Friday, November 4, 2016

Corn Wolf

Corn Wolf
Bobby Derie

The old men told me how corn wolf crept through the ripe tall grass, the fine, pale yellow fur blending in with the prairie. It moved as the wind moved, and stood still when it died, closing in on its prey. Some say that the corn wolves would hunt in packs, singling out and closing in on a lone deer or buffalo, but I never saw such a thing. I remember how it was when they started to clear the prairie, and green stalks in rows began to replace the endless sea of grass...but for them corn wolves, that was just replacing one hunting ground with another.

I remember coming out in the morning and we'd find a trail of blood leading into the corn, maybe a chicken or rabbit, and Ma would say the corn wolves was out; she'd warn us kids about playing in the fields alone, and tuck us into our beds telling us the corn wolves would gobble us up. When I was eight or nine I was plum scared at the thought of that...not able to see over the tops of the corn, walking through the rows 'til you lose sight of the house, the rich earth beneath bare feet.

One day I was walking like that and I thought I stepped in mud...but it was blood, red blood, mixed up with the earth, squeezing scarlet between my toes, and still warm, almost hot...I looked around and then, just then, I came face to face with something. It was like a dog, though no dog I had ever seen, and maybe more like a big fox with low pointed ears and a dun brown nose, all pale yellow fur except around the muzzle, which was wet and dripping blood. Yet it showed no teeth at me, nor raised a hackle. I knew it wasn't a wolf or coyote then, 'cause those are scared of humans, and as I looked in those bright yellow eyes I knew this thing wasn't scared of me at all...and then my Ma called, and it scampered out of sight, once and for all.


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