I never wanted this to happen. For most of my adult life(I was now 19) there had been no complications. I went wherever I wanted, did what I wanted and had nothing or no-one to worry about. Why then was I in a cave with a dying wolf? We had Wolves in Oregon, but any this size was rare. You certainly did not treat then like a pet. They were wild. So why was I doing this?
Why, because I am stupid. That and there was something noble I saw in her. She had fought and killed three cave bears. When I found her, their bodies were strewn in a line leading to the cave. She was a mess, blood, flesh and fur all about. There was little doubt she was dying. I could have, should have let her die, or even put her out of her misery, but I could not do that, she deserved better.
I wondered why she had fought them. She was not even a match for one, let alone three; yet she had killed them all. Why had she not just runaway. There was plenty of room, and from the tracks, she had already been outside their space. I knew it was a mistake, knew it, knew it, knew it. I went to her, stoked her head and gently picked her up.
No bite, no howl, no struggle to get free. I knew then and there, if there was a way to save her, I would do so, or try to do so. I took her into the cave, the smell of cave bear should keep most of other animals away. I gentle laid her down and started to find wood or leaves for a fire. All the time I had been talking to her, telling her, in a soft, low, voice that I was trying to help her and would do nothing to hurt her.
If I only knew what lay ahead, I would, should have ran. No, not really.
Then there was a sound, it had come from further back in the cave. My horse and saddle gun were just inside the entrance. I had my set of 'Ruger Blackhawk's' in .44 caliber on me. I looked at the wolf, shrugged my shoulders and ventured further back in the cave. Whatever the sound was, it was very faint and did not sound like a threat.
Nothing, I went back, started to make a small fire, brought the horse closer in. It did not shy from the wolf, which was strange. I removed the saddle, bags and gear, placing a blanket on the wolf and a rolled up one under her head. I kept the saddle gun close by.
I heard a sound again, still very faint. Taking a burning branch for light and a .44 in my hand I investigated. Under a pile of twigs and leaves, there was a baby. A little girl baby. Could she be the reason the wolf overcame all odds and tried to fight the bears?
I thought back to the legend about the founding of Rome. A wolf protecting a human baby was not unknown, but was un-common. I took the child in my arms and carried her back to the fire. What I saw was not possible, a naked woman was crawling towards us from where the wolf had been.
"Baby, Baby came from the woman's lips"
"I did not even think. Got her back a few feet, placed the baby in her arms and covered them."
From the things on the floor of the cave, it looked like the woman had recently given birth. That was why the Wolf had near given it's life to protect them. But where was the Wolf now?
I brought water to the woman, more like a girl upon closer inspection. I raised her head and had her drink. I used the kerchief around my neck to clean her face and neck. I heard the sounds of the baby feeding and pulled away to make some broth for the girl.
I also went looking for the Wolf or any sign she had left. There were none. I tied a rope to the bears one at a time and with 'Dusty', dragged them off. It was not the best meat but the grease, meat and trimmings, would give us both food and some thing to help her gain strength. I would skin one or two for their hides if I could.
I wished I could find the Wolf, she had been a hero in my book. When I got back inside the cave, I hobbled 'Dusty', made a spit for some of the meat, and put some in water that was boiling for some broth. I went to the girl and told her I would not hurt her or her child. I was going to uncover her, check for wounds, and rub her body with bear grease to help her heal I had taken one of my shirts from my pack and handed it to her. I would not cover everything, but might make her feel better about what I was about to do.
She was also deeply wounded. Birth did not cause these wound, she literally had pieces of flesh hanging. she was as injured as the Wolf had been. Rubbing in the grease, especially into her large breasts was not easy. I rubbed some on her legs but told her to do those remaining 'female' places herself. That got me a smile, the first smile I saw on her face.
I fed her some broth that night. The baby never left her breast, even when it slept. I found another blanket, mine actually, and put it around her shoulders. She was shaking and burning up at the same time. I fed her broth and water all night. She slept. It was the best thing for her to do. She had not said a word.
I looked at her and the baby and wondered how she had gotten here and who the father was, and where he was. My guess was this girl was 18 or 19, about the same age as me. If her looks were any indication, she had been running free a long time. Her body seemed hard and scarred by branches and brambles, her hair long, dirty and disheveled. She was still quite beautiful.
I fed her another day, some of the meat, softened in the broth became a meal for both of us. I watched her. There was something different about her. On the third day there was a distinct aroma coming from the mound of blankets. Both the girl and baby had relieved themselves, many times it seemed. I grimaced and really did not know what to do.
"Wash, Wash" I heard. I got water, soap from my saddle bags and three rags. She handed me the baby first. In doing so, the blankets fell away and it was a sight to behold. I was not used to seeing a naked woman, let alone one who looked like her.
Washing the baby was easy, she was so small and was asleep. I rested her by her mother. The girl laid back, pushed the remaining blankets down and I got another set of orders. "Wash, Wash." I think I stared at her inspecting things with my eyes that made me feel over-dressed. She took my hand, placed to her body and said "Wash" I washed. I did not want to stop.
Only one blanket was soiled. The leaves and moss she nested in was quite a mess though. I moved them both to the other side of the fire, and handed her more bear grease. As she rubbed her body with it, I could only stare. As she rubbed places only a lover should see, I started to leave. She took my hand and slowly had me rub her breasts. It was like in a dream. It also looked like most of her wounds were healed or healing. She looked stronger, and the baby no longer looked like a newborn.
She put her arms up to me, and pulled me too her. We stayed that way, cuddled together, her naked, me clothed, until the baby woke up, demanding to be fed. With the baby taking one breast, she guided me to the other. Like I was going to refuse this, no way Jose'.
I fell asleep with my mouth on her nipple. I woke with her stoking my face, curling locks of my hair. "She said a few words that shocked the Hell out of me. "Thank You!"
What she said next would change our entire lives.