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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Adventure in the Storm.

Adventure in the Storm


He stood upon the wooded hill; eyes squinted against the falling snow
Staring with longing and hunger at the farmhouse far below
The smell of meat and burning fat was faintly discernable on the wind
His nose twitched and his belly growled as flakes drifted through barren limbs

He saw the big black ranch dogs; Newfoundland, by the looks of them
Drop-tailed and worried he backed into the pines; careful they did not see him
He is familiar with the rifles of the ranchers and this particular breed of dog
They are every bit as big as him; he paws the snow and settles in by a hollow log

The gray and silver folds of his winter coat make excellent camouflage
He thinks and ponders about the smoke, the rancher; the rifle and the dogs
A storm is moving in and blue-black clouds herald the threat of more snow
Through covering shadows he can see lights below inside the frosted windows

When he was young and running with the pack he was adventurous and bold
Now own his own, it was stealth and cunning; not valor, that let him get this old
In the middle of the night; the storm raging, the rancher brought his dogs inside
Carefully he crept; inch by inch, forever vigilant, slowly down the mountainside

A cache of ham was hanging in a tree, tied securely to a higher limb
The rancher was smart and cunning too; but maybe not as smart as him
Methodically, he set about his work stopping only to rest or to listen
He pawed the snow until he felt dirt, then alternated, changing his position

The drifts were up to seven feet and he packed them solid with his heavy paws
Standing on his wolf-made mountain, he jumped and sank in teeth and jaws
Rocking his weight with the weight of the ham, the frozen limb began to crack
He quickly released it and let it fall; barely missing his shoulder and back

Quickly now, gnawing at the cords that wrapped his sweet and smoky prize
Inside the house came the creak of floorboards, he glanced up with knowing eyes
The rancher had heard the limb break and was coming out to check his cache
His rifle in hand and dogs at his heels; he couldn’t believe he’d met his match

A fifteen foot high ridge rose paw-packed around where his ham had been
His tedious knots were chewed clean through and the wolf? No sign of him.
Safe in a stone outcropping; high on a lonely hill, he gorges himself with pleasure
Dangerous work but the night is still as he enjoys the taste of his treasure

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Boone, North Carolina, United States
North Carolina poet and musician Fabian G. Franklin invites you to join him on a poetic journey through the soul.