears. I’ve only ever seen a bear around here once. If he’d like to eat the apples on the tree down in the back yard, he’s welcome to them. I gave him a good chance to eat them this fall before I went out and picked them, the small, wee things, and brought them inside and peeled and quartered them. The kitchen filled with the sweetness of apples, and I made the best pie I’ve ever made. (Recipe courtesy of Pinterest. It’s gotta be good because I made a pie on two different occasions and they both turned out – I’m no baker.)

A wolf crossed the road and now I’m thinking, I’m wondering, how can I be a better neighbour to wolves and bears, to deer and turkeys? Not that I want them to come around all the time, no. They need to be wild. If I help too much, I could kill them with kindness I suppose; they’d be hit by a car or rely on me for something they need to do for themselves.

A wolf has me thinking. She joyfully danced across the road; she didn’t even look at me. She didn’t have to. Did I watch her in wonder because I would like to be like her? Am I still thinking about her because she sent me a message? It may take me a while to decipher her message, but you know, I’m going to give it my best. In true “me” fashion, I will overthink it and take things too far one way, and too far another way – and I’ll write about it. Through the writing I see I take myself in circles – that wasn’t her intention at all.

A wolf crossed the road in front of me yesterday and has left me feeling very joyful to have seen her.

Thoughts? Feel free to share them here.

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