Darkness spread long fingers across the landscape. An owl hooted a mournful greeting to the night, leaves rustling as the huge bird took flight. From the ridge above, a lone wolf howled, a long drawn out wail, answered by the excited yips of the pack as they gathered for the hunt. Below, a large animal crashed through the brush, running from an unseen enemy. His ears detected the telltale swish of tall grass as a small animal scurried towards the river.
Predator and prey, they would all converge on the water and then find food. He listened to the voices of the night, at ease with the familiar sounds. This was his world and he was secure in the perilous surroundings. His head nodded and he jerked, startled awake by the death-throes screeching of a small animal as it succumbed. Prey to the predator!
At the sun’s next rising, he’d cleanse himself so his female would want him and then he would deliver the old grandfather’s pack to the strangers. His hand closed around the object, tracing the exterior smoothed by the passing of many moons. Mystical and provocative, he yearned to know what it contained. Whatever it held, it meant something to the old grandfather and he’d kept the object to be given to these people. Would they know its worth or was its value known only to the old one? Whatever the end result, he would honor his vow as he’d given it. He whispered the secret word of the grandfather. Jonas!