The Rusted Chain .........
How long it had lain there , no one could know for sure , but the iron still held its own against the pulling , , the straining and all the power that could be mustered in the vain attempts to pull it free , and then as well ,the oxidation of time . Old iron is interesting isn't it? , we collect it and hang it on walls , we put it on shelves or in boxes and in barns. We place it there among other things , all cherished , old pictures , antique furniture , and photos of long ago times and people . Wrought irons , cast irons or flat irons , man has left it behind somewhere .
But it is this piece steel that interests me , the steel that man has honed into a flawless and awesome tool , he has forged , hammered and tempered it , saturated it with oil and fired it in a flame hotter than hell itself, and he has turned it into a tool to be used for a thousand uses . This particular use though says alot about the steel , but , more so , its says so much more about the man himself. For man is ingenious isn't he . He has combined steel and chain , he has melded together the thought ,the tools and the devious mind and in the end , he has invented the steel trap.
I reach for the iron chain and the weight of the stone that connects to the other end , tucked up against the stone wall not too near to the opening of must have been the old wolf den , The stone heavy enough to hold down a wolf and as I do the chain on the trap still rattles , and in the echo that stuns the silence I wonder , how long has it been since it last rattled..........how long ago did the she wolf pull against the wieght of the stone , how long ago did the pups in the nearby den yelp for something to eat , or cry for the return of their hunter gatherer father , and yet , he may have returned to find her here . I wonder if it was far too late , was she already dead ? My fingers run delicately over the chain and the rust flakes away from it as if in itself it can't wait to hide what really happened here .
I close my eyes for a few moments and the vision begins...........I see the hole as the little heads peek up over the edge at the mouth of the den........the muffled wimpering that flows on the breeeze . The little ears that direct themselves towards the howl of the trapped wolf. But as the fine fur of their ears fluffs in the breeze the howl dies slowly and painfully away to silence. And later ,as dusk approaches I see the dark outline of him , the male wolf , as he slowly approaches the den , careful not to approach too quickly...........He senses danger , he lifts his nose to the wind that rustles against the aspen leaves as they quake in protest , eager to explain what the trees themselves have witnessed.
He makes his way into the den and as the terse cries of the pups raise in pitch and pain , he regurgetates his prize of the fresh killed rabbit and then the pups begin their feeding frenzy. but the big male knows she should have been their too as he rises out of the den his eye's adjust to the light . He knows he should wait until dark but he cannot . He makes his way to the scent on the breeze , I wonder what he smells , panic , danger , death?............But what did he find here when he came ? Did his nose touch the chain that I now hold ? Was his head this close to where my hand now lies , and what did he find ? I think I know...........as I release the load of the trap spring , surprised that it still moves ............and a partial leg bone falls at my feet , inside me something twists in agony ..........I know , I know!
Do you know that wolves mate for life ?.