Dogs and timber wolves howled and bayed, after the battered Ottfly’s disappeared into the wilderness. But good spirits and joyous humor soon faded… replaced with reality.
Omar strode towards Shocka Din, who, with Hanna at his side, started his way. They made steady eye contact as they came face to face.
Look at him, and the rest of ‘em… no gloomy moping, no layin’ around lickin’ wounds. Matter of fact, I don’t see no wounds, on none of ‘em! I’m thankful for what they did. Never been thankful before. Hanna says I need to let them know how I feel. Shouldn’t hold something like this in. She’s right. This ain’t gonna be easy…
He began loud enough for every perked ear. “I’m still tryin’ to believe what happened here… Thank you. A lot has changed since we got here. My wolves are even liking each other now… tellin tales, like you all do. The females are actin’ different since they started takin’ up with your females. Don’t know how we gonna handle ‘em,” he chuckled.
Hanna lowered her head and inched closer to Shocka, while peering impishly at the females.
Omar shrugged. “Y’all ain’t the first to come here looking for trouble, and nowhere near the worse,” he woofed. “You realized quick you weren’t a threat to me. Then you were bent on wandering around, like you forgot why you were here.
Shocka nodded, then sighed, “I been doing some thinkin’. It’s time we settled down. Wouldn’t mind it being not far from here. Unless we draw trouble, that ain’t our fault, or join y’all in some scuffles, our fighting days are over. What you think about that, Omar Blue?”
Omar leaned forward, scanning his pack, expectantly.
“Let ‘em stay!” howled a massive dog from the rear, his eyes and mouth hidden under thick curly hair.
Similar callouts filled the air.
The pack leader looked to his side, at his friend, the deciding factor.
Bennie nodded. “Okay with me.”
Shocka and Bennie eyed each other, as years of hatred dissolved.
“We’ve meant a lot to each other, Bennie,” Shocka muttered. All bad. We trailed one another, knowing it would mean bloodshed. No complaint, ‘cause we gave as much as we got.” He cackled while turning his backside, to show off a jagged scar. “You got any Bennie?”
“Nope,” Bennie retorted, followed by a good-natured smirk.
The canines whooped!
That settles it,” Omar howled.
“No it don’t, “Afghan Beebee barked cheerfully, scampering to the forefront. She yapped softly to Omar.
He grinned, glancing back and forth from Bennie to Shocka.
“There’s one more thing, Shocka. The females want you and Hanna to take part in Bennie and Wolfhound Winnie’s Get-together… to secure your new friendship,” he added, lowering his head to hide his roguishly twitching mouth.
Shocka side-tilted his head, and pondered briefly, gazing at Bennie, “You okay with this?”
“You’ll be learning, the females mostly get their way,” Bennie retorted. Yeah, I’m okay with it.”
“We’re not ready,” yelped one of the females.
Afghan Beebee and Poodle Sophie Jean took the lead, as the others nudged Winnie and Hanna along.
Without warning, the K-9 Town males began howling, much louder and longer than any time before. Their voices rang throughout the forest.
The wolves gazed in awe, as the dogs sent a message throughout the wilderness.
The significance of the dog’s dramatic outpour became clear later, when they were joined by King Cat Sateer and his subjects, a brooding mountain lion called Booby, and his pride, a few grizzlies, and other animals, that, any place else, would be vicious enemies. All showing mutual respect.
Shocka glanced around at his peers. This is the truce Sateer told me about. Now it’s gonna include us… That’s what I’m thinkin’… Better find out for sure. It’s a mighty strange place, ‘cause you never know what to expect. I like that.
Eagle McZen perched in an enormous tree overlooking K-9 Town, feasting on tasty offerings, as he studied some of the creatures below with wide eyed scrutiny.
His attention stopped at Thor, who never ceased to baffle him, with his naughty playfulness, that easily changed into wicked aggression, if provoked. While keeping a steady eye on Omar, he was up to his happy neck in females.
A familiar sensation overtook the fidgety eagle. Through their timeless, mysterious link, Queen Saifon spoke to him.
Her soft, meaningful voice overruled the warrior’s thirst for further combat. “You’ve done well. Thank you, my wonderful friend… Come home now.”
The magnificent eagle took to the sky.
Omar Blue watched his lifelong guardian take flight, as though Saifon’s words had reached him also.
Their eyes met… saying all that was needed.
“Until next time.”