chapter 10

Downtown

I crawled back in bed and I mean literally crawled because I was still a wolf. I felt like I hadn’t slept at all now. Exactly two minutes later as if on a timer Raven came in and asked if I wanted to go downtown. I would have said no, but Red heard him and got all excited, jumped on the bed and started jumping up and down. I was afraid he was going to break it if I didn’t get up. Not that I could have slept with a crazy wolf running all over me. The town Raven had mentioned wasn’t the town I’d been thinking of. This was a town I didn’t even know existed right in the middle of no-where. It was just so deep in the woods I wouldn’t have ever know it was here. I’m sure other people didn’t know either which was why it was so small. It looked a lot like Mayberry from the "Andy Griffith" show, but it wasn’t in black and white.

"What if someone recognizes me?" I asked suddenly getting nervous.

"The SPCA is on the other side of the woods. I don’t think they’ll be looking for you here, replied Red.

"Uh. What were you all doing when you found me?" I asked casually.

"Looking for someone, said Red.

"Who?"

"It’s not important, said Raven after a minute of silence. "I bet you didn’t even know this part of town existed," Raven added changing the subject.

"Well... I didn’t know werewolves existed either," I said shyly.

"It’s all part of the Reservation." Raven explained with a smile. I couldn’t tell if he was smiling because of what I said or because he was just in a good mood. "We like to keep things small and simple. It only has about fifty people living here," explained Raven.

"How does it make money?" I asked.

"When you live off the land you save money. We do that by farming it our selves and what we don’t eat, we sell. We also get a lot of our food from hunting." Then he looked over at me and winked. I thought about LB. I wondered if Raven knew about all of LB’s hunting habits.

"Come on I’ll give you a tour," said Red in a really excited voice. He was jumping around in the car like a little kid who was being taken to the playground. He grabbed my arm and started pulling me towards the candy store. He was a lot stronger then he looked.

By the time we were driving home I was exhausted, and fell asleep in the backseat of the car. Suddenly Raven stopped the car, causing me to jerk awake. He had a stern expression on his face like he had just smelled something foul.

"What’s wrong?" I asked a little nervous; worried he might suddenly be mad at me.

"Hunters", he said and pointed to two red necked-looking guys in the bushes. I breathed a sigh of relief. For a second I thought he’d found out about LB’s sausage raid and me. Raven got out of the car. The hunters tried to look innocent but they weren’t fooling anyone. I could hear what they were saying to each from the car but I could also tell by the way they were talking there grammar was terrible. My speech teacher would have had a fit.

"Good evening sir, we were just passing by, said the tallest one tipping his hat to reveal he was completely bald, the kind of bald that if you shined his head you could have seen your reflection.

"It is illegal to hunt here in a Nature preserve,." Raven informed them sternly.

"Nature preserve, I thought you said it was a Reservation?" I asked Red confused.

"It is, but it’s kind of a secret Reservation too. So we just tell other peoples it’s a nature preserve,"Red explained. So that’s why I hadn’t heard of this town. It was in the middle of a preserve, so everyone must have just assumed there were just woods inside it. It was like the town in The Village movie.

"But not totally, like illegal" said the tall bald hunter to Raven. "We got some reports of rabid wolves, in the area and that it would be ok to hunt them. We only plan on shooting them, nothing else", he added.

"Hunting wolves is illegal, pal. They’re an endangered species", replied Raven in a slightly amused voice. Clearly he could see these men weren’t that smart and wouldn’t pose that big a threat as he originally feared when he had first gotten out of the car.

"Yeah ...but the law says it’s ok if they are rabid," replied the other hunter who was shorter and was missing five of his front teeth. What teeth he had were yellowish green.

"You do realize you won’t be able to keep the wolf carcass if it’s rabid? A rabid animal is just as dangerous dead as alive, because it can spread the disease if not disposed of properly," said Raven back to them. I wasn’t so sure if that was true. It would be hard for a dead animal to bite you, but Raven probably knew what he was talking about. When the hunters heard that they looked disappointed, like they were just told they couldn’t have ice cream for dinner.

"We know, they both said in unison. It was a lie.

"Are you sure, we can’t even shoot them even if it’s in self defense, even though wolves are vicious and cruel to humans?"the bald hunter moaned.

"You got it all turned around there buddy. Wolves are shy of humans. In fact there has never been a case of a wolf attacking a human in America", Raven said back.

"Oh yeah, what about in that story, ‘Goldilocks and the Three Wolves?’" asked the short hunter.

"That’s ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’," said Raven rolling his eyes.

"Did he say beer?" questioned the bald hunter.

"Not b-eeeeeeeerrrr" he said "beeeeaaaarrrrssss", said Raven calmly but started to get annoyed. I didn’t blame him. "Don’t be stupid. We’re not hunting bears or beers, we are hunting wolf," said the other hunter. The hunters both laughed,

"This old boy can’t tell the difference between bears and wolves. Sure is some kind of an idiot," said the short one laughing. Raven rolled his eyes again.

"Where did you get these reports of rabid wolves?" Raven asked them.

"From a security guard who works in our town yesterday. They done tried to attack him. He’s lucky to get out alive; he done said he’d fought them off single handedly". Raven glanced over at me. He looked like he was trying to hold back a smirk while Red giggled.

"You still need a special permit. Do you have one?" Raven asked.

"Uh... gosh... Let me look here," said the tall hunter patting his hands around himself. "Oh darn they’re in my other pants I reckon" he answered.

"Uh I guess we as best be... Just leaving... to find them pants and permit", added the other hunter. They both slowly started to move to their truck never taking their eyes off Raven. Raven stood there watching them until they got back in their truck and left. Good thing because they walked very slowly and kept turning around to see if we were still there. Clearly they were hoping we would leave first, but Raven wasn’t budging. When they finely did leave Raven got back in the car.

"I’ll have to report them to the tribe council, but they don’t seem like they could do too much damage."

"Heck we’ll be able to smell them a mile away, " said Red rubbing his nose. "Still we’re going to have to be careful around them," said Raven. He sounded concerned now. "Oh well we can take them. They both seemed a few nuts short of a fruitcake," concluded Red. "Yeah, not the sharpest tools in the shed, or the brightest penny in the fountain, nuttier than peanut brittle. A few eggs short of an omelet. A few muffins short of a dozen."

"Ok we get it Red", both Raven and I said at the same time.

"Can’t I just do one more?" Red begged.

"Fine." sighted Raven rolling his eyes for the third time today.

"A few shrimp short of a Barbie or is that cocktail?" said Red.

"We better play it safe around the house, that means no more sausage raids with LB, Trooper," Raven said. "You know about that?" I said surprised. "Oh yeah, LB’s been doing that for years. He has never gotten along with that butcher."

"Me either", said Red. "He always makes fun of me".

"Why?" I asked.

"Never mind," said Red sounding sad suddenly.

"No one gets along with that butcher. LB doesn’t take his sausages to act like he is hunting; he just likes bugging him. You’d think he would remember to lock the door to the shack but he’s not that bright, " explained Raven. I had wondered why the butcher wouldn’t lock the shack. Maybe he really was lazy. Just like those kids at the orphanage whom always meant to pick up their clothes, but always forgot or kept saying they would do it later. "He also likes doing something he knows he’s not supposed to do. Probably thinks it makes the sausages taste better. Don’t tell him I know, he doesn’t like to do stuff I approve of" said Raven. But I’m sure you already knew that.

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