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Gray One - Loss of a World

 

Gray One – Loss of a World

Copyright 1972 By Marguret F. Boe

Published by Marguret F. Boe at Shakespir

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgment

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

About the Author

Titles by Marguret F. Boe (Maggie)

Upcoming titles by Marguret F. Boe

Connect with Maggie Boe

Acknowledgment

Cover photo copyright 1989, Marguret F. Boe.

Thanks to my sister, Ginnie, for proofreading.

Chapter One

Why me? He crashed through the brush. The howling came closer.

He was breathing hard and his legs were numb from running. Gray One had to lose the trackers.

If he did not… He fought the panic that seized him.

He almost missed the cave opening. It could barely be seen, because of the green foliage of early spring.

His weary body aimed for the small opening and he wiggled through. In the space of a heart beat, the baying of the hounds were outside his hiding place. Moments later, man found his hounds.

The forest was filled with traces and smells of the new predator. Their scent was on everything they left in their camps.

Man was getting smarter at removing his scent, from traps, but the furbearers were getting smarter at recognizing and avoiding them.

Dead carcasses of the animals were found where they had been skinned. The new predators did not kill for food, but took the animals for their skins. Their camps reeked of death to the survivors.

Gray One and his mate, Shaded Wolf, had found several abandoned camps, within their southern hunting grounds.

The wolves were curious about man. This was the first mistake, searching for the new predator in their mists.

His mate, Shaded Wolf was scouting the area for small prey. She had left him long before the trackers came. He had been dozing in the sunshine, on a rocky ledge, far above the ravine floor.

A strange sound stirred him from his rest. Raising his head up, he had cocked it to one side to listen. When the hounds had broken cover from below, he was inquisitive, but yet something inside, told him to be wary.

Now the second mistake was made. He left the ledge.

The third was, he didn’t listen to his instincts. Instead of going up and over the top, he tried to parallel the hounds below. The dogs had caught his scent on a faint breeze and found a trail up the steep wall. The chase had been going on, for almost an hour.

“The blasted animal got away! There ain’t no way ta get in there,” came a gruff, angry voice.

“He doesn’t look like the lobo we’ve seen before, but he’s a wolf and will take the lambs and ewes if he gets the opportunity,” an educated voice stated.

“I’ll get’em Mr. Tyrel,” boasted the first.

“I don’t see how Jeb, that wolf will take the dogs apart inside and we can’t fit inside either.”

Gray One crouched to the right side of the six-by-twenty-foot cave. The wolf had placed a boulder between himself and the opening.

The muzzle of a Winchester was thrust inside. Gray One could smell the new scents of cleaning oil, and gun powder.

If it hadn’t been for the boulder between him and the opening, the muzzle would have been beside his face.

The crack of the weapon thundered in the cave. As four more rounds were fired, the echo was continuous, as it bounced back and forth in the confines of the walls.

As bullets ricocheted back and forth, he could see sparks shower the walls and floor. The timber wolf looked bewildered at the whining and buzzing sounds around him. He pressed himself closer to the ground.

The last missile found its way to the front of the cave. Gray One jumped as the bullet caught him in the flank of his right leg.

An unnatural cry issued from his throat. He reared up on his hindquarters, then shuddered and fell heavily on his left side. The pain was like nothing he’d ever felt before. The smell of his singed hair made his stomach turn, but the odor of his own blood, made him sick.

Half conscious, he listened to the men and dogs outside.

“Who says, we can’t get in there?” Chuckled Jeb.

“You sure got that wolf! Now, maybe we can find the other wolves that have been taking my profits. I want to keep some lambs around the place,” Mr. Tyrel gloated.

“I swear, you get more wolves for me Jeb… From what we could see of it, I’d like to have had that critter’s coat. For this time of year, it was still long and thick. The colors is what caught my eye. Lots of shades of gray. The belly looked almost white and his hide would have been worth something,” Mr. Tyrel shook his head at the loss of the pelt’s profit.

“I’ve never seen such a big wolf before. He must’ve been between ‘hundred, ta ‘hundred-twenty-five pounds.” Jeb’s voice trailed off.

“Call the dogs. It’ll be dark soon. It’s a long way back to the horses and home.” Tyrel ordered.

The wolf’s body was racked with pain and a bright, steady fire of hatred was burning for the predator, Man. In pain and fatigue, he closed his yellow eyes.

It didn’t help ease his pain, but his body demanded no movement. His hatred was as intense, as the pain was. He would remember his first meeting with man.

Drifting in and out of consciousness, he woke up several times during the night. At day break, he was six-feet deeper in the cave, and some how he had moved in front of the opening. The entrance had what little sun there was, shining through the foliage.

He tried to remember where he was and could not. He was disoriented in the cave.

He began to slip in and out of a troubled sleep.

With warm spring days coming on, flies were abundant. In the coolness of the cave, only a few blow flies were drawn by the blood. They were buzzing around him. He would wake up periodically to try and clear the few away from his nose and leg wound.

As time went by, this became more difficult.

Dreams of Jeb, the rifle and the instant the bullet ripped his flesh, ran over and over in his fevered mind. Another dusk was almost over when reality set in. His leg was sending waves of pain to his brain.

He had to move his leg.

More intense pain swept through his lean body. He waited a few moments till the nauseating waves subsided. He pulled up his torso, trying to sit. He looked back at the deep gash on the side of his hip.

The bullet had not lodged in his hip, but it had torn a large part of his leg muscle.

The laws of gravity allowed the fold of skin to fall down exposing several-inches of muscle. The wound was shallow at the front where the bullet exited. Where it entered, it left a two inch deep gash in his hip. It looked like someone had sliced his flank. Red muscle was held on by the skin and a thin cord of muscle. The deep wound was clotted with dried blood.

Gray One gave up on trying to sit. The leg muscle wouldn’t tolerate the movement. Slowly, he moved to a shaky, three legged stance. He whimpered when he had to use his leg to push himself out of the cave.

Several minutes passed as he rested on his left side, before painfully three-legging it down the trail that he had raced up a day and a-half before.

He struggled off and on during the night, resting when the pain was unbearable.

As the sunrise topped the mountains above him, he stood unsteadily on the top of a ridge, and howled to the fading moon. He called for his mate.

Chapter Two

Picking his way carefully down the trail, the day was warming up. The flies began to swarm on his wound. Like in the cave, he wearily, tried to chase them away by brushing his head backward. He couldn’t do this movement any more. It caused more pain to the hip.

The spine connects all muscles. When one set of muscles on the spine are hurt or are in pain, this filters to muscles that are connected above or below that set.

He gave up, and did his best to ignore them, hoping none of them would lay maggots in his flesh.

He needed water and a safe place to rest. The scent of a stream came faintly to him from the bottom of the ravine. The stream would offer him relief from his thirst and if he remembered correctly, a safe place to hide.

When he could hear the gurgling stream clearly, he checked the breeze for enemies. He could detect no danger and whimpered for that small sanction.

He knew there was a thicket close to the water, but he wasn’t for sure where along this stretch of the stream it was.

All he could do was wander down stream, till he found it or a place that would suffice for shelter. His mate would find him soon. Moving on was not possible.

He still dragged his leg behind him to the water. He drank his fill as he listened to the forest around him. The frogs and crickets made their easy calls from the water. These sounds carried into the stillness of the surrounding trees. As long as they called out their songs, there was no danger.

The stream felt good to his aching feet. On impulse, he laid on his left side, half in and half out of the water. He wanted the water to run over his leg.

The breeze had brought more flies. They had covered his wound like a black patch. The water washed the flies away and the chill from the water took some of the painful, fire away. The numbness to the appendage, flowed up his leg to his spine, like water through his body, it gave relief to the pain.

He looked at the water. It was scarlet colored. The flies had opened the wound and it was oozing blood again. Gray One lay there for a long time, dozing. He didn’t want to move. Feeling nothing, was good.

After the water stopped the bleeding, he made himself wake up. He had to find shelter. Predators would be coming. The smell of the blood, would travel far in the water.

Gray One pulled himself up and began to slowly make his way down the west side of the stream. He caught the faint scent of a strange odor that drifted by him for a moment. It didn’t present itself as a threat and it was far away, judging from the vague smell. He dismissed it and continued.

He found what he was looking for. Not far from where he had rested, a huge pine tree had been uprooted by a previous spring runoff. The hole left, was six-feet under the bank. When the tree had fallen, the roots made a mud thicket along the stream front.

It was out of the heat of the day and coolness would be present from the damp earth. The flies would not swarm after him as badly.

He was tired. His hip was beginning to ache, circulation was returning. He carefully moved into the cavity and laid down. He tried to cleanse the wound by licking it, but couldn’t keep his leg pulled forward long enough to do what was necessary.

In the cavity, it was cooler than he thought it would be. A depression close to the opening contained soft mud. He whined, when he placed his hip in it. This would keep what few flies that found him, out of the wound.

He scented the breeze, trying to catch that strange smell. It did not pass around or through the root system of the old tree. Nothing came to him that would cause alarm. He dropped his head on the cool earth. He again, fell into a troubled, restless sleep.

Chapter Three

Gray One awoke with a start. The wolf lay perfectly still as he listened. Soft foot falls on pebbles and sucking sounds of mud clinging to feet, could be heard.

Many shades of black and gray hair, on a slim head looked in on him. A questioning whimper came from the animal.

Gray One swallowed a growl that was in his throat. He let out his breath slowly, as he looked at Shaded Wolf, his mate.

She made a gesture for him to get up. He looked at her with pleading eyes. She watched as Gray One painfully moved from one hip to the other, so she could see his ugly leg. Shaded Wolf came into the recess. She sat, cocked her head to the left and looked at the gash.

With her teeth, she began cleaning the chunks of mud away from the gaping wound, then she started to lick the wound carefully. He whimpered his thanks and lay his head down again. Shaded Wolf would help him now.

Later in the morning, the she-wolf did some hunting. She returned with a rabbit, still kicking. She coaxed him into eating, then went to find her own meal.

Several times during that first day, he drug his leg to the stream to drink water. His mate was close by, watching his slow and painful movements. After drinking his fill, he would lay in the bubbling stream to ease the pain, as well as to clean the wound of mud and flies.

He found voiding was the hardest movement he had to do. Passing waste from his body was an excruciating experience. His leg had to be bunched up under his body to void correctly. The muscle would not bend, without pain shooting up his spine.

Always he returned to the darkness, to rest. The short trips and limited amounts of movement, sapped him of any strength.

Timber wolves are social animals and mate for life. They show affection by grooming each other. Shaded Wolf had over ten years of practice, caring for her counterpart.

During the times that Shaded Wolf was not hunting, she would lay beside her mate and gently clean his wound or lovingly wash his face, brisket and anything else that she felt needed attention.

A pattern was set for many days to come. As time slipped from spring into summer, Shaded Wolf continued to hunt for her mate.

All during the warm days, when in the open, the scent that had come to Gray One the first day, he was there, drifted past her.

When Gray One had come out of his lair, he caught his mate many times, looking down stream with her colorful muzzle in the air. She was trying to puzzle out what the scent could be.

The scent was strange, but also pleasing. It reminded Gray One of Man. It could not be defined without investigating.

As the leaves on the Aspen began to turn yellow and red, both animals began to feel restless.

Gray One’s strength had returned slowly. He was now able to hunt small rodents farther and farther from his sick lair. Moving his leg, without pain racking his body had become easier.

By laying in the stream and allowing the water to run over it, the loose piece of muscle and skin had fallen back into place. By late fall, the two portions were gaped by a thick, brownish-black scab. Different shades of gray hair were growing around the wound.

At dawn on a cool, fall morning, the two wolves left to hunt. They traveled deeper in the mountains. With the stream running north, the way they wanted to go, they would check on the scent.

On quiet padded paws, they moved effortlessly through the trees. His lope was easy and there was just a slight limp, as he moved quietly thirty-feet above her, along the ridge.

The she-wolf watched her mate, to see if he indicated whether he needed to rest by the stream or in it.

She kept pace with Gray One. She didn’t want to lose him again, like she had in the spring.

The she-wolf scented the breeze coming down the ravine. She caught the strange scent that had been plaguing her all summer. It was stronger here.

She stopped and looked to her mate. He had stopped above her as well. Grizzly was also on the air.

Bears had an attitude about them that made other creatures in the forest avoid them, even timber wolves leave grizzlies alone. Unless there were several in the pack, wolves gave the great beast a wide berth and the respect they deserved.

Several miles passed, as they followed the stream, the scent of the bear, and the odor in question. To these smells another was added. It was meat, yet they couldn’t tell what kind of meat. There was a scent that made the meat smell even better.

Both were curious as to the nature of the smells they could not identify. It was pleasant, but some how, both seemed to represent danger.

The wolves froze. The clear mountain air carried a high pitch squeal. It was a happy sound. A wolf puppy would sound like this when he was playing. To hear this sound now in fall, startled them.

Shaded Wolf had one litter in the early years they were together. In years gone by, they had mated during the breeding season, but after the one litter, they had never produced pups again.

They had enjoyed the pups of the other wolves, in the packs, they had been allowed to join. During winter, it was necessary to hunt in numbers to bring the big game down.

The big male came down off the ridge and lovingly licked his mate’s forehead. He had noticed her watching him and it was time for him to rest.

He lay in the stream for the numbness it brought. He didn’t need it for pain anymore. The numbness helped with the over-all aching and tiredness. Shaded Wolf lay on the bank and watched her mate. They listened to the forest around them.

The wolves could hear the stream empty into a valley. The sound of the water rushing over the edge of a cliff was unmistakable.

After a short time, Gray One stood up and shook the water off his fur. Something he’d only been able to do, with-in the last couple of days, with out pain shooting up his spine.

After a few minutes, the wolves left the stream and picked their way slowly through the rocks and trees going up the side of the ravin. Investigation was still their goal.

Only man had fire; the scent of wood burning was strong. The man-camp, became more distinct as they went up higher. There was the faint scent of dead animals, the cleaning oil and gun powder and the strange smells they wanted to know about, were the strongest.

Again and again the squeal rolled up and over the cliff to them.

As they came to the edge, a small part of the cliff, jutted out. Trees were right to the drop off. There was nothing supporting the outcropping. Only the tree roots kept the ledge from falling down.

The sounds and smells, became pronounced. The wolves could see to their right, the stream rolled off a twenty-foot drop into the valley. A trail had been cut from the bottom to the top. There weren’t many switch backs, so it was steep.

A cabin was on a rise below them. They were about forty-feet above the cabin and within thirty-yards. The pair laid down in the shade of the trees and watched the cabin.

Gray One was still tired, this was a good place to rest.

A short time later, a she-man came out of the cabin with a bundle of blankets that wiggled and gurgled, wolf ears perked up. Her scent floated to them, she smelt sweet. She didn’t have the rank odor that Jeb had.

The seven-month-old boy wanted to be free to roam in his world and didn’t like the idea of being toted around.

Mother spread a large blanket on the well-packed ground and placed the child far enough away from anything that could do him harm. If the child wandered to close to danger, she had time to reach him. The baby talked, cooed and squealed, as he played with a wooden spoon, he was given.

She walked to a tripod over an open fire and stirred the contents of supper. There were potatoes, onions and herbs from her garden, added to the pot. This was why the meat smelt so strange, yet good.

As the cast iron pot began to bubble gently, the odor became stronger. It gave the promise of good food later. Even without a gentle breeze, the cooking pot scent, would carry for miles.

As the water from the falls, continued on its way through the valley. It flowed around the hill that the man lair was on. It made an easy, turn to the north-west, as it followed the contours of the hill side.

She didn’t know, she was being watched, as she brought several buckets of water to the cabin.

The woman returned again to the stream, coming back with a home made basket, full of wet clothes. She was singing to her child.

She walked beyond her son, and the tripod, to where she had a clothes line stretched between trees. She began to spread the clothes out on the line.

The wolves watched the woman and child for a long time. The shadows of the trees had moved from short stubby ones, to long thin ones, as the sun moved closer to the rim of the valley.

Gray One was fascinated with the baby. It was the man-pup’s scent, that had been of interest all summer.

If this is how Jeb started out, what happened to change him? Gray One wondered.

For some reason, the sounds of the child brought his paternal feelings to the surface. This man-pup was not a danger. He was exploring his world, just as a one of his pups did long ago.

He’d watched the baby crawl over to the cabin door several times. Each time the woman would put down her laundry or hoe, as she tended the small garden to the east of the cabin. They heard her soft tones drift up to them, as she picked him up and brought him back to the blanket.

The breeze began to alternate between north and south. When it was from north and full in their faces, Gray One and Shaded Wolf caught the scent of the griz at the same time.

Their ears pricked again, they gazed toward the trees north of cabin and stream. Gray One looked to the woman to pick up her pup and move out of harms way.

The woman continued to hoe the garden and stir the bubbling pot. She talked to her child and worked unaware that danger was coming.

Chapter Four

Gray One felt alarm. He knew what was bringing the griz. The smell of the cooking pot. He would come for the food, but he wasn’t beyond an easy meal if it presented itself, like man’s mate and pup.

Shaded Wolf watched, as her mate whirled and loped down the way they had come up. She followed wondering what he was doing. When she saw him cut to the left toward the rim of the water fall and trail, she knew.

The woman was still talking to her baby, as she worked over the cooking pot. She watched the woods beyond the stream to the west, for her husband. He was hunting for their winter food supply. With her back to the cliff, she hadn’t seen the wolves come down the trail and slip into the woods below the cliff to the south.

With wooden spoon in her hand, she stooped over the pot.

The sounds of the forest were cut off. She straightened and for a moment, she felt uneasy. Only the sound of the stream remained. She looked to the left and the woods, hoping it was her husband’s passage causing the unnatural quiet.

The crashing of trees and under brush made her realize it was coming from the north. Old Dan, the family horse, wouldn’t come from that direction. She heard a snort and more crashing.

Whatever it was, it was big and coming toward them.

She picked up her son and hurried to the cabin. She disappeared into the cool, darkness and barred the door. She set her son down in his corner of the one room cabin and to keep him quiet, she gave him some of his favorite toys to play with.

She reached for the rifle mounted on the rack above the door. With a slight tremble to her hands, she quickly loaded the gun and went to the window facing the north. Opening the shutters, just enough to see the area that the crashing had come from, she watched with bated breath.

On the opposite side of the cabin, Gray One and Shaded Wolf emerged from the woods. They scented the breeze and took in everything that was before them. The empty corral, clothes line, cooking pot and wood pile for the winter on the west side of the cabin and the small garden plot, on the east side.

They slipped up to the wood pile and stopped. The cabin was ten-feet to their right. The cabin stood quiet and looked out of place in the small clearing.

The griz ambled out of the trees. His nose went up in the air, as he followed the aroma.

Winter was coming on. He was looking for food that he could consume with ease. He needed the extra body weight for his long winter’s nap.

Instead of making a straight line to the cabin, he moved to the east. He saw the log by the stream, and ripped at it with seven-inch claws. There was an assurance of grubs in the rotting wood. After a removing the grubs that were easy to get to, he tired of that, and crossed the stream, as he continued toward the cabin.

The smells that he couldn’t identify were in this strange place. The promise of meat was an added incentive.

He came up to the cabin and his big black, nose vibrated at the scent of peeled logs.

Strange way for trees to be, Griz reasoned.

Usually trees fell on their own or he had the pleasure of pushing them over. He had not seen them piled like this in the twenty-five odd years he’d been ambling around this country.

He looked at them closely and stood up to his twelve-foot height. He grunted as he rose up and the woman closed the shuttered window with a soft thud.

Griz had startled her by coming up behind the shutter. She heard his grunt and she knew he was to close.

Griz came down on all four, and sniffed the shutter. This was a similar scent to the one he wanted to know about. He walked around the cabin and spied the cooking pot on the tripod.

Since man had come into his domain, he knew about cooking pots. He’d raided a lot of sheep camps.

With a little patience, he pushed the hot pot over and gulped some of the burning chunks of meat.

When he had taken his fill of the pot, he lumbered back to the front of the cabin.

The cabin still held his interest. He was curious just as the wolves had been about the smell of the woman and the child.

He smelled the door and tested its strength with one huge paw. It didn’t give. He could hear a high tone.

He wanted to know what was in there.

He would find out. If he could push trees over in the forest, this pile shouldn’t take to long. He stood up again and pushed on the sod roof. The poles groaned at the weight and gave just enough to make him push harder.

Griz was surprised when he heard a snarl behind him. He looked over his huge shoulder and saw two wolves facing him. He blinked his surprise and dropped to all four, to face them.

They didn’t surround him. They crowded him from his right. He found this odd. Well… this whole situation was odd. Why would two wolves face him, and yet give him a way to retreat as well?

Griz’s mind couldn’t understand the logic to this confrontation.

He could maim or kill them. There were not enough of them to take him down. Right at this moment, it pleased him to give them what they wanted, a fight.

He charged the nearest wolf, Gray One.

The woman had listened to the grizzly’s movement around the cabin and heard him, when he grunted again to push on the sod roof. What she couldn’t figure out was the snarling and growling.

She could hear the thudding of the bear as he charged, what? She made a snap decision and cracked the shudder, by the door.

To her amazement, two wolves were taking on the grizzly. She watched in fascination as the animals did what looked like a dance.

The wolves would dart in close to the bear. He would charge them, with long claws barely missing them. They would dance out of reach and come in toward him again. They never offered to hurt the bear. It was like they were baiting him, to come with them.

The wolves growled and yipped, but the noise the bear began to make, was deafening. To the woman, it seems that it rattled the shutters of her home.

Her son’s squealing and cooing turned to tears of fear. She closed the shutters tightly, and put the rifle on a rough plank table.

She hurried over to him. She didn’t want to draw attention to them. After a moment, he quieted and listened to her reassuring voice and easy touch.

With her son on her hip, she went back to the window and watched. The wolves had the bear away from the front, and to the corner of the cabin. To her, it looked like they were trying to draw him back into the woods to the west.

Griz faced the two that dared challenge him. The grizzly was looking toward the stream as his annoying opponents had their back to it. The bear would roar and charge forward.

One wolf was bigger than the other. He would come in close and nimbly move out of harms way, as a huge paw reached out to cuff him. The claws found only thin air.

Repeatedly the wolves offered themselves as bait. The bear charged with loud growling, and shaking of his enormous head. Slowly, they were drawing him away from the cabin.

At the stream, the grizzly realized what they were doing. He wasn’t ready to leave. He grew tired of the game and turned to go back to the cabin.

Quick as a wink, the wolves were between him and the cabin. This made Griz furious.

He was being told where he could and could not go. He charged them, both paws making huge sweeps, where the wolves had been moments before. When they moved out of his way, he swept past them, moving toward the cabin.

The wolves closed in on his flanks. They snapped and sank their teeth in for the first time.

Griz stopped his charge and roared as the long teeth found muscle under his heavy winter coat. Again as he faced them and the stream, the wolves teased him, he followed.

This went on for twenty-five minutes.

Rifle shots rang out in the clear air over the noise the animals were making.

The three combatants stopped. Gray One and Shaded Wolf looked behind them as two more bullets zinged in front of them.

A man on horse back was at the edge of the trees to the west. His rifle was leveled at them and he was calmly taking aim again.

The woman came rushing out of the cabin with the baby on her hip and shouted to him.

The combatants turned toward the woman, then as if on a cue, all three animals turned to face the common enemy on horse back.

When the puny man faced him, there was still no coherent thought of a possible danger. Griz charged the horse and rider. No creature told him where he could or could not go. Not even a man.

Gray One heard the woman scream, as the bear charged toward her husband. The man-pup began to cry.

The tone of their combined voices made Gray One take an action that even startled the wolf himself. It caught Shaded Wolf completely off guard.

As the bear swept past them, the timber wolves charged after the bear and again attacked his flanks. The bear stopped his charge and comforted them again. Griz kept making sweeping passes at the wolves with his paws.

The man couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The wolves were keeping the bear from coming to him. His wife had shouted to him not to hurt the wolves, they were drawing the bear away from the cabin.

Old Dan had begun to do a jig under him. He swung off his mount and turned him loose. He could hold his rifle steadier, by being on the ground. With a slight tremor to his hand, he loaded the rifle again, while the wolves kept the bear busy.

As the wolves lunged in and out, they still yipped and almost sounded like the barking of excited dogs. The only other sound they made was snarling when they attacked the bear’s flanks, as he tried to break free of their harassment.

The man was sure they couldn’t take the bear down, but he couldn’t figure out what they were doing.

With a calmness he didn’t know he had. He began firing into the bear.

As the bullets hit, a puff of dust lifted from the thick coat. The bear cried out in pain. Griz would turn to charge the man, then the wolves would attack again. To keep his flanks from being shredded more, Griz would turn to face the wolves. Another bullet would find it’s mark and the dance of death would be repeated. The wolves kept the grizzly at a safe distance, so that the man could keep firing.

Griz was beyond thinking clearly. When stupid men had wandered into his territory in the past, he maimed them. He’d even killed two of them over the years.

The men who had shot him in the past only got one round off. He always got to the men before they could do any serious damage, but this was intolerable. He couldn’t charge forward to reach the man. He couldn’t go back to the cabin. He couldn’t rid himself of the wolves.

Griz was furious. His flanks were bleeding from the wolves, he’d been hit several times by bullets. His body was burning with pain and he was beginning to weaken from blood loss. He tried again to turn and run toward the cabin.

The woman gasped and disappeared around the corner, back to the safety of the cabin.

Gray One and Shaded Wolf darted in front of him. Griz felt more bullets hit and heard the rifle crack again and again.

For the first time in his life, reasoning began to over ride rage. He knew if he didn’t get away, he would die in this place. With the wolves not letting him go to the cabin and not toward the man, he turned to the north, the way he’d come.

The wolves stopped him again. Rage over took him for the last time. As the next bullet hit, he whirled and headed straight for the man. Always the wolves were between him and where he wanted to go.

The man kept pumping lead into the bear, careful not to hit the wolves jumping in and out of reach of the huge paws.

To the man it seemed like hours, before the bear bellowed one last time. The grizzly collapsed half way between the cabin and the man.

The wolves watched the bear for moment. They approached the body and when it didn’t offer to move, they turned to face the cabin.

The woman came around the corner and watched the animals that had surely saved her and her child.

“I don’t know why you did it, but I’m thankful you were around,” she spoke softly and held her son close to her, as he balanced on her hip.

Gray One had wanted to know about the scent. The man-pup had touched something deep inside him. He could never have a pup of his own again. The five pups that were born years ago, would be the only part of Shaded Wolf and himself, left in this world, if they were still alive.

Man started out, not knowing how to kill for the sake of killing. Even man needed to have pups that would ensure the blood line for years to come.

Hopefully this man-pup would not hunt him. To bad some of them had to grow up to be like Jeb.

The wolves looked to the man and then crossed the stream and trotted into the woods to the east.

In the gloom of the trees, Gray One and Shaded Wolf, padded softly, past the cabin, so they could go back up the trail and to the top of the cliff. They wanted to put distance between themselves and the man with the rifle.

The big male didn’t trust the man. There were no hounds, but the rifle would make up for that.

At the top, where they had watched the woman and child, Gray One sat awkwardly for a moment, then lowered himself down, till his belly was resting on the ground. His leg allowed that movement now. He needed to rest. Shaded Wolf, laid the same way, watching below.

They saw Old Dan by the correl and watched the woman wait for her husband to walk to the cabin. When he did, she hugged him.

The man didn’t try to follow them.

With the meat from the bear, their winter supply was almost met.

He hoped the man would stay with his family, to make sure no other dangers came to the lair for a while. The rifle would make the odds in favor of the man.

The valley was in complete shade, darkness was gathering quickly.

They scented the air. No danger presented itself to them.

Gray One needed to rest.

After several minutes, Shaded Wolf stood and moved over to her mate. She rubbed up against him. She was glad he wasn’t hurt. She washed the blood that had spattered on his gray coat.

The grizzly had continually charged him, because he was always closer to the huge carnivore. Shaded Wolf had kept in the thick of it, but she hadn’t gotten as close.

After darkness and Gray One felt better, he gave her an affectionate lick on her forehead, stood and turned to lead the way from their last contact with man.

***

Thank you for reading my e-book. If you enjoyed it, won’t you please take a moment to leave me a review at your favorite retailer?

Thanks,

Marguret F. Boe (Maggie)

About the Author

Marguret F. Boe, (Maggie), has been writing since 7th grade. At the time, it was more for her entertainment than submitting for publication. After marriage, she began writing short stories for her children and several were published.

She found it rewarding to be a correspondent for newspapers in Idaho. Traveling to interviews was fun and she made new friends.

When she left Idaho, to come back to Colorado, the correspondent work wasn’t available.

Now she’s found Shakespir. Maggie wants to try to publish her work. She’s dusting off stories and will submit them as she gets them ready.

If you are interested in reading more about her, visit Maggie’s Shakespir Interview at https://www.Shakespir.com/interview/Maggie5639.

Titles by Marguret F. Boe (Maggie)

Gray One – Loss of a World

Neon Insomnia

Upcoming titles by Marguret F. Boe

Look for the following titles:

Sometimes You Have to Gamble

Romance: Woman loses her parents in a car accident and her husband leaves her. She’s afraid to feel or love, but the man on the Greyhound Bus, gives her the want to try again.

Mind Mate

Romance Paranormal: Adrian is looking for a time traveling spell that will allow him to reverse a spell a witch has cast on him. Instead, he finds Fern.

Cole – Finding Trouble

Romance Western: Micah feels nothing. She is lost inside herself, till Cole’s quiet presence makes her realize, he is in danger, because of her. Even in her torn clothes and unkept hair, Cole feels guilty for the thoughts going through his mind.

Connect with Maggie Boe

I thank you for reading my e-book. If you would like to get in touch with me, I have three ways.

My facebook address is https://www.facebook.com/maggie.morrisboe

I enjoy sharing information and my Wall reflects this.

E-mail address is [email protected]

My Shakespir author interview is https://www.Shakespir.com/interview/Maggie5639


Gray One - Loss of a World

Gray One makes the mistake of looking for the new predator, Man. With hounds tracking him and the new smells of gun powder and cleaning oil, Gray One's first in-counter with man, makes the timber wolf hate. He has a scarred hip to show how the confrontation ended. During his healing time, the wolves kept finding a scent they could not identify. They decided to investigate before leaving the area. To add to the strange scent, was the known odor of Grizzly.

  • ISBN: 9781370730445
  • Author: Marguret F Boe
  • Published: 2016-09-28 23:35:10
  • Words: 6994
Gray One - Loss of a World Gray One - Loss of a World