Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Cautionary Tale for Women

I saw a lean wolf at the edge of the forest & he saw me.
He was hungry. I was hungry. And so our story began:

I had a pet rabbit, a sheep, some small cats... all of them trusted me with their lives.
I didn't think twice. I slaughtered them all. I offered them up to my wolf.

Because he was hungry, you see, & I was hungry. I left the carcasses, one by one,
at the edge of the forest. Slowly, carcass by carcass,

he fattened. His fur, no longer matted, grew rich & smooth. He began to trust me.
Slowly, carcass by carcass, he allowed me to touch him. I tempted him into my house.

Because I was hungry, you see, & he was hungry still.
A wolf, even a sleek & handsome wolf, is always hungry.

And I was starving for the scent of him, the touch of him. I fed on his wildness, his
grace, his very being was all I needed for food. In time, the pets were gone.

I offered him my human friends, my children, my aunts, my uncles, my nieces, my nephews,
my sisters, my brother, my mother who was living & my father who was dead.

I lay them on a golden platter before him & I let him sniff.
He licked them with his long pink tongue.

He loved them. And though they trembled in terror & hatred, he meant them no harm.
It's only that he was hungry still & I was starving. We meant no harm.

How it happened that my house burned down, my friends & children disappeared,
how the rich & living forest was destroyed in time, my mother buried in the dust...

How these things came to pass, I do not know to say. I tell you only this:
I was a human woman. He was a creature of the wild.

We caused great harm to earth & man & no angels raised their hands
in blessing, but we did in our own way, under God, love one another.

j.d. 2003