Episode Nine – Contemplation

Omar sprawled out with his pack, recalling how they had dealt with the timber wolves. “Any of you notice, that Shocka didn’t have any females with ‘em? They split up! Sent his females to handle ours. Wish we were there to see that,” he cackled. “All ain’t lost though. I sent Paco to look for us.”

The dogs woofed and howled, “They don’t like us snoopin! Lucky you didn’t get caught. Arf arf. How’d they handle them wolves?”

Paco snorted, “I only stayed long enough to see my Conchita. She was getting’ ready to attack those timber wolves when I got there. Such a wild one,” the Chihuahua gloated, chest rising. “I could not stay longer because I was needed here.”

Fake distress erupted.

Should’ve sent me, Omar…”

Nope, me!”

I could’ve done it better. The females are always clobbering me over stuff anyway,” woofed a Shepherd called Shadow. “Now we gotta wait ‘til they come tell us.”

* * *

Shocka roared at his pack, face twisted in anger, saliva spraying from his mouth. “Don’t matter why we came here! I should have been treated with some respect—I’m Shocka Din!” He paused, eyes narrowing. What’s these looks they’re tryin to hide? Always thinking I don’t see stuff. Somethings up—Uh-huh! Should’ve knowd it was him!

The largest wolf in his pack, Jocko, lowered his head, muscles bulging, and growled, barely over a whisper, “Shocka should’ve fought Omar Blue right then and there, if you ask me.”

No one asked you!” Shocka howled, and lunged, slamming into the unsuspecting brute.

Jocko flew backward, spun around, and attacked.

The wolves rolled over, biting, snarling, each intent on the others destruction, until Jocko let out a howl and fled, tail tucked between his legs.

Anybody else questioning why I did, what I did?!” Shocka thundered as he glared around.

The others crept back out from behind trees and under bushes and crouched before him.

Omar Blue ain’t no ordinary foe. I done what any smart leader would have! I saw the monster behind that mask of his… y’all didn’t! Y’all didn’t see the looks on that dog army of his, neither!”

Wouldn’t have done nothin different—You done right, Shocka—We weren’t ready for ‘em to act like that! “

Shocka froze, peering over their heads. Hanna and the other females were trotting towards them. Squinting, he made out their fixed gazes, and slouched movements. All wasn’t well.

His abrupt change from roaring anger to squinted eyed concern caused heads to turn. Hardly close enough to hear, the she-wolves began describing the females of K-9 Town. “They were different than anything we ever faced.” Hanna yelped. “Not a scared one in the bunch.

Didn’t think we were gonna git away.” Bella snorted, capturing all eyes. “You should’ve seen it. If it weren’t fer Hanna…” She stopped mid yowl, lowered her head and shook it from side to side.

The females sauntered away, to find a spot to observe the K-9 Towners. On a hill laden with thin bushes and tall grass, they settled. “Did y’all hear the dogs talkin about going back to their planning, when we were gitin away from there? Wonder what they’re planning for? Why not just do it, whatever it is,” wolf Aggie yelped.

Don’t know, but sittin around all lazy like didn’t look bad to me.” Hanna chortled, glancing around as snouts quivered into slight smiles. “Ever wonder what it would it be like to take a place, send the weaklings off, then stay there?”

Eyes focused, ears perked, they listened to Bella’s reply. “Can’t say I have… Puts to mind watchin those puppies run in, git little nibbles of whatever it was, then run off again. I liked that.”

Me too!” added more than one, as they gathered closer to each other, then flopped down.

Hanna watched as they curled up and slipped into silence. Eyelids drooped, popped open, then surrendered to closure. Could there be a better path for us? Within reach?

Pushing the strange thoughts aside, huddling beside the others, she joined their slumber.


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