A Thoughtful Gesture

Originally published online December 23, 2014

Wolves are fairly popular to (other) furries as well as to a few of my friends.  While chatting with one such friend, I made the observation that there were no wolves in any Christmas stories or folklore that I was aware of, so 2014’s Christmas story includes a wolf…for better or for worse. 😀

It was wintertime in the forest.  A layer of snow lay on the ground and more slowly fell from the grey sky.  A pair of rabbits, a male and a female, sat in a thick bush and carefully peered through its branches at a wolf that lay on a tree stump some distance away.  Despite being fairly well hidden, the rabbits remained on their guard while observing the carnivore.

“He’s been sitting there for a while now, dear,” the male rabbit whispered.

“And so have we, Jack,” the female replied, annoyed.  “He isn’t hunting, so we should get going before he gets hungry.”

The grey wolf got up on his feet; the two rabbits suddenly gasped and tensed.  The wolf shook himself to shake off a thin layer of snow that had accumulated on his fur.  He then yawned and lazily stretched out.  He lay down, placed his forepaws in front of himself and placed his head in between them.  He slowly closed and opened his eyes before letting out a tired sigh.  The rabbits relaxed.

After a few moments, Jack whispered: “I think something’s wrong with him, Amber.”

“Do you think he’s sick?” Amber asked, showing a little bit of concern in her voice.  “Not that I’d care about what happens to a smelly old wolf, mind you.”

Jack chuckled at his mate’s concern.  “Of course not, dearest.  Not in the least,” he said, doing little to hide his amusement.

Amber playfully nudged him.  “Oh, hush.  I think the poor thing is lonely,” she said.

“That very well may be.  I’ve not seen very many wolves about.”  Jack observed.

“True, but nobody should be alone this time of year, love.  We should find him somebody.”  Amber replied, determined.

Jack was both pleased and shocked at Amber’s concern.  “I admire that you’re concerned for our natural enemy, my dear, but who?  One of your sisters?  I don’t think there would be a second date.”  He stated.

Amber pondered the question for a few moments.  Her face suddenly brightened.  “I know this is going to sound crazy, but I know someone, if I can find her.  Keep an eye on our friend there, and I’ll be back.”

Jack was now confused.  “Friend?  Him?  What?  How?” he stammered.

“Just wait here and I’ll be back,” she said before hopping out of the bush.

Jack sighed and looked towards at the wolf.  “I hope she knows what she’s doing,” he said to himself.

Half an hour later, Amber crept back into the bush.  “I found her.  Watch.”  She said, grinning.

Jack said nothing but continued to watch the wolf.  The wolf was still asleep and a layer of snow had once again accumulated on his fur.  A moment later, a female wolf appeared.  Jack gasped and tensed again, but Amber did not react.

“Don’t worry, we’ll be fine,” she said.

“If you say so.”  Jack replied, forcing himself to relax.

The female wolf slowly approached the tree stump.  She stopped and sniffed the air for a moment before walking up to the male, who continued to slumber.  The female stopped just in front of him and looked at him for a moment.

“Hello?” she said, but the sleeping wolf remained so.  “Pardon me?” She asked.  There was still no response.  The female tilted her head slightly, let out a small ‘humph,’ raised a paw and gingerly poked at his paws.

“Hey.  Wake up.”  She said, becoming slightly impatient at her inability to rouse the sleeping canid.  She then poked his nose.  The wolf reacted by inhaling quickly with a snort, shaking his head briefly, then without warning let out an “AHH-CHOO!”

The female winced at the sneeze, quickly closing her eyes, flattening her ears and leaning back.  The male opened his eyes just long enough to see the female make a face before letting out a high-pitched sneeze of her own: “Ah-chu!”

“Bless you.” The male said, shaking his head to wake himself up..

“Bless you, too,” she smiled.

The wolf on the stump stood up and introduced himself: “I don’t think we’ve met before.  My name is Gary.”

“I’m Libby.” The female answered.

Gary hopped down from the stump and shook the snow from his fur, eliciting a giggle from Libby.  He sat in front of her and asked:  “Shouldn’t you be with your pack?”

“I should ask you the same question.” Libby replied, smiling.

Gary looked off in the distance. “I left my pack.  I wanted to see what else was out there, so here I am.”

“I was forced out of mine.” Libby quietly answered.

Gary gasped and looked at her, curious. “That’s terrible.  Why?”  He asked, his tone becoming a little harsh.

Libby let out a small whine, looked at the ground and hesitated before whispering: “I-I’d rather not talk about it.”

Gary realized he had upset her and softened his voice to apologize, “That’s fine.  I’m sorry.”

“Thank you.”  She said, quietly.

Gary stood up and said, “You know, Libby, it’s going to be pretty cold tonight and I know of a hollowed out tree nearby that’ll keep us out of this.”  He turned as if to walk away, looked back at Libby, and offered, “Care to join me?”

“I’d like that.” Libby answered, her tail wagging.  She walked up to Gary and nuzzled his cheek.

Gary returned the embrace, smiled and said, “Let’s go.”  The two wolves walked off into the forest.

In the bush, Amber let out a dreamy sigh.

Jack didn’t share her appreciation, he asked:  “I hate to ruin the moment, dear, but what happens to us in the spring when they have a new litter of pups to feed?”

“I thought of that,” Amber replied.

“How so?” Jack inquired.

“Libby was cast out from her pack because she doesn’t eat meat.”  Amber answered.

Jack smiled and nuzzled Amber’s cheek.  “Oh, how I love you,” he said.

“I know.”


Click here to read “Percussion-angst,” 2015’s Christmas story!