The Wolf that Saved the Sheep (Short Story)

The Wolf that Saved the Sheep by Joe Reid Kirby III

Deep in the mist of dark green mountains,

A lone wolf lives up there,

Fur space black and soft as silk,

Though no living organism would dare to touch his hair,

 

Thick paws caked with rich mud,

A soul-pulling gaze in his stare,

Two perfect rows of 42 carnivorous teeth,

Complete with two over-sized canines on each rigid jaw to pair,

 

Constant fog fills the land around him,

Starry skies painted up above,

Though his bellowing night howls may frighten most,

His intentions are anchored on love,

 

A strange concept he hears the birds sing every morning,

And the same tune the crickets play at night,

This lone wolf has never personally met love,

Yet the idea intrigues his mind of such a sight,

 

Since his time as a pup,

Abandoned and feared, up to his current height,

Told daily by the neighboring animals that,

“It’s in your heart to kill,”

Followed by, “with such muscle mass you were born to fight,”

 

Though this beast had never killed anything,

And from his looks alone, he’s never had to have a fight,

Instead, he enjoys laying upon the top of the mountain,

And is only interested in the surrounding dark leafy greens to bite,

 

One warm night under a brightly lit moon,

The lone wolf heard a strange sound he never did hear …

He raised his head for a while and looked down the mountain,

And read the unusual sounds leaping into his ear,

 

A storm was brewing over a livestock farm about 40 acres away,

The shepherd had come out in the night to care for his sheep and give them a dry place to stay,

Just as the cool drops of rain began to pour down,

The shepherd had his herd on their way,

He gathered the flock into a large enclosure and called out to them that he’d see them the next day,

 

The lone wolf caught interest in the cadence of the lambs,

And made his way down the mountain to see,

He saw strange lights,

And the closer he came,

The more intense their brightness came to be,

 

So he hid in the shadows,

Below the thick branches,

Peering,

Just waiting to see …

 

If this was the place …

This had to be the place …

Where this amazing secret called love has to be,

 

That was until he stuck his nose out,

And received a stinging bite on the head,

“These sheep are for the shepherd to eat,

And I will not have one caught dead!”

 

The bark of the border collie roared tremendously,

While the shepherd grabbed his 12-gauge and lead,

The door flung open,

From a boot to the wood,

And a warning shot rang out over the shed,

 

“Get the hell out of here before I make you the next fur hanging over my bed!”

The shepherd cocked it again,

Locked-in to win,

But the lone wolf had long ran off instead,

 

Back up onto the mountain …

Dazed and confused,

Fresh water still dropping from the sky while licking his wounds,

 

“Is this why the color of love is red?”

He thought to himself as he watched his reflection wash away in his blood,

“The sheep are for the shepherd to eat …

Is that really what that mutt said?”

 

These thoughts multiplied themselves,

And lingered on till the lone wolf passed out,

In the early stages of morning he was awakened again though,

But this time by an intense shout,

 

The lone wolf leaped up from his slumber,

And made his way down the mountain again,

This time more carefully than ever,

Adrenaline and instinct were now his good friend,

 

He hid his large frame behind the short shed,

From here is where the immense noise came,

He peeked through a patch of broken boards,

And knew he’d never see life the same,

 

There lay a lamb in a puddle of blood,

Its’ skin cut off into a sheet,

Cold,

Gutted,

And prepped,

Ready for the shepherd to butcher its meat,

 

The lone wolf could look no longer,

He felt the world rock under his feet,

He had to say something …

To spread the word,

That the sheep would be something to eat,

 

He snuck over to the enclosure,

Quietly crept in,

And revealed himself to the sheep,

As fast as he could,

He explained what he should …

That the shepherd would surely kill the sheep,

 

The flock stared at him at first with fear,

Then nodded their heads with laughter,

“The man who feeds us every day,

Who was born to lead the way,

Is not a killer, he’s our master!”

Before the lone wolf could get out another word though,

Time took a turn to disaster …

 

The border collie was back,

And leaped on his back,

She was dedicated to his demise,

Through this full-fledged attack,

 

The lone wolf was forced to plant his 42 teeth deep into the border collies’ leg,

He flung her with little force into a metal rack,

And her bark quickly devolved from a boisterous force to a beg,

 

Shots fired into the barn,

Cutting out new windows in the shed,

“Your time to live was yesterday …

Today I will have your head!”

 

The lone wolf leaped out into the open arena,

Planted his paws,

Paused,

And raised his head …

He howled to the heavens above,

As the shepherd reloaded his lead,

 

Just as soon as the shepherd cocked back,

The lone wolf released his tune,

The two locked eyes with the sharpness of a knife …

You could scoop the tension with a spoon,

 

Once the trigger finger gave any sudden sign of a move,

Pure instinct engulfed the black wolf and his sights set solely on the shepherds’ doom,

 

Full speed,

He seemed to disappear then reappear,

Faster than the ammunition could leave the chamber,

By the time the two locked eye-to-eye again,

They were nose-to-nose and the shepherd was in grave danger,

 

The large black wolf knocked the gun away,

And pinned the shepherd to the ground,

“Get off of me you mangy mutt!

Release me you hostile hound!”

Yet and still that big black wolf lay on him,

Determined to relieve the shepherd of his crown,

 

The sheep watched on at their helpless master,

As he complained of his defeat,

And attempted to conjure up a number of reasons for the righteousness in his clever deceit,

 

The sheep were shocked that they’d followed so blindly,

Invested all of their trust in a savior to keep,

They realized that their intelligence had been tampered with,

And were quite forthcoming to their new belief,

That it’s the shepherd,

Not the lone wolf,

That is out to kill the sheep.

~ Joe Reid Kirby III 9/13/16

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