“Kind of nice hanging around here like this, right Shocka? So peaceful.”
“Never been no place like this, Hanna,” he snorted.
Hanna watched as Shocka’s eyes darted from tree to tree. His eyes fell on a small creature that she didn’t recognize scurrying through a patch of grass. She inched ahead, then turned to face him. “What is it Shocka? What you expect to see?”
“I won’t be surprised at nothin’. It don’t make no sense! Cats going after things they need to be afraid of. Pigs running around happy, with the dogs protecting ‘em. I saw some tree movement, too. It wasn’t just branches and leaves swingin’ in the breeze!
“I know—you told me—but you gotta calm down,” she blurted out. “That can’t be what you saw. I would’ve seen it too!”
OOOW!… WHAT THE HECK!?” Shocka shook his aching head while spinning around in time to see a thick branch draw back into a tree. With bulging eyes and bared teeth, he rammed Hanna.
Hanna tumbled, slid to a stop, and gathered her senses, scared for her mate.
“GRRRRR!” Shocka charged the tree but, cut short midway. What’s that! He moved closer, head tilted, crouching—inches away—Grrr! Scarcely visible probing eyes stared back at him. Then faded away.
Hanna gazed at Shocka as he ambled over, peering back every few steps. He’s mighty mad, but it didn’t damage him any. Shaking her sore rump, she approached him. “What is this place?”
“Don’t know, but I’m gonna find out… Got to!”
* * *
“We were attacked by a tree,” Hanna bellowed.
Wide eyed female wolves rushed over and surrounded her. “A tree?” Bella snorted.
“A big branch slapped Shocka silly, for real, then went back in place like it didn’t do nothing. Shocka knocked me out of the way so he could fight it—thought better of that though—good thing!”
Wish she’d stayed with me a little longer, but she sure is having fun telling about that tree. Goin’ over every bit of it. Think they’d be scared and wanting to get away from here, but they ain’t.
“Listen here!” Shocka roared. “Split up and go looking! Get back to me with anything that looks funny or moves different than you ever saw before. Don’t care what. I wanna know!”
The wolves jumped to their feet roused by Shocka’s thundering, grouped up, and ran off in different directions.
“We’ll stay together to watch the females,” Hanna yelped. “Let’s go down again. Not to offer friendship, just to look. We’ll stay as close as they’ll let us.”
“Maybe things ain’t as good as they look.” growled an energetic black wolf, with a big white patch on her chest, pacing, ready to move.
* * *
“We need show you how to protect yourselves,” yapped puppy Joe. If there’s big wolfs, there’s little wolfs somewhere waiting to jump on us! We’re gonna teach you how to fight in case we need help.” The puppies charged the potbelly piglets without another word. The piglets were ready. They charged back. The normal scuffle ensued… piglet on puppy, puppy on piglet repeated several times.
“This ain’t workin,” yelped a puppy shepherd being squashed by a piglet. “We need to think of something else.” Howls from the female elders brought an end to their next “best plan ever.”
Snickering, on a low hill close by, the she-wolves watched the puppies and piglets tackle and scrap, then repeat the familiar moves again and again with the same results. “They’re gonna try it again. I can’t believe it” chortled Hanna.
Leaving the little ones with the loafing males, the female dogs ambled away.
“Where are they going?” a she-wolf asked gloomily, eyes still fixed on the puppies.
“Come on, let’s follow them.” Hanna jumped up, leading the way. They rushed down the hill.
The dogs moseyed along, pretending not to notice them. “Good, they’re coming. Let’s head for the pond,” Afghan Bee Bee called out looking back, revealing an impish smile.
“Yes!” came the callbacks, accompanied by naughty snickers. They picked up the pace, leaving a gap before the wolves.
“Ain’t that something,” Bella muttered. They stopped to stare. Mouths opened in awe at a body of water with the smoke rising from its surface. This was no time to linger!
Hanna saw them first. “Oh no!”
Mountain lions stood, laid, and played, in the shade of a nearby tree. They paused and glared at the intruders.
Instead of backing up, or turning around, the dogs nodded greetings, and continued.
Trembling bodies cowering, horrified but determined not to show it, the timber wolves followed… Bad move!
The lions leaped to block their paths. Teeth bared, they growled up close.
Hanna’s legs buckled. More than one terrified timber wolf wet the ground.
A dog barked, “Leave ‘em! They’re with us!”
The lions glanced over at the dogs. Turning back to the wolves they snarled, then backed away.
The quivering wolves sauntered over to the dogs.
Poodle Sophie Jean sighed, “The lions were our enemies, ‘til we showed ‘em we weren’t to be messed with. Same as we gonna show Shocka Din and the rest of you.”
“Until then, come in! This water will relax you. Make you think about how you should be living, instead of being so troublesome,” added a sympathetic Collie, waving a wet paw.
They submerged themselves. Hanna peered at closed eyes and pleasant smiles as they overcame their fears. “This is wonderful,” she mused.
The idling didn’t last long. The dogs pounced on them. The determined canines began washing away dirt that had been settling for a long time. Using the steaming water and their paw nails, they detangled hair as they went.
“Ow!… Ouch!… complained the wolves. Though the attention they were getting outweighed the pain by far.
“That should do it,” Afghan Bee Bee finally snorted, leading the wolves out of the water to dry off and admire themselves. They never stopped yapping. Best of all, they included the wolves… kind of.
“Ain’t you tired of running here and there, never getting nowhere. Everything hating you ‘cause you don’t know how to act?” Wolfhound Winnie began…
* * *
“Can’t wait to tell Shocka what we been through,” Hanna woofed, prancing along eyeing their fluffy, shiny coats blowing in the wind.
“We been through a lot,” Bella uttered grimly. “What about how they handled those lions. Then being so nice afterwards, fussin’ over us like that. Don’t make a bit of sense, why they don’t hate us.”
“Don’t know why either, but I like this way better,” Hanna declared, looking over, lowering her head, then nudging her friend to end the melancholy. They continued in silence.