The Goddess and the Wolf

"Run wolf run!" cried the maiden girl,

Her voice ringing loud and clear,

As the man drew ever near.

"The Hunter comes with all his hounds!"

His staff in hand, and bow upon his back

He tramples through! Our fair forest wilting

Beneath his trolling feet!

Like a king of men, he swaggers so!

Ah! Of courage he has no lack!

"Let him see you not!" warned she, whom of the forests dwelt in robes of gossamer and eyes of all-knowing evergreen.

Her hand upon her breast, "Else until he wears your pelt, so soft and silken, he'll not rest!"

"Flee to the forest to which I dwell!" she exclaimed in righteous tones of rage,

"Let him dare enter here, were Goddess's stay, what a tale he may then live to speak! Should he last through the day!" cried the maiden girl, twining her finger about her lone curl, shaded in shadows of ink and ebony.

"Run wolf run!" she called, beckoning her creature onwards with her singsong voice low and clear, though miles away, her voice rang in his ear.

Padded paws striking dirt, fast he flew to the dwelling he knew.

He howled once, seeking the sanctuary in great green boughs ahead, where he might lay down his magnificent head, upon Her lap, were he might sleep sound at last.

He scented the hounds and heard their hungry howls; he saw the Hunter and heard his growls.

"Run wolf run! The hounds and Hunter are fast on your tail, I'd see them fail, than you fall by measly mortal hands or tearing teeth of rabid dogs!" echoed the voice upon the wind, the voice of Her.

The one to which all creatures would name The Saint,

If it happened they knew such terms,

The Virgin One to whom held no humanly taint.

Fast he did fly,

Taking heed her fevered cry.

Across the meadow and marsh

Across the mountain and lake

Was the path, the wolf did take.

His was a dusty pelt of silver and black,

With eyes of amber and gold

Wise, but not yet old…

"Run wolf run!" was the last thing he was told.

Sun streaked upon his face as the musky cool of Her forest was his again, head lowered in relief he touched the forest ring, and then happened the strangest thing.

He felt the stinging pierce of arrows tip, and curled his lip.

"Failed you I have! My shot to slow!" was the last thing he heard, as his body shuddered so, with a pain he'd never again know.

Majestic even in throes of death,

Head still high, though he did tremble and shake.

Mortal coils falling away, before all sense fled he felt her touch soft and sweet, a kiss to his brow, a hand upon his heart, a salty tear upon his pelt all a silent fair thee well.

The maiden girl and her shot was truer than any could tell,

And thus upon the empty lot, a craven Hunter doth lie,

His grave the open land,

Where no marker will ever lay…

But it was for the wolf, that the woman would weep.

And thus it is, since that tragic day, no mortal or man

Hath dared near the maiden girl and Her hidden Keep,

At the very eve of dawn many a man hath heard

The lonesome wail of a womans-keening cry,

Accompanied on the foggiest night,

With the fullest moon-

Much to the villager's fright,

By an unearthly howl,

Sharp and stinging,

A wolfs,

Low, keening, cry.

May the God's above help the next ignorant fools filled with such a folly!

Coming to collect some furs, or in hopes

Of catching glimpse of the Goddess and her Keep,

For there are some things mortals are not meant to seek…