The afternoon sun was warm on my back. It soaked through my white lupine summer coat like cool water. It felt nice after the chilling rains of the night before. The rain made it hard to track this morning's breakfast, but overall I was well rewarded for my persistence. My stomach bulged where I had feasted on baby hares, too young and inexperienced to know what to do, and thus, a very easy meal.
I was lucky. It wasn't often that I was fullfed. A lone wolf has its downfalls, but I had little choice in the matter. What's done is done, and I will not grieve over it.
In my dream I was chasing a mouse... A plump, juicy mouse... When all of the sudden I was no longer chasing the mouse, but the mouse was chasing me, and had caught me by the tail, moving it either which way as if it was inspecting it for possible home décor...
As the sun burned its way to my eyes, I slowly awoke from my slumber... My tail was still moving. Rolling over to my belly, I cast one bleary-eyed glance over my shoulder... My tail was moving! Sleep-slow, I barely shifted a paw before a little brown mouse poked her head out from underneath the alabaster bush. She freezes, momentarily alarmed, before smiling her little mousy smile.
"Uhh..." I managed to intelligently say, completely dumbfounded by this whole scenario...
"Hello," she greets in a high voice, her cheeks bulging now from the width of her smile.
"I... uhh... He-hello..." I greeted back. The little voice in my head quietly telling me to eat her while I had the chance, but I was too disoriented from the dream's reality shift... Or maybe I was still dreaming... Either which case I was pretty sure I didn't want to bite my tail... Which was between me and the juicy morsel...
"What are you doing?" She asked me, her sweetly high voice too innocent to be plotting to bite my tail off.
"Well I... was sleeping... I think..." I answered, still lost between my own ears.
She giggles into her plump paws. "Come on, Dreamer. I've got something to show you." The she darts into the forest.
Lurching to my paws, I trot after her. Getting my wits about me, I shout after her, "Wait! Where are we going?" All the while I was thinking, Mice don't make traps, right?
I would have stepped on her if I didn't already see the trail directly in front of her. The trail reeked of human. If that wasn't enough, the bush was cleared a few feet in either direction of the trail, making it clearly marked and easy to follow.
I didn't like that trail.
"Come on! Let's play a game..." She squeaked, apparently unafraid of a full wolf.
"A game? … Here?" I asked, wondering if the mouse knew that humans don't care much for wolves using their trails... Let alone near them.
"Yes!" She squeaked, bouncing up and down to stress the dire need of a game. "You chase me, and when I say 'Hide', we hide, okay?"
I was pretty sure the mouse had lost her marbles, but if this was another dream, what the hell, I was going to be twitching whether I liked it or not.
"Okay," I conceded.
No sooner had I done so that that plumb mouse darted down the trail. Running after her, I was surprised that such a chubby thing could go that fast. I found it hard to keep up with her. I blamed my overstuffed belly for that inadequacy.
Clank! THWUMP! "Ow!" I yelped. My nose tender where it had run into a gate that had swung closed right in front of me. Stepping back, I inspected the piece of abrasive metal closely. Attached to the gate was a small wire cage. In that cage, was a tiny hamster wheel. Is this a mouse trap humans talk about? If that's the case, it's ridiculously large for mice...
The little mouse scampers back. "Come on!" Then she's off running again.
Not wanting to be left behind, I put my tender nose carefully on the gate. It swings open with little effort. Smiling a wolfish grin at my luck, I lumber after her. Relaxing into a rhythm, I just barely notice another gate swinging closed in time to stop. Again, the same odd contraption of a hamster wheel and cage attached to the gate. This time I noticed that my mouse friend was able to dart underneath the gate with little difficulty. Humans are so stupid...
Once more I pushed open the gate. Once more it opened with no trouble. Darting after the mouse, I kept a sharp look out now for another nose-hurt-dumb-human-mouse-trap gate. I wasn't going to be taken by surprise again.
Another gate started to swing close. At the exact same time, my mouse friend shouted, "Hide!" It sounded urgent.
I followed her into a hole too big to be meant just for mice, and tucked myself against the wall near the entrance. Panting ever so slightly, I tried to be real quiet, listening for whatever reason we had to hide from. A few short quiet seconds passed before the mouse giggled cheekily... Then I remembered the third gate... I couldn't remember hitting it, but maybe in my hurry I just didn't notice it? Whatever the case was, I wasn't about to stick my head out the hole just to find out...