The Wolf King is aloof. He is regal. He needs no man.
Oh, OK. He needs man, or woman, to get the kibble out and to gently mix in the carefully cooked chicken livers. Sure. And, yeah, fine, he needs man, or woman, to let him out in the morning so he can do his royal doody.
The Wolf King is the ruler of his domain. He does not rely on any human for emotional support.
Today the little one in our house was sick. She had a bad cough, a stuffy nose, a little bit of a fever. She was OK for most of the morning, but by lunchtime, she was really droopy.
WomanWhoFeedsMe put away the toys and handed Little Girl her favorite stuffed Floppy Puppy. They went down the long, dark hall into the nap room. The Wolf King watched them go.
He stayed in the living room. That hall is really long. And dark. He laid his royal nose on his powerful paws. He started to doze.
And then he heard it.
Little Girl was crying. The Wolf King lifted his head.
She was making that choky sobbing noise that he hated so much. There were words in her choking cry. He tilted his head to the right, and then to the left. What was she saying?
“Huck” she coughed. “Hucky..” she choked. He heard the sound of WomanWhoFeedsMe, gently cooing, trying to calm the little girl.
The Wolf King rose slowly to his feet. His back hurt. His back legs were shaky and his spine was making creaky noises.
He took one step toward the long, scary hall.
He heard it. He heard the sound of Little Girl, calling his name. She was telling him to “come.”
The Wolf King gave one soft whine. Really?, he was asking. You really want me to walk all the way down that hall?
He gave a sigh. He shook himself, from head to tail. He walked down the hall, really slowly. Past the dark, scary doorways, over the creepy scary reflections of light. He moved forward.
He would not be afraid.
Little Girl needed him. She WANTED him. He would not fail in his duty.
The Wolf King made his way to the nap room. He walked to the bed and rested his chin on the mattress.
“Tucky!!!” Little Girl cried, coughed and reached out one small hand to touch his warm head. “Tucky.”
“mmmmm,” the Wolf King answered as he lowered himself slowly to the floor beside her bed.
“Tucky…” she murmured as she curled into the arms of WomanWhoFeedsMe. She fell asleep.
So did he.