The Conversation

This is the story that sparked much of what I write when it comes to werewolf stories. A thinking piece. Hope you enjoy it and Happy New Year!

 

 

He watched as the woman walked up to him. She almost loped. Her gait slinky and smooth. She was much fitter than when he last saw her. Well dressed and self assured, she started to walk past him when he stood and waved.

“I almost missed you! You’ve changed so much that I almost didn’t recognize you,” he said. After a pause, he spoke again. “ What are you?”

They sat down at the cafe table.

“Hello! I guess I have changed. What am I? There are days when I wake up asking myself that. Just what am I? Human? Wolf? Or some hybrid mix? Most days I’m not exactly sure of the answer anymore. No, I take that back. I do know the answer,. It is just so improbable, that the mind reels at the answer,” she said.

“Oh? Explain yourself. I’ve got time,” he replied. He waved at the waiter for two coffees. She sat relaxed in her chair, legs crossed.

“I’ll start at what I think of as the beginning. A long time ago when man first started interacting with animals, there was a divergence of culture. A decision made. Some chose to work with animals in their environment and others chose to be master over them. It wasn’t a fast decision, but one made after a great deal of time had passed. Enough time for man to bring animals into their lives. It was the beginnings of domestication. History says that it was most likely a woman who brought the first animal into the cave to nurture it rather than eat it. From that point on, there was a change made in the nature of man. Truth be told, it is hard to deny the cute and cuddly factor of any newborn or young animal. Especially those of a furry nature. That we brought canines and felines into our lives is no surprise. Nor is the dual nature of our relationships with them,” she said. She sipped her coffee.

“Dual nature? What do you mean?” he asked.

“At some point, man decided to domesticate animals in a way that differed from the brotherhood of hunters and gatherers that previously existed. Hunters and farmers diverged. Those who wanted to rule over the animals became farmers. Agriculture and all of it’s partnerships developed into the cultures we know of today. Grain became more important that meat. Populations grew in accordance with the abundance of grain and other agricultural bounties. Hunters and gatherers didn’t disappear, but instead blended back into the mountains and hills. They kept the partnership with the wild canines and felines. They walked with then, and didn’t lord over them. There were those of mixed feelings in both societies. However, a shift of mindset or philosophy occurred,” she said. She took a sip of coffee and then started again.

“Those that hunted with the wild canines and felines learned to think with them. To travel the same mental roads, until such time that in trance or through mindset, they could shift to wolves or great cats. They hunted as one with those four legged hunters that they had befriended. Dire wolves and cave bears, saber toothed cats and the other carnivores of history became meshed with the tribes and clans of man,” she said.

“That’s quite a postulation. However, I doubt your theory would hold up,” he said feeling a bit superior.

“Doubt me? Just look in any history of man, and you will find references of werewolves and other shape shifters. Or better yet, talk to any shaman. They believe that they live with their totem animals. That they fly on wings, pad through forests and hunt with the packs. Deep down in all of those legends are kernels of truth. Those legends had to start somewhere. Who’s to say that they didn’t start round the fires of those that watched it happen. Who’s to say that those pictures on cave walls showing animal headed human figures didn’t represent the hunting magic that was shape shifting? Do you have a better explanation?” she asked.

“Umm,.. No. Not at the moment. It’s not my field of expertise. Please continue though. I want to hear more of your theory,” he said.

“We’ve all seem people who walk with the grace of a big cat. We’ve heard tell of human bloodhounds that can sniff out drugs or people better than a dog. We’d also swear that some of the people we grew up with had the manners of a bitch in heat. Who’s to say that they weren’t were-animals? The term therianthrope is used a lot today. It identifies people who believe in the animal side of their nature. That there is an inner animal. Some are very open about it, being young and rather on the edge of society, wanting to shock dear Aunt Mabel. Others are very private. Who is to say that entire sections of humanity didn’t geographically isolate themselves? We know now of entire tribes in the Amazon that had never seen a European. We have evidence in history of men in battle turning into berserker’s, and that it was considered a family trait. What we would now call genetic,” she said.

“Okay. It’s a possibility,” he granted.

“So, lets go with the postulation that there is a section of humanity that split from the agrarian cultures a few hundred thousand years back. That they did in fact align themselves with their four legged friends. Historically, we know that the two types of cultures separated. Historians have always laid the differences to climate and geography. What if it was due to mindset as well?” she asked.

“Okay. Where does this work in?” he asked. He sipped his coffee.

“If the agrarian cultures went down to the rivers to grow large crops, would it not hold true that the hunters would move further into the hills and mountains? We have folk history to support this. Once again, look to the werewolf legends. Eastern European mountains are rife with the stories. You hear of them again in the far north and just about any area that has wolves. The Steppes of Russia, and Mongolia are also full of tales. In China, you have werefoxes. In Native American cultures, you have wolves, raptors and coyotes that turn into men and visa versa. To have such a wealth of legend would have to be supported by some kernel of truth,” she said.

“Yes, but wouldn’t they have died out at some point? Been assimilated into the predominant cultures? Isolation breeds stagnation,” he said.

“Back to the supposition that these tribes of shifters isolated themselves in the mountainous regions of the world. As the agrarian cultures moved in, there would have been efforts to continue isolation in some ways. In others, there would be conflict with the invasive cultures. Agrarian cultures have always been land hungry. They expanded into areas that previously had been hunting grounds. It caused conflict. Look at the battles between the Celts and the Romans. They were two divergent cultures that battled it out,” she said.

“There is that, but who would have taught the ‘hunters’ to be fighters?Why isn’t there any mention of this in history?” he asked.

“The best hunters often make the best warriors. There isn’t that much difference between hunting deer and men. If you laid waste to a huge invading army, you wouldn’t brag about it because the last thing you would want is to let people know you were there. And, the invading army certainly wouldn’t let the world know it got its arse handed to them. They’d brag just like Julius Caesar did when he claimed he defeated the Britons and brought back a load of sea shells. If anything, you’d keep the best of the survivors and add to the diversity of bloodlines,” she said.

“There is that,” he agreed. The historian in him was beginning to nod in agreement with her theory.

“There also would have been trade routes that fell along these areas. As culture advanced, there would have been improvements in weapons and basic items needed for survival. Cloth instead of furs, herbs from lowland areas, jewelry, and even some basic foodstuffs. Culture would have advanced. However, at the basic level, would be the understanding that the four legged members of the tribes were just as important as the two legged members,” she stated. “Differences in abilities to shift probably became a matter of breeding. New blood brought in by traders and intermarriages with agricultural peoples would cause variations. There would also be variations due simply to skill at the mental discipline needed to shift. In less isolated cultures, it soon became the province of the magical or priestly cast. Shamans being the individuals that the shifting stories concentrated on as time went on. Cernunnos being the classic example. Here is a god/deity shown shifting to animal form. Yes, having a headdress with antlers didn’t meant that he actually became a stag, but are we certain?” she asked.

“No,” he said. This was getting harder to refute as she added more information.

“He isn’t the only deity who changes form. Nor is he the only one who shares animal shape in some way. Anubis, Bast, Ganesh, and many others. Look to the pantheons of any religion that has more than one god and you will find deities of animal or mixed form. And as often as you find them, you will find stories of shifters. Taliesin in the Celtic mythos is a classic example of one who uses magic and shape shifting to his advantage,” she stated. She drank the last of her coffee and set down the cup.

He nodded and ordered more coffee.

“Nor do legends about humans and animals changing shape diminish. England and Scotland are rife with stories of huge cats and dogs that roam the moors. The best explanation given is that some circus animal has escaped or a private collector of animals has lost one. Yet, how would a huge animal like that be seen for over a century? The same circus or collector didn’t continually lose the same species all those years. Nor were those animals sighted, breeding with the local domestic felines or canines. The only commonality is an obscure area of the country which is suddenly visited by mankind. Selkies, those seals that shed their skins to become humans, have legends about them as late as the 1940’s. In our modern literature, there are multitudes of stories about shifters of all sorts. In fact, they are becoming more and more popular. Just ask any fan of Laurel K. Hamilton,” she said.

“Ah yes, she writes about shape shifters and the fey. Very popular works,” he said.

“Something else that came into play of course was the mindset that allowed man to shift form. Religion has been mentioned, and this is one of the keys to a whole section of mankind that has learned to walk, run and play with wolves and other animals. The first clue were the shamanic religions. Those that literally started out to commune with the animals. Those that dug for the part of themselves that would change thought into deed, and skin into fur. From the origins that generated their religious beliefs we also have the Goddess worshipers. Those that revere the feminine as well as the male in deity. Those that feel a duality in spirituality is normal. What many over the centuries and even now call witches,” she said changing tack just a bit.

“Witches? What are you going after here? I thought we were talking about shape shifting,” he said.

“Yes, witches. Look to where the stories about them group and you will find stories of shifters as well. Witches have familiars… animals that talk to them, turn into human, or help them turn into animals. All of this mixes together and gets lumped into the same bits of legend and story telling. What really lays in common between them is the mental mindset. The belief and understanding of how to shift reality. The narrow confines of Christianity, Islam and Judaism disallow this mindset as deity is a one and only as well as man shaped construct. To define deity as such demonizes everything else, including the mindset that opens that path between four legged and two legged. The deity set demands superiority over all of the animal kingdoms. From the literature engendered by these religions comes the majority of horror stories about witches and shifters,” she said.

“I believe I see the connection. Where to now?” he asked. He was finding her more and more facinating.

“So, we have in our world, two kinds of humans. Perhaps more. We have those that can tap the ethereal energy as well as those who do not. We have shifters and non-shifters. The question begs thought, just how much difference is there? Perhaps not much at all. Evolution is a slow process. We all still carry appendixes. However, can anyone really tell us what it does? No. Lots of guesswork, but no real solid answers. Hominids who’s prehistoric footprints are in the sedimentary rock at Oldivi Gorge have feet that are recognizable as human. So human in fact that they were mistaken for far more recent footsteps until Dr. Leaky tested them. Therefore, if we were to fragment DNA to see the differences, there might not be as much as one thinks. Reason being that the true difference is in the way the shifters use their minds. The mindsets of the older more shamanic religions are the keys. The belief that opening up to that inner animal actually releases the wolf or cat within. Just how much of that inner self translates into actual form is the interesting thing,” she said. She sipped from the new cup of coffee.

` “You might actually have something here,” he said, his mind whirling.

“Think about it. If your family has been of the right mindset for the last 20,000 years, aren’t you going to be more able or attuned to shifting than the guy next door that only last week learned to meditate?” she asked.

“Yes,” he answered.

“Most likely. Reason being practice. How many times have you heard that practice makes perfect? It’s almost a childhood lesson heard as much as “eat your vegetables” or “don’t cross your eyes!” What if in that simple childhood truth was a very valuable lesson? That practicing the emergence of that inner animal was a key, a doorway to a whole new frame of existence as a human? That we’ve had it all along, but through varied means, have lost the ability to use that key? That due to divergence in culture and lifestyle, we have affected a mutation in humanity that like left handedness or color blindness is just another fold in the twists of human DNA?” she asked.

“That is a possibility. DNA mapping is gaining ground every year, but so much of it is still an unknown,” he said.

“While you hold that thought, add another one. Think about the animals that are the focus of those that shift. Sticking to wolves. Yes, wolves. Not the two hundred pound arctic wolves that we see on National Geographic, but the wolves of the era so to say. Dire wolves. Big, powerful animals who were capable of bringing down proto elk and aurochs. Animals that weigh in at five or six hundred pounds. Sounds more like what you hear about in those shifter stories doesn’t it?” she asked.

“Yes, but…” he said beginning to feel the hair raise on the back of his neck.

“Think about it. You copy what is close at hand. You copy what you know. That behavior is present in modern culture. If it wasn’t, nothing would ever sell. Not jeans, underwear, music or even hair dye. They sell because of the desire for conformity. The desire to copy what others do. The same desire is at the root of what the shifters wanted back when we all lived in caves. To want to be a wolf then meant being a dire wolf. The biggest canine around. The best hunter. That desire hasn’t changed. Those who stayed “isolated” the longest from modern culture have certainly retained the biggest shifted form. Just like children on farms who do physical work develop better muscles than their contemporaries that sit in front of the television set. Those who acculturated to the modern world are probably not as big as their “cousins”, yet are still far larger than any modern wolf. Even fifty years ago, the wolves of Alaska and Canada were bigger than what is seen today. And, if you remember your uncle or grannie shifting into something that would rival a modern grizzly, you would certainly copy that before you looked towards the neighbors German Shepard,” she said very matter of fact.

“You know, you are beginning to make sense in a scary sort of way. What next in your formula?” he asked.

“With all of this is an energy. A current. Magic. The more shifters, the stronger the current. In the legends and myths, it was the bite of the werewolf that transmitted the ability to shift. In reality, it isn’t a bite, but something far more subtle. Energy. Just as water will find it’s level and electric current flows over copper, magical energy seeks out other compatible energies. The exact mechanism may be as simple as scent recognition. Scent is one of the strongest senses, and the most powerful memory trigger. If you are walking along and smell bacon on the breeze, you recognize it. You can often taste it if the scent is strong enough. We all emit pheromones. They affect the way we act from aggression to sex. Who’s to say that they aren’t the key to waking up those individuals who have the right mental set, but are not actively shifters? We live in a society that is ruled by it’s desire to smell like something else. Perfumes are everywhere. In fact, for those of us who have allergies, we have to hunt for items specifically manufactured without scent. Our culture is paranoid about smelling like sweat or dirt and do their best to cover up every natural smell with chemical or organic scents. In many ways, it has made us numb to a very important key to our humanity. Our own individual pheromones. Once again, it is the magical/pagan/hippy bunch that has moved away from so many of these products, or never used them in the first place. Therefore they are more likely to sniff the breeze and feel those awakening twinges than a social climber swathed in Channel No. 5,” she said.

“Pheromones?” he asked.

“Yes, I have reasons to suspect that pheromones lay behind the awaking of latent shifters. I’m fairly certain it’s how I woke up myself. No, now is not the time to freak out and back away. Just accept my reality. I do. It is my awakening that has begun a series of questions and late night chats with my mate,” she said.

“Mate?” he asked trying to sit farther back in his seat.

“Yes, mate. He is a wolf. A bloody big one too, when he shifts,” she said with a smile. “ When we first met, there was a recognition of something….. Besides the fact that he reminded me of my father. Both of them are outdoors men, and have a love of the mountains that exceeds my own. We are both pagan. We aren’t your crystal worshiping fluff bunnies either. In fact, I startled the hell out of him one night when we were in ritual and I drew energy through him. As magical partners, we work very well together. We fit,” she said smiling again.

“Alright, you live with this mate of yours. He’s a shifter, and you didn’t know this to begin with. How did you discover this other side of him? Start where you left off, with scent,” he said.

“Living in the same house, you notice things. You can tell who needs a shower after ten minutes of exercise. You notice who wears the most perfume, or better yet, you recognize who never wears perfume and doesn’t really need deodorant. It isn’t just bathing habits, it individual biology. My father is like that. He could hike for miles in the summer and not bath for a week and after that still smell of sweet grass. We use to tease him about bathing, but to be honest, he didn’t smell. Not like some I know. We’ve all known individuals that reek of coffee or cigarettes even if they have only just come from the shower. There are also those people who douse themselves regardless of their cleanliness. I’m one of those that has a very light scent. In fact, much to my frustration, if I hug someone smelling of perfume, I carry their scent for hours. And whereas I may feel filthy, and fear I reek to high heaven, I know that others around me don’t notice it. To them I still have no scent,” she said.

“I’d have to agree with you there. We’ve been sitting here in the sun for hours and while I feel sweaty, I can’t even find a hint of what soap or shampoo you use,” he admitted.

“I realized that my mate had no discernible scent. At least most of the time he didn’t. However, on occasion he had the most delicious smell to him. He would smell of a wonderful mix of cinnamon, chocolate and clean dog,” she said.

He laughed.

“Don’t laugh! It’s true. Oh, and the bathroom! I use to tease him about bringing the dog into the bathroom right after he showered as it use to smell of wet dog at times. Then I realized it was him. Remember, that at this time, I didn’t understand his other nature. I didn’t know I was sleeping with a wolf. At that time, he was also doing his best to keep that secret,” she said.

“So what brought this secret into the light?” he asked still not believing all of what she said.

“About two months after he moved in with me, we celebrated Beltaine. A very magic and energy heavy time. During wonderful sex, we were as I thought at that time, overshadowed by wolves. Often pagans are privy to the sharing of energies with deity and elements around us. So, to have wolves, the “creatures” of many a deity visit us, didn’t seem odd. Wolves have also been an animal I have been drawn to for as long as I can remember,” she said. The memory of it flittered behind her eyes.

“It was later, after I thought about the fact that I had a love bite that was bigger than his mouth and put there when he couldn’t possibly have stretched that far made me think that maybe it was more than just an overshadowing. What I know now, is that it is the first time he shifted in my presence. Moreover, I partially shifted as well,” she said.

“Was there anything else that made you start to ponder this?” he asked fascinated.

“Then the dreams started. Dreams of being a wolf. Running in the local area, hunting rabbits and mice. Running with another wolf, bigger than me and very dark with silver/white markings. One very vivid dream of hunting an elk woke me with a cramp in my thigh that matched the damage received by that wolf who was me in my dream. More discussions late into the night while snuggled in bed followed. Especially as he had had the same dream, and knew details that I hadn’t mentioned in the original conversation,” she said. She finished off the last of her coffee.

“Sex brought out more behavior that had me wondering just what was going on. Sex has always been good between us, but during the full moon…… oh my. At first I thought I imagined that he was changing weight and size. Or that the love bites were more than just a hickey. How do you explain a bite that doesn’t fit a human mouth, but you know was made in one go? Or the feel of claws on your skin when you know that his nails are trimmed short? After a while, you begin to doubt your sanity, or have to start looking for another answer,” she said.

“I take it that you found your answer?” he asked.

“Yes. The answer was there, I just didn’t have it all put together. We talked about the wolves in our sex lives, and the hint that they were there just under the skin while we were working magic. We discussed wolfish behavior. I’m not sure when it finally clicked in my head, but it did. Whether it was watching him walk down the hall on the balls of his feet, or the smell of wet dog in the shower, it became clear that my mate had another side to his humanity. To wake up and feel that he was taller or broader than normal causes you to think. To see him suddenly look furry when you know that normally he doesn’t have hair on that part of his body will make you wonder. Better yet, watching him play with the dog on all fours and realize that he is better at it than the dog will make you re-evaluate your terms of what is human,” she said with a smile.

He laughed. “Oh, the mental picture of someone out doing a dog was just too much. Please go on. This is all rather interesting,” he said.

“As I said, I’m not sure when I put all the pieces together. Nor am I sure when he actually admitted that he shifted. What I do remember is that I accepted it. In fact, I remember saying “I know” when he finally did tell me. We both giggled about that. To be honest, we discussed the whole picture and how any one person could be so blind as to miss the clues constantly in one’s face. However, we have prime examples of just such blindness living with us,” she admitted.

“So, I take it that you live with a number of people. Some of which don’t shift,” he asked.

“Yes. There are nine of us that share a house. At one point, I remember asking if it was contagious. Did I have to worry about those bites of his turning me furry. He laughed. No, as far as he knew, it was only a family trait, and that as I wasn’t family, I certainly couldn’t shift. We figured that the dreams and the overshadowing was just that. That if nothing else, the close mental connection we share just allowed me to come along on his hunts. We already shared each others aches and pains. You know, knowing when someone has a headache or muscle ache before they tell you, and that kind of thing?” she asked.

“Yes,” he answered.

“We also discussed that people shift on a multitude of levels. Some just astrally, or in dreams. Some go partially furry, ala more along the lines of the humanistic werewolves and others totally shifted. We discussed the ease or dis-ease of shifting. My mate has not always had an easy time of it, so often finds himself at a disadvantage. Muscles and bones that move and then don’t go back. Then there are the two minds. Wolf and man. Memory between wolf and man isn’t always a clear channel. So, there are times that the man or wolf doesn’t remember what happened to the other. It leads to odd things like sand in the bed or smelling of gorse when you know you both showered just before bed. Better yet, eating lightly all day because you woke up full. The wolf went hunting, but the human doesn’t always remember,” she said.

“That could be disconcerting. Continue on though. You’ve got me curious now,” he said.

“The dreams of hunting with my mate continued. Some aches and pains, that I attributed to all the hiking and home improvement projects were becoming a bit more serious. I just put them out of my mind, because sometimes you just have to. What I didn’t realize is that my mate was becoming concerned on a whole different level. Massage is part of our daily life. I had long ago begun to notice when my mate would have extra muscles or “odd” bone placements. He often partially shifts due to any number of reasons. I didn’t realize that my mate was noticing those same changes in me. Subtle changes, but enough to make him wonder just what was going on,” she said.

“Okay, so how did he bring it up to you?” he said wondering about all of this.

“Late one night, we were in bed talking when he changed subjects. Conversation jumped to scent and shifting. He said that it had dawned on him that not only did I have very little scent, but that I was displaying some of the same muscle shifts that he experiences. I laughed as I thought he was joking. He wasn’t. We’d made jokes before that I was as close to “family” as he had known without being family. However, he had noticed things in the last few weeks that made him rethink his opinions on the contagiousness of shifting. Once I got it through my head that he was serious, we started taking stock of what we knew for truth. As dawn broke, we fell asleep with the knowledge that for whatever reason, I was shifting,” she said.

“Weren’t you in a panic? Afraid or anything? Here you are one day a normal human, and next thing you know, you aren’t? Or are you still normal? Sane?” he asked.

“Granted, I doubted my sanity in some ways, and spent time picking my brain for alternatives. There weren’t any. At least none that didn’t require a padded room. I was in for a serious re-evaluation of self. It’s like when you find out you have asthma, or anything that irrevocably changes your lifestyle. You deny it, ignore it, evaluate and then accept it. Not that you have much choice on most counts. We talked a lot those next few days. I thought about it and came to realize that that wolf is a part of me. Deep down inside, buried under way too much “civilization” was a creature that has always been there. We just didn’t know how to communicate. She was ever so patient while I figured things out. With acceptance came accelerated changes. I began to shift more often. I didn’t fight the urge to walk on the balls of my feet or sniff the breeze to see who was around. I could feel when I partially shifted. Not fighting it helped. My biggest frustration came when I would loose the ability to talk. My mind races whilst my vocal cords don’t know what to do as they are not “mine”, but hers,” she admitted.

“This is all pretty fantastic. Almost a fairy tale. So, did you learn to shift as rapidly as your mate? Did you have a leap in development?” he asked.

“This hasn’t been a rapid development, but a slow one. We’ve been mates for nearly three years now, and I am still getting use to letting the wolf come out to play. I don’t know as I go totally furry, or ever will. However, I know that there are physical changes. I am most comfortable with my mate, and our daughter. She’s a shifter too. The idea of puppy piling on a cold night is my idea of heaven. I can relax in total safety. Something that I didn’t always do before I woke up my other side. I’ve met other members of his family, and recognition was more by scent than sight. Just as it has been with other shifters in the area. We aren’t the only ones around,” she said.

“So, you’ve talked to others about this idea? Was there any consensus?” he asked.

“It is as we postulated. Somewhere along the ages, man split into two different geno-types. Latent within some of us is the ability to tap our inner selves. Whether or not we actually do, has as much to do with culture as it does with genetics. If I’d been brought up Christian or Muslim, I might never have tapped that inner self as that would have been an abomination religiously. Therefore, I could be of exactly the right geno-type to shift, but never would because of cultural overtones. Just as there are New Agers who would love to dance with the wolves or cavort with the cats, but because of decisions made by their ancestors, they only have the desire and not the ability,” she said.

“I can see that. As for the rest?” he asked.

“Pheromones are the invitation that starts it all. Mindset is the key that opens the door. There still may be an arguable case for more specific genetics, but that still remains to be seen. There are physically characteristics that can be found by medical means. Yet, those are things that would only show in someone partially shifted. Otherwise, shifters just look like rather good specimens of humanity. A little stronger, healthier and faster than your average bloke. I understand my mate’s reluctance too now when it comes to doctors. Shifters have avoided notice this long. The last thing they’d really want now is to be under the microscope,” she said.

“I could understand that. No one wants to be a guinea pig. Are you upset by the changes in your life?” he asked.

“Am I upset by this? No. I realize the benefits. I’m stronger than I look. My senses are different too. Augmented. Shifting plays with all of your senses. Your sight and hearing as well as your sense of smell. Some days I wake up in a world of grays, and scents that make me want to rub my nose until it stops pounding. I eat more meat than I use to, and something I loved, chocolate, now makes me ill at times,” she admitted.

“Ill? You’ve never been allergic to chocolate. Oh… wait… Dogs can’t have it can they?” he asked.

“No, they can’t. And yes, it affects me just like a dog. However, I wouldn’t go back to being half awake for all the money on the planet. It can be a tad distracting to suddenly drool when a deer crosses the road in front of you. Having the local dog population either wanting to be your best friend or rolling on their backs in submission is a bit daunting too. It’s amazing what you get use to it,” she said.

“I’ve noticed that you’ve had a fair number of dogs walk up to us while we’ve been talking. You use to be afraid of them. I guess that’s a thing of the past now,” he said. Most of the dogs had been very ‘beta’ he realized as well.

“Yes. I may be beta to the rest of the werewolves of the world, but to a dog, I’m a wolf. An alpha,” she said.

“I have to admit that you certainly have changed since we last talked. You’ve given me a lot to think about. Aren’t you worried about talking to me? Letting the secret out and all that?” he asked.

“No. I’m not. To be honest, you might go and publish this conversation and get someone to think it was real, but the probability of that is rather slim. It’s like the little girl who goes to school and says that her mum is a witch. Teachers just pat her on the head and explain that are no such things as witches. Or, that they only exist in fairy tales. Better yet, Robert Heinlein once postulated that the best way to lie was to tell just enough of the truth. No one would believe you. They’d think it some fantastic tale, and an attempt to horn in on the latest literary craze. At worst, if anyone could identify me from a story you might write, they’d put me down as some New Aged nutter. Who’d ever believe that a rather middle aged woman with silver hair is a werewolf? You barely believe me,” she said.

“Umm… No, you present a rather interesting case for it to be honest,” he tried to say convincingly.

“You never were a good liar. You sweat way too much when you do,” she said with a smile.

“Hey! That’s…. not fair. I’m trying to understand you, but it’s a lot to take in in the course of a conversation. Give a guy a chance,” he said.

“Alright. It has been good to see you,” she said reaching over to touch his hand.

“It’s been good to see you too. Perhaps we can get together again. I’d like to chat with you about this again some time. Maybe meet your mate?” he asked.

“Probably. Oh, and by the way,… can I have that peanut butter cookie in your briefcase? The one under all the papers? I’m just a bit hungry,” she said with a feral smile.

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  1. A very interesting read, it combines a number of different points of history such as the Egyptians and of course American Indians. It does give one a lot of food for thought as many legends do have a beginning of truth somewhere within them.

    1. This story was the culmination of hours of conversation between Wolf and myself. The whole how did things… stuff, driven by some of the urban fantasy novels. Being pagan does give you a different view on some issues and as we’d been discussing shamans, ecstatic traditions and the like, it just flowed. So, I could see in my mind a meeting between ‘old friends’ and how one had changed and the other observed.

      And from that was born Sheeple, In the Arms of Fenris, Chase, Things My Mother Never Told Me and More Than Just A Fairy Tale. 🙂 And yes, before you ask, I will be putting some of the other stories up here. Or, maybe I should just self publish… Still torn.

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