I am the Wolf King. I am a mighty, mighty hunter.
I fear no thunder, no fireworks, no Boom Monster in the cold winter night.
I am the Wolf King! Hear my howl!
Man Who Walks Me and Woman Who Feeds Me know all about my howl. They have heard me on the nights when I’ve escaped, pursuing the elusive squirrel through the woods. They have reveled in the sound of my howl as I called to the moon from exactly two feet outside their open bedroom window.
And they know my howl when I wake up in the night and I want to walk from the living room to the bedroom. When I want to travel the long lonely way down the hall.
They hear. And they obey.
There was a time when I owned the hall. In my youth, I could walk up and down from the bedrooms to the living room with barely a pause. I was bold, in my youth. I loved to hear the tickety-clicky sound of my fabulous toenails on the laminate flooring. There were nights when I strolled back and forth all night long, patrolling the darkness, the sound of my toenails proclaiming that all was safe.
But then, everything changed. The Wolf King was humbled.
It all started when Man Who Walks me decided to add a device called “Fan” to the room where the Dust Eater lives. Naturally, I already have an innate aversion to the Dust Eater.
I am a dog. I sometimes shed.
OK, in the warmth of spring, I shed enough to knit a couple of new dogs every other day. But still. I do not appreciate the times when Woman Who Feeds me swoops down on my resting place with the screaming suction of the Dust Eater. As that evil wand devours every bit of dust, dirt and (sadly) my butt hairs, I whimper in fear.
I do not like the Dust Eater.
But when Fan joined him, and stood in the doorway to the Dust Eater’s room, I knew that I had met a new enemy.
You see, as the years have passed, the mighty gleaming eyes of the Wolf King have grown somewhat dim.
I can’t see shit in the dark anymore.
And so one gloomy night, as I wandered down the hall, I heard the whirring growl of the fan suddenly coming at me from the left. I turned my head, but all I saw were shadows.
I jumped about 4 feet in the air.
And I mean all four of my feet. In. The. Air.
Now that was a howl for the record books.
And as I came crashing down again, the tickety-clicky turned into “screeeeeek” and my ass went left while my head went right.
Since that fateful night (which I think of as “Attack of the Killer Fan”), I am no longer the brave protector of the hallway. I no longer patrol all night.
Now I fall asleep on the comfortable cushions of my couch. I snooze and snuggle in the blankets that Man Who Walks Me always drapes over my shoulders. I fart and twitch and do all those wonderful doggie things that my kind enjoy as we rest.
But around 5 AM, every single day, the heart of the Wolf King awakens. I rise from my comfortable bed, aware that Man Who Walks Me and Woman Who Feeds Me are far down the hall. They need my protection! Plus, there’s an orthopedic dog bed in their room. I place my front paws on the laminate floor. My eyes try to adjust, but the floor seems to have no color, no solidity, no firmness. What if I slip again? Me no likey the ouchies!
I leave my butt on the couch, and my front paws go sliding around on the floor. I frown, I shake my head, making my ears flap-flap-flap. I try to howl, but only a pathetic whimper emerges.
Slowly, shakily, I get to my feet and tickety-clicky across the living room. I stand at the entrance to the hall. All is darkness. All is shadow. The Dust Eater sleeps, but I cannot tell if the Fan has returned. I take two steps forward….click, clicky…..I whimper “heeeeeeew”. I pause.
All is shadow. I reach deep inside, to where the spirit of the Wolf King hides. I call to him.
I take another step….tick…tickety….I whimper louder……”HEEEEEEEEEW”.
This goes on for about an hour
At last, at last, my cry of desperation is heard. Man Who Walks Me emerges from the darkness, hair askew, pajamas sagging. He mumbles something gruffly, and flicks on the hall light.
Hey! Look at that! No monsters, no fans, no slippery icy surface! It’s our hallway!
I lift my head and focus my Wolf King eyes. Proudly I saunter down the hall, tickety-clicky,tickety-clicky,tickety-clicky. I sink into my comfy orthopedic bed.
I consider howling, but think better of it when I hear the sounds coming from Woman Who Feeds Me.
All is well for another night.