Linda woke the next morning, again feeling great. When she opened her eyes and looked over the edge of the couch, she saw the wolf. He was lying on his back, with his feet in the air. She could tell he must be dreaming, as his legs and tail twitched.
Linda wanted to reach down and give him a good belly rub, but she knew the wolf before her was a wild animal. If startled, he could bite her. So keeping her arms tucked in close, she blew out a soft whistle.
The wolf did get startled. He jumped to his feet, growling and looking around for danger. Then he focused on Linda and growled for a moment more then stopped. Linda watched as he stop and gave himself a good shake. When he was done he came up to her, put his head near hers, and bumped his nose against her cheek.
Linda reached out and petted his head and neck, giving him a good scratching behind his ears.
"Good morning, young one. I guess we should get up and have some breakfast, and then get to work. I'm sure after all these years those assholes have placed a lot of traps ... and forgotten most of them."
The wolf nodded his head then went to the door, looked back quickly then slipped out.
Linda got up and headed to the bathroom to take care of her morning routine. It didn't take long, and soon she was back in the front room to make breakfast in the kitchen.
She was somewhat surprised that when she was almost done, she heard a noise. She found the wolf looking in her front door, again.
"Come on in, silly. Breakfast is almost finished. I guess the only question for you is: 'cooked or raw?' Which would you prefer?"
Linda looked at the wolf to give her the answer.
Trap wasn't sure what the female was asking. However, he did walk into the room, and over to where she was standing.
Linda watched, waiting, and then chuckled.
"I guess it doesn't matter, does it," she said. "Well, let's see what I have for you."
Linda opened the fridge and took out a package of boneless pork chops. There were three chops in the package and she took two for her friend.
"Well, this will put something in you, and you can always hunt, later."
Linda put the last one back in the fridge. She tossed the two pieces onto a plate, and sat the plate on the floor. With a small push, she slid it closer to the wolf.
Trap looked at the thing on the floor. He could smell it was meat. He looked up at the female, then down to the meat. He sniffed it, and then took a careful bite. It didn't take long for him to decide that he liked it. To him it tasted like pig, and he liked pig. The chops were soon just happy memories.
Linda finished her eggs and hash browns, and then moved to the table to eat. For some reason her mind kept telling her she forgot the bacon but she didn't have any, and the pork chop was for her dinner. She would have to make sure, when Mary came by with her big order, that there was a good stock of meat in it.
The food was soon filling a happy spot in her tummy. Linda was getting ready to leave for her self-appointed trap hunting trip, when her house phone rang.
"Hello," she asked. The caller ID said it was her lawyer.
"Hello, Miss Mason, this is Mr. Baits. How are you today?"
"Land locked, but ok. What can I do for you?"
"I have a few questions for you. First, how aggressively do you want me to go after the man that attacked you yesterday? And second, would a 'sapphire blue' for the color of the new truck, work for you?"
"I doubt the Harpers have anything. I can't remember if anyone of the family was killed at the mill. As for the truck, I'll take any blue, except baby or sky blue. Those two are just too soft for a truck."
"Ok, then. I have a truck from a closer dealer that said he can get it to you by late tomorrow. And you're right about the Harpers. I did take the liberty to file a restraining order against the whole family, as the sheriff overheard that the family might try something against you."
"Thanks for the heads up on that. Damn, I guess I better stay around the place. I was going trap hunting."
"I wouldn't if I where you. I was told there were wolves all over that area," said Mr. Baits with a small bit of fear in his voice.
"I know. I grew up here remember. My father and I used to keep the forest clear of traps and such. Most of the time, if the animals were taken for meat, we wouldn't worry about it. However most of the animals were taken by poachers. It will take me a bit to know who does what, and the reasons why. Hunting and trapping for food, is okay. But trapping for pelts and money, is just wrong," Linda said firmly.
"Just be safe. Wild animals can be dangerous."
"Okay, call me if anything comes up. As I said, your new truck will be there tomorrow."
"Good! Thank you, and goodbye."
With that, they both hung up. Linda took a deep breath and let it out.
"Well, boy, I guess we can't do as much as I wanted to do, today. We might be having some unwanted company," Linda said to her four footed friend.
Linda watched the wolf's ears twitch. Then he let out a small huff, and a growl. She chuckled.
"You can say that again."
After straightening up a bit, Linda and the wolf went out onto the porch. It was a beautiful morning. She didn't feel like just sitting around doing nothing, so she started walking around the edge of the woods.
The smell was just as she remembered. As she walked along the forest edge, she could remember the names of all the trees and plants, and what they were their uses. What surprised her, and pissed her off, was that she found several small animal snares. The worst was a metal foot trap, used mainly for catching coyote.
Linda had just made her way to the front of the clearing when her wolf froze, sniffed, then growled. Off in the distance a wolf howled.
Trap watched his human female as she walked and talked to him. He found it fun to see her re-learning the forest. He was surprised when she stopped, and said some words that he hadn't heard before. Then she grabbed a stick and triggered a small snare. It was one meant for small game.
As Trap and his human went, she found more and even came across one of the awful metal ones, designed to break the legs of foxes and coyotes.
When they came to the front of the clearing again, Trap heard something. He thought he knew what it was, so he growled a bit to let his female know.
Then he heard one of his sisters, and knew someone was coming. He raised his head and answered, so everyone knew he knew.
"What is it boy? What's up?" Linda asked.
Trap looked at her then turned and looked at the road coming though the trees.
"Someone's coming? Ok, boy, you take off. I don't want people to see you or try to hurt you. Go on. I'm going to the house where my gun is."
Linda took off at a run, back to the house.
Trap watched her for a moment more, then faded into the woods to watch.
Linda ran into the house, and to her closet. She pulled out both her shotguns, and her rifle. It only took a moment to load them. Then she put extra shells for both shotguns on the small shelf by the door. The rifle she rested against the wall by the door, as she stood looking out.
By then there was an old truck, just coming into the clearing. It made Linda let out a big sigh of relief when she saw Mary Calloway waving at her.
Linda looked around to see if she could see the wolf but he was hiding very well. She knew he would watch until either Mary left, or something came up that he thought needed his attention.
"Hey, Mary, what are you doing here?" Linda said as her friend came to a stop and got out of her truck.
"Hi, Linda! Dad sent me with the rest of your order. I also wanted a chance to catch up with you," Mary said.
She reached into the truck bed and pulled a big box out. Linda went over and quickly took it from Mary, who then turned and took out a second one.
"So what have you been doing with yourself?" asked Linda when they got inside and started putting things away.
"Just working the store, though I don't know why. I guess with the new laws, there might be a few more people coming back, or selling out. There's a developer that wants a bunch of the places. He wants to build a big resort, or a casino, or something. People would have to go through our town to get to his area, so that might help. What about you, though? I didn't think I'd ever see you back here."
"Well, I guess it's a confluence of things. My aunt died a few years back, then I lost my job to out-sourcing. Finally, all those new laws put me in a bind. In a way, it was good. I needed a break, and a good place to think. So I came here," Linda said as she finished emptying her box.
Mary started looking around and noticed the pile of wire and metal.
"Linda what's all this?" She said as she held up some of the selection.
"That is a bunch of crap I found, just walking around the edge of the clearing. I need to talk to my lawyer, and find out why the people who were to take care of the area, didn't get rid of them."
"I doubt they did much other than cut the grass and made sure the plumbing worked," Mary said.