Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Staff (01/31/13)
TITLE: Shad and the Beastly Wolf
By Dan Wilson
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Well, hello! I’m glad you stopped by. My name is . . . oops, back again. Sorry, didn’t mean to disappear like that. The sun hid behind some gray clouds and when it does, well, as they say, “here one minute, gone the next.” Now as I was saying, my name is Shad, short for Shadow. That’s my name and what I am. It’s the only thing about me that’s consistent. My color even changes from black to light gray.
I appear almost anywhere in all different kinds of shapes, which can be embarrassing sometimes. Just the other day I was a square. Boy was that exciting! I just stood there. All day – standing, not swaying – just standing. Thank goodness, at least, the sun was moving. And when the sun moves, I move. My friends were fortunate they were following the folk walking beside this square. My friends would be tall, short, tall and slim or short and . . . well pudgy. I’ve had the opportunity to follow these creatures before. They can have two feet, three feet and sometimes six feet. I hate being four feet because that usually means part of me is being shaken back and forth rapidly and that rattles me. This reminds me of something that happened the other day, which was really scary.
It was late one summer afternoon. It was hot, but heat really doesn’t bother me. I was reclined next to a sycamore tree. Its green laden branches were swaying in the gentle breeze. I was strumming a harp, but since I couldn’t see my fingers I’m not sure how the music was created. I did notice the flock of sheep wasn’t paying any attention as they grazed on the green grass in the meadow. My eyes did glance over to the three ewes with their lambs standing near the stream of water just in front of a clump of oak, sycamore and maple trees. That water looked so cool. I said to myself, “Shad, why doesn’t this young lad at least play in the water on a hot day like this?” And then it happened! Startled, the six sheep jumped backward.
The young lad shot up, the harp fell to the ground. In that same instant the dark brown creature moved out of the trees. Slowly, deliberately raising each paw off the ground it advanced gradually toward its prey. The six sheep immediately scurried back to the flock for safety. As the sheep ran away, the wolf vaulted across the small stream of water. Grabbing his staff the lad and I kept our eyes on the wolf and began moving cautiously toward the animal. (Would you believe a friend of mine showed up right next to the wolf? I couldn’t believe it.)
It wasn’t long before the wolf had cornered a small lamb. The wolf’s eyes glared intensely into the lamb’s eyes. They were face to face and only a few feet apart. The lamb’s mother was baaing in the distance, aware of the impending tragedy. Fear gripped the little lamb, it was shaking too scared to move. The wolf inched forward, his focus on the meal that was before him. Slowly, calculatingly moving forward he kept his eyes on the lamb, baring his huge teeth ready to pounce at any second. I and the lad were sneaking up behind the wolf, with the staff drawn back over his right shoulder. The situation was so tense I could barely hear the lad’s sandals move methodically through the tall grass.
We crept closer and closer until we could hear the fast, shallow panting of the little lamb and the deep breaths of the wolf. I could see the tears streaming down the lamb’s face the poor thing was scared to death. We were within striking distance now. The wolf was so focused on his prey he didn’t pay any attention to what was coming up behind him. Suddenly, with a might swing the young lad unleashed his fury and the wooden staff whished through the hot summer air toward its target. Just at the point of contact the sun slipped behind some dark gray clouds. Several seconds later the sun reappeared, we were hunched over a lifeless beast.
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