5. The Wolf
He lay still. The muzzle trained on the clearing where birch shadows fanned out north above a blank pan of snow.
Two days he lay rigid – cushioned by stone –
studying the brisk winter light on the ledge below. The air was crisp. Sterile. No fowl. Fox. Roe deer. Nothing. Only the outline of a goshawk once from above – its shadow disappearing into a silver-barred route where the moon’s sickle sheared three dawns – the smoke from burnt oils and burnt timber riding stiff off the air –
the earth of village cemeteries too hard to break. As dawn broke – a young she-wolf slid into the clearing –
casting a shadow only a ghost could throw. Each swift movement silently woven with the energy of a spirit passing through the ether of a forgotten world.
Sharp eyes peering everywhere. Virgin pelt slipping through trees with a silver flow – the air white on her breath. After the wolf slipped off and vanished – he didn’t wait long before the boy appeared. He lifted the rifle and captured the young face in the lens.
The boy fell.The men behind him fanned out.
Then fell and coloured the snow.