My dream began in a meadow. It was early morning and the red sun was fast turning the frost into bright diamonds.
We were all there together as we are only that now we were coyotes.
This was a time of journey. We ran at a good pace for two hours. Hondo was always in the back,sneering anytime we turned around unless of course it happened to be Ludi that locked eyes with him.
There was an evil spirit about Hondo.
Whenever we rested the ground would steam up and cloud around him. He had a deep knowing look that made us all ask questions of ourselves . Questions with only dark answers. It was these questions that followed us like the steam that hung in Hondo’s fur, these questions that burned like the pit of our empty bellies.
As we rested in a poplar grove I asked Ludi why we didn’t make Hondo leave. He never hunted or scavenged for the pack but he never had the hunger on him . Ludi said the sky would tell me when it was time.
When we came to the great river it began to snow. The tiny heavy snow that doesn’t want to stop. And it didn’t!
We laid down under a large rock outcrop. Ludi pointed his long sharp snout at Hondo as if to say ,”watch”.
On the third day we were a retched bunch. Lin was barely breathing . Sometimes she would sing our songs in a mumbling melody .She was between the waking and the dreaming and her vision was illuminated by the songs that spoke to us all . It said that we were dying.
As the sun fell on the third day I saw Hondo slowly slink away in the shadow of the snow laden cedars that so graciously blocked the wind from us.
I waited until he crossed the branch and then ran after. I followed his tracks for miles into a small clearing where Hondo stood over a newly dug hole devouring a family of rabbits. He looked up and sniffed the wind and turned his eyes on me. In that moment I knew that he had the gift of smell. He had never been hungry and he had never helped. Hondo charged toward me, blood falling into the snow off his steaming jowls. I braced and lurched forward, my heart was in my head ,pounding me into numbness. Hondo jumped for my throat his mouth open wide ,I jumped out of the way just in time to see Ludi take him down. The pack stood all around.When Hondo came to himself he was surrounded. We followed him in our circle until he had fed us all with moles and voles and rabbits and even grubs.
When the pain of starvation had left us we felt so relieved that we forgot about Hondo and his evil ways, all of us, excepting Ludi. Ludi attacked Hondo with all of us still in what appeared to be a circle of death. In the midst of the battle the snow stopped and the sun came out , Hondo’s tongue turned to fire and he let loose of a horrible moan.
The echo of that moan is all that remains of Hondo.