He removed a rabbit from a trap. The carcass was stuff; the animal dead for hours, perhaps even a day. Draping the rabbit over the sling, he tied the animal’s legs together and continued walking the trap line. The man looked down and saw a fresh trail of crimson staining the pure white snow. Following the bloody path, he found her –a wolf bitch. Having been raised with a reverence for the species, this animal was sacred to him.
She lay on the frozen ground; a beauty, her guard hairs white and undercoat shades of grey. Then he noticed her front right paw –or rather, its absence. Had she bitten it off? Had she been caught in one of his traps and sacrificed the paw for freedom? He didn’t know, but the questions worried him. The stump had bled, attracting the hungry. They had fed on her, tearing off big chunks of flesh.
Read more next Wednesday.