With apologies to Steven Wright, C A Duffy, LaLa Land writers, Mickey Spillane, Tom Robbins, wolves robbed of hunting grounds, and wer dens and denizens . . .
The tiger and lion may be fiercer; the wolf, however, never performs in a circus.
The crescent moon smiled enigmatically when told it was a fragment of a whole, awaiting perfection. Tagore
Between the wolf in the tall grass and the wolf in the tall story, there’s a shimmering inbetween… Nabokov
If a werewolf behaved like a psychopath it wouldn’t be because it was part animal, but because it was still too human. K Armstrong
I’m a fan of the vamp mystique (see Do Vampyres Poop blog), avoid the sun, and easily identify with monsters—wicked wer creatures specifically. Once upon…I owned a red cloak though I never mistook my gran for a wolf. Until November, I’m barefoot. Though a loner, I’m pack master to three hounds. I can distinguish rabbit from racoon scat and identify deer and fox tracks. My hair is long; my tail and tales hang from my head; favorite scent Arabian musk. I’m a carnivore. I like to hunt; comfortable around things in the night that go bump. In dark woods I frequent, old memories stir.
In other wolfy ways, I fail—unsure of territorial boundaries; unwilling to recognize leader of pack authority. I’ve been known to put my sniffer where it doesn’t belong; and am picky about what I
kill eat… In grade school, I danced the role of the duck/oboe eaten by Peter’s wolf. Shame on the Moon and Born to be Wild are my anthems, and I agree, the moon’s a harsh taskmaster—is it a he or a she?
As for me, I never wanted a prancing prince in the least—give me a beast, one that howls—with fangs and hairy jowls. I had one once … Whereas the prince was a narcissist, a neurotic mess, the beast crawled on his
haunches knees towards me. He tore my dress—fill in the rest… He had my admiration and affection; I adored his growls, his—below the waist perfection. Where oh where’s my wolf now?
He was a fount of wolfish lore. At his werehouse, we discussed everything from Grimm’s grimmest to the raw power of grey and red wolf packs. He said humans taught wolves to howl in unison at the moon; they taught us the proper way to hunt. He confirmed there’s a wild creature inside all of us. When we let it out… We debated the scarcity of Lupaes, the wolf bitch harlot priestesses of Rome. Herodotus described uncanny wolf like howling issuing from Athene’s temples. Her priestesses, it’s said, had sharp claws and teeth, resembling a certain beast. He teased me; admit it, confess—you too turn ferocious monthly; they call it PMS.
He never cried—my wolf, though prone to moan and growl. He liked to prowl the woods behind our house. He could be bribed to come inside when bitter winds brought snow. I’d singe a haunch of meat on sticks—we’d watch flicks: Beastmaster, Bitten, Silver Bullet, Moonstruck, Wolfen, and Call of the Wild, and one about the boy turned when still a child. That always got to him. Ginger Snaps made him laugh; Beauty and the Beast (my fave) was the show he liked the least. The question I’d always ask was what is it about the moon that sets you off? Not to mention wearing wool—he’d say why doesn’t everyone know—only a fool wears wool around a wer beast?
The closest he came to explain was when he said the moon makes it easier to track prey…Eventually, he made me confess, declare I’d done diligence, read up on wer lore—academic tomes and eerie gore—all the way back to Gilgamesh. He got so mad, turned savage beast; he gripped my throat, wouldn’t release. My songs always calmed but couldn’t get out a single note until finally, he let go. I didn’t dare sing Hungry Like a Wolf or Who’s Afraid of… I already was. I croaked out a stanza of Moon Dance—and we did. Like the moon, everyone has a dark side. He didn’t keep his hid.
How do I describe my monster? It doesn’t do him justice to say his eyebrows met in the middle, or his ears were large and slightly pointed. His index and third fingers were long and of equal length. My wolfish beast was dire wolf size. His proliferation of chest, back, and arm hair put Rogaine to shame. Sometimes only his hands and feet morphed (think Lon Chaney without the fake beard). He wore his hair long, pulled back, and in daylight, rakishly wore a brimmed hat.
When he was gone, which was often, I tried not to be a worry wolf. I’d hum the old Waylon song, Will the Wolf Survive? He was sometimes ‘forced to hide in a land where he once stood with pride; something inside the wolf must be kept alive…’ Or I’d replay in my mind the only song he ever sang to me ‘hey there little red riding hood… He could also whistle, my modern Beowulf.
Sometimes I’d speculate about our future. He was so good at making money they called him the Werewolf of Wall Street. I’d also wonder, is there such a thing as werewolf pedigree? Do they come from one seed—or many? Do they have the right stuff to proliferate, or is becoming one by being bitten a likelier fate? Could one be trained—become a pet? Would this entail visits to an OB-GYN, or to a vet? Was I barking up the wrong tree figuratively?
Over time I learned when the wolf came to my door, I’d better let it in quickly. Otherwise, there’d be needless huffing and puffing. Vampyres had to ask permission—werewolves never did. I’d always ask him howl you been? I must never wear silver jewelry or stare into his yellow green red eyes. I had to be careful what I said when I talked about Sasquatches, Chewbacca, Cerberus, and other abominables. When he invited over a Whitman’s Sampler box of mangy monsters, I’d be sure to serve their steaks rare and their Newcastle werewolf ale warm. Two pack members worked for the Fur-n Legion. Another of his beasties had been in a wolf gang (and liked Mozart).
The man was sensitive. Never say you can’t teach an old wolf new tricks. Never tell a wer with a bit of a gut he shouldn’t wolf down extra portions of food. Never let him drink too much moonshine. Without exception, let sleeping wer’s rest. No matter how much you want to sleep with the guy, if he dozes on the sofa, let him lie. Sure it was okay for him to ask if I was raised by wolves when I left dirty dishes in the sink or the bed unmade. When he really wanted to annoy me, he’d call me Virginia, as in who’s afraid of Virginia Werewolf? There’s a reason why you can’t find a fairy tale where the wolf and the girl live happily ever after.
We didn’t talk much about his past. Over bourbon, expensive, not cheap, he alluded to a love gone wrong in New Orleans. He muttered something about money and means, the eyes of a killer, the hands of a priest? I longed to ask once bitten, twice shy? He said I was different. He saw me as a woman that potentially could run with the wolves. I tried to return the favor by saying he reminded me of one of those marvelous, semi-mythical creatures, like unicorns, dragons, and men that actually listen. We had quite a fur pile of fun that bourbon’y, moonless night.
He grew restless, my predator—didn’t want to be leader of his pack, or a lap wolf, a wer that naps. He wanted to be a lone wolf who never asked for forgiveness for his kind, except when it came to children. He hated Greek Lycaon, son of Pelagus—a man no one could trust—my wer sacrificed to Zeus nearly every full moon. Olympus never answered back. I reminded him men were beastly and wild—even the bible describes offering up a child. There’s Abraham, and the tale of why they spread lamb’s blood on doors. There’s the Aztec’s, Olmec’s, Babylonians, Celts, and so much more horror and lore.
I tried humor, made up poems that rhymed and drew signs. I never saw a werewolf, never want to see one, though if I should, I’d rather see than be one. My black lettered sign read In my defense, the moon was full... I begged—go ahead—throw me to the wolves, but doubted the pack would take me in—I wasn’t kin. I asked again about the pull of the moon. Too late, I realized the question I should have asked was what werewolves, real or otherwise, might tell us about ourselves. Have we been myth-informed all along? Are werewolves us and us them?
My beast sat, fetched, rolled over; why didn’t he stay? We shared a bowl, a home, lays. The inevitable truth: two moons ruled this Conchobhar, one was huge, beckoned him roam, the smaller ones job was to entice him home. He chose the first moon. C’est la vie—twasn’t to be… I grieved, got stuck in the anger stage, and thought about writing a follow up to Women Who Run with Wolves entitled Weres Who Sleep with the Fish. I drank hair of the dog; it didn’t help. People gossiped and I sighed, lamented I had no werewolf by my side. Many moons passed before I stood on my own
four two paws legs again after recalling one of his favorite phrases wolves never lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. Carrion on my wayward love…
Then I ran… into haunted dark woods, even stalked Carney midways searching for JoJo the Dog Faced Lad. There was no Werewolves Anonymous group to join so I became, for a time, a bounty hunter, tracking down humanoid bail jumpers and escaped murderers. When I’d had my fill of these creeps, I found a new lair, made of bricks and wood, with a thatched roof. I dated a Slav Wilkolak who’d occasionally humor me by morphing into a 4 legged beast if I made him a pot of beef chow mein. Last I heard, he’d moved to London—Mayfair or Kent.
With little else to do, I studied the moon, the glorious orb that influences all zodiac signs, the tides, lunatics, serial killers, and growing stuff like chives. New and full moon rituals enable the harnessing of moon energy. The moon governs etheric tides, which peak at full moon, ovulation and possibly premium copulations, and is sensitive to certain conductive metals. The Babylonians called the full moon Sa-bat—neither increasing or decreasing, and bid everyone take a day of rest. I took a sabbatical.
Slowly, I began to
heel heal. My ruff spots smoothed. Lesson learned never underestimate the ability of an alpha female to figure things out. It had been a magical time. I fell in lust or love—with a beastly man under a moon of blue. He was a stray with wandering ways. Before I met him, I could hardly conceive… It was too absurd to put into words—flesh reshaping bone, muscles becoming hard as stone; altered senses, laser lenses. We’re taught—if something can’t be explained—it doesn’t exist. A kiss is not a fix.
Everyone’s been wrong for so long. Things unimaginable, things far away—like the moon—affect us all—from dusk to dawn. And that which you hold, holds you (Tom Robbins knew the truth). It’s all particles and waves, frequencies and chosen fates. We must have the
werewolf-all wherewithal to recognize love or a beast when we see it. After all, ‘We’re filled with a longing for the wild. Shadows trotting behind us have sharp teeth and 4 feet. (C Pinkola Estes) and if you sense love is in the air, either inhale or hold your breathe. You can’t make love stay, you can only beckon it come. If it does, as otherworldly beast or human kin, don’t be a pig—let it in.
Recently, in an old storage box, I found a few of his things, including an old pelt, and tube of monkshood, belladonna, henbane, preparation H… Should I try it on myself? Why not, I’ve had my shots? ‘Twilight, the time between the dog and the wolf has passed. A full moon will soon be rising. People are saying ‘it’ll be frightening; watch for hurricanes and lightning.’ They warned ‘trouble’s on the way.’ They don’t know trouble’s my middle name. This won’t be my first wild hunt.