wolf

WOLF BY JENNIFER HAARE

Illustration by Becca Goesling

Some things are not enlightening some things are just strange.

I am bordering sober at 2am, walking home from a party about ten blocks from my house. It is drizzling with a breeze that causes the plants to sway, making dancey shadows. I am thinking about how I have leftover macaroni and cheese in the fridge at home and how long should I microwave it. I try to be wary of my surroundings for poetic as well as safety reasons, so I keep an eye on the trees and bushes and houses with porches of potted plants, searching for meaning and lurking figures. About halfway to my house I hear a rustling that is not quite leaves on pavement and then I pick up my pace and cross the street. I notice movement in the intersection. I am about to panic except for it is nothing but a noble wolf standing in the middle of the streets, quietly staring at me. I make some loud frightened noise and freeze, something that makes me worry for my reaction in the event of real danger. The wolf remains calm and poised, studying my lack of movement.

I look closer and notice a collar, realizing this is probably someone’s escaped huskie. I resort to “doggy!!” mode and try, in the voice my mom uses with animals, to lure it with a “c’mere!” I even pretend I have treats in my pocket, but the wolf-dog is either too smart or too noble to be seduced. Realizing I am neither threat nor friend, it scampers off down the street. I consider chasing it but ultimately turn toward home. I am alone again, wishing it had fallen for the fake treat, so that I may have dragged it home by the collar and fed it a peanut butter and Benadryl sandwich before forcing it to snuggle. I guess it’s the wolf that got away.