Greywolf and the RavenA Story by felioness
..a northern tale...
A brisk northwest wind ruffles a black, silver-tipped pelt. His dark muzzle, grizzling with age, was turning salt and pepper just like the bleak landscape caught in the feral gaze of his gold flecked brown eyes. His world was a symphony in monochrome; dirty white contrasting with endless shades of lifeless grey.
Nearby, a raven sat perched on a scraggly Jack Pine. Glistening ebony, the sleek feathered corvine kept a constant surveillance on the big male wolf, hoping his hunt would soon be successful. Hunger gnawed the big wolf''s belly. He was beginning to feel the cold. Prudently Raven remained quiet despite her equally empty gut. Oddly, Greywolf welcomed Raven's company. A solitary lifestyle went against normal wolf nature, but Greywolf was not a typical wolf. He had become used to a loner's existence and although solitary hunting was difficult, Greywolf managed. He was well acquainted with hardship.
Captured at five months old, little Greywolf had been searching for his mother who never returned from the hunt. She had frozen to death on a trap line. The trapper found Greywolf wandering nearby. His litter mates were already frozen carcasses. They had starved to death in the den waiting for her return. Not so Greywolf, near death himself the desperate little cub had set off to find his mother. Upon finding the little bag of bones, he threw the cub into a sack. Later, the squalling pup was sold to a geologist in Lac Laronge for a six pack of Pilsner Beer and shortly there after he ended up in a zoo in the small prairie city of Saskatoon.
Greywolf survived being orphaned, near starvation and capture but never resigned himself to confinement. He would not and could not be tamed. At at 150 pounds full of bad attitude he became too dangerous for the small town zoo. Greywolf would not tolerate people nor the company of other wolves so at two years old he was shipped to a zoo in Calgary. On the way, the semi-trailer transporting him was wrecked in an accident. Miraculously Greywolf escaped the wreckage with minimal injury. Freedom at last... but it was a freedom fraught with desperation. He learned to hunt by trial and error staring into the ugly face of starvation many times. Being a boreal wolf from northern Saskatchewan and he both rejected and was rejected by, the mountain wolves of Alberta. Greywolf trusted nothing but his survival instinct, which to date, had not let him down despite the many odds stacked against him. Over the course of many months, Grey traveled a north-western course. In the fourth year of his life he found himself back in the boreal forests of his birth. Whether this was by accident or by inborn instinct no one will ever know. The the hard times Greywolf endured weighed heavily on his spirit. He fought the ravages both time and loneliness exacted, remaining an outcast. When
Raven attached herself to him shortly after his prodigal return he welcomed her attention. She'd feed upon his scraps and alert him to approaching danger. The two formed a loose kinship and as time went on, Raven began to lead Greywolf to wounded caribou or deer, sometimes finding a moose or a fallen elk. When she spied a carcass while soaring high in the northern Saskatchewan sky she would lead Greywolf to the remains . Very little escaped her bright obsidian eyes.
One was never far from the other and over the ensuing months their friendship deepened until it so happened that Raven nestled into Greywolf's thick warm fur, sleeping in comfort between his mighty chest and proud neck. The Dene came to know of this strange pair. Nahanni, a wise and prophetic medicine woman of the Denesin people, told her son to follow Raven and Greywolf and to observe their ways. It was he who saw Raven and Greywolf curled in sleep together. Nahanni told the elders that Raven and Greywolf were strong medicine. She said they were inhabited by spirits of the dead and dying. Their presence, she said, foretold of an end to the old ways and of old prejudices. She said an all encompassing alliance would unite the northern peoples making them strong in order to prevail no matter what hardships modern society might dish out. Nahanni often looked for Raven and Greywolf, leaving them offerings of fresh meat, dried fish and berries.
One spring she looked both high and low but could not find this unusual pair. Throughout the summer and fall Nahanni kept a watchful eye but to no avail. The following spring, one the very day her youngest grandchild became a woman, they were found. The winter had been a particularly savage one with deep snow and vicious winds; a season that lasted longer than was usual. Greywolf and Raven, both past their prime, were found nestled together not far from the cave where Greywolf's brother and sisters joined mother earth and perhaps only a fox trot away from the very spot his mother died so long ago, their bones forever entwined within a the hollow of a large pine.
The Dene believe their resting place to be haunted. They leave offerings of respect and remembrance for the outcast wolf and his companion, Raven. Nahanni prays she will live long enough to see the prophecy fulfilled.
On restless nights a north wind whistles softly through the decaying bones of Greywolf and Raven. Carried on that same wind are the distance cries of wolves singing to the great white mother moon. Stars glitter in her cold northern skies like the diamonds mined from her sacred soil. Time passes as it is wont to do and her people wait...
© 2011 felioness
Added on April 4, 2011
Last Updated on April 5, 2011
AboutI live in Saskatchewan, Canada. I am a daydreamer who lives to write. I share my home with two dogs and a cat. more..