7 March 2019 in Writing

She was born the runt of the litter and so thought herself a dog, much to the chagrin of her wolf mother. She thought, also, that love was better than snow, better than long treks through the woods, better than scavenging for dinner. And so she set off alone, hunting it. Love, love, love.

Each lover was a new collar, some comfortable, some too tight at first, some easy to slip out of if necessary. But she rarely slipped away, even in the early days when she could smell that it’d never work out. She was too proud. She’d found it: Love, love, love.

From the collar, the leash extended. At first, she enjoyed showing off all the tricks: Heel, sit, stay. But with every lover, the day would come when the leash seemed too short, the commands too predictable, her actions too taken for granted. The tug of war would begin, and though she was a runt, she was strong when she’d made up her mind.

One by one they all fell. The lovers she’d once welcomed, she couldn’t help but bite when they became the hand. The runt had to confess to and forgive herself: She was not a dog. She was a wolf. Collars be damned. She tipped her head back and howled her first howl.