The Other’s Room
I didn’t want to come in the front door and wake anyone up or to explain why I had been up and wandering around out side. So I went in the basement door hoping that would be quieter, the only room Red hadn’t showed me when I first got here. At the time I had assumed he had not shown me this because there was nothing interesting in there. Imagine my surprise when I walked into a bedroom. For a moment I thought I had gone in the wrong house. It was dark even for my wolf eyes so I turned human and I switched on the lights; it was a black light. There were posters wall papering the wall, the kind with biker girls, and other playboy girls in half naked poses. They had been scratched up. I turned on another light and this one wasn’t black. The room was a mess just like Red’s room there was no real bed, just an old mattress with a lot of blankets and some leaves. This room wasn’t just messy it had been purposely wrecked out of anger. A chill went down my spine. Red hadn’t showed me this room for a reason. No one had gone in here for years and I could tell why. Who ever lived in this room had been in a horrible rage.
I walked slowly upstairs and somehow managed to crawl back into my room without waking Red. Lefty was already up though; it was if he had been waiting for me all this time. Once I crawled into bed Lefty suddenly put his head down and went back to sleep. The last thoughts I had before drifting off to sleep was that I would write down smart things to say to Bob Cat Girl tomorrow.
I didn’t tell anyone about my nightmare sleep running, but everyone already knew, or at least LB did.
"Wolves have great hearing; it was hard to not hear you slam the screen door. I knew you’d come back though," said LB.
"I um almost got lost," I admitted reluctantly.
"Yeah I figured, but I knew you’d actually find your way back. This is why are next lesson is howling. Wolves howl to help get all psyched up for a hunt. It is sort of like the way football players say we’re number one for a big game, who we going to beat, who we going to send crying to there mothers, and whose butt are we going to kick?"
"Ok, I get it", I replied.
"A howl also helps communicate when they are happy, or as an alarm to others. Us wolves also howl to help locate missing members, to let others know where are you, to celebrate a great hunt, or the return of a pack member."
His voice cracked when he said that, like it reminded him of someone. "Each wolf as its own voice, no two howls are the same. It is like snow flakes or singers on "American Idol". Now dogs will howl when they live with humans to ask when they’re coming back or where they are going. More often dogs bark though, while we wolves howl. We can bark, but we only make a" huffing" sound when we do that. Dogs howl more in a response to another howl such as the sound of an ambulance siren. They also howl when someone sings too loud, it is probably something they had to learn since they spend all that time with those stupid humans and their horrible rock and roll music," LB concluded.
Cubs are born
A wolf’s pups are born around April and May. The average litter size for the wolf is 4 to 7 pups unless it’s a werewolf, and then it will probably be only one or two cubs.
Silver Ear was usually cheerful but every once in a while her hormones would get the better of her. Sometimes she would start laughing over a really dumb joke such as when Red said," what’s black and white and red all over? A bashful Panda."
She began laughing like a hyena and it startled Dumbo who jumped up and flew out the window to hide. Then Silver Ear started crying when she tried to tell the joke herself and she couldn’t tell it right.
Gram- Gram said not to worry, as this was perfectly normal behavior in the last months of pregnancy.
One day when I came back from school I sat down to watch TV with everyone. We were watching an old Simpson’s Rerun, the one where Bart makes a prank call to Australia when suddenly Silver Ear stood up.
"Hey sit down I can’t see through you, you make a better door then a window," said LB annoyed.
"I... I think my water broke…" Silver Ear finely managed to say right as Bart pulled down his pants to moon everyone in Australia.
"That’s ok, I got a cup of soda you can have," Red said.
"NO! You idiot, I MEAN I’M ABOUT TO POP!" Silver Ear screamed.
"What do you mean Pop? Pop with what? Did you have too much chili", Red said still oblivious to what she meant.
"SHE MEANS SHE ABOUT TO HAVE THE BABY!!!" screamed Gram- Gram.
"Oh... OH!! Why didn’t you say so!" said Red getting up while Silver Ear lay down on the couch to stretch out.
"Here honey hold my hand," said Raven. That was a bad idea. I could tell after she grabbed it from his face she was holding it pretty hard.
"Stand back you two. I can handle this," said Gram-Gram.
"I have been delivering babies since before you were born, heck I practically delivered myself."
‘But you’re… you’re…" I stammered.
"Blind! Well child that doesn’t mean I have forgotten which end the baby comes out of, I’m a girl after all," Gram-Gram replied in a laugh, she looked excited like she was going somewhere fun like a water park.
"Hello!!! I"M IN LABOR HERE!" yelled Silver Ear as if we had forgotten about her.
"Why don’t you guys go out side?" asked Gram-Gram. But it wasn’t a question. It was a command.
She didn’t have to ask us twice; we were out of the house in six seconds flat. Lefty was the first to leave. He ran out the minute Sliver Ear had stood up. He must have figured it out before the rest of us. We all stood outside the house and listened. All I could hear was Silver Ear screaming, everyone once in a while we heard her say "You did this to me!! I’ll get you for this!" Which I guess was aimed at Raven.
"Don’t worry they all say that," said Gram-Gram to Raven.
While we were listening LB explained that pregnant wolfs get very cranky and don’t want anyone near them while they gave birth not even their mate. Only the older wolf that acted like a nurse was allowed to be remotely close to the mother, no one else could go near the den.
"But Raven is in their?’ I pointed out. I was more then a little worried for him.
"Yeah but I bet he wishes he wasn’t," laughed LB right as Silver Ear let out anther scream.
"But at least it’s not as bad as giving birth back in the old Native American tribes. In those days women who gave birth not only didn’t have any pain killers but they also had to give birth standing up."
"What! You’re making this up!" I said in surprise.
"No way, you can’t make this stuff up and on top of that they were not allowed to scream. They had to do it all alone. Hearing Silver Ear’s screams I could see why no one would want to be near them, but I couldn’t imagine how they could not scream. I once slammed my fingers in a door and I couldn’t stop crying for hours. I couldn’t image not being able to scream when giving birth and why on earth did they want to do it standing up?
Maybe if they had to do it alone they would lie down deep in the woods and scream a little. When they got back they could just lie about the standing up and being silent part.
Lefty was looking straight at the house, he definitely knew what was happening, but wasn’t used to all the screaming. His ears kept going back on his head whenever Silver Ear let out anther yell. Somehow even with all that screaming I fell sleep; I guess just listening to all that excitement exhausted me.
"Hey kid wake up it’s over, "said LB.
" Come inside."
By now it was completely dark outside.
I walked in and there was Silver Ear in her wolf form passed out on the couch with two very small babies right next to her.
"Twins! Congratulations", I whispered not wanting to wake them up. That’s when I noticed Raven was plopped out on the couch, his hair was a mess, it was pretty clear he had been able to tell how painful, giving birth was for Silver Ear. His hand was also in a bucket of ice.
"We still need to name them", said Gram- Gram.
"What’s a good name for twins?
"I know some. How about: Bonnie and Clyde, Peaches and Cream, Batman and Robin, Mickey and Mini, Starsky and Hutch, Mack and Cheese, Frank and Beans, Chip and Dale?" Red went on and on till he finally ran out of names.
"How about Romulus and Romulus?’It would be appropriate, said LB.
"Who were they?" asked Red
They were the founders of Rome, and were briefly nursed by a wolf", explained Gram- Gram.
"But didn’t one kill the other?" said LB.
"Uh yeah..." said Gram- Gram.
"I already know what I’m going to call them," said Sliver Ear sleepily from the couch where she still had her eyes closed.
" Ying and Yang."
"Hey isn’t that’s a Chinese name", I asked.
"Well we do have Chinese blood in our family", said Raven looking at me and I blushed.
‘Say why don’t we combine the names some more and end up with something like Romulus Ying and Remulus Yang?" Gram-Gram suggested that would make them more original.
"You know that wolf’s moms regurgitate their food just like the way birds do to feed the young", said Red suddenly.
"Gross, can’t we just give them baby food," I asked.
Raven stroked Silver Ear’s head, and then she breathed a sigh.
The babies didn’t stay tired for long; it wasn’t long before they were roaming around the house.
When Raven and Gram- Gram found me later I was barely alive. But Gram- Gram fixes me up. Gram- Gram can fix anything. After a week in intensive care I would be able come to the old pack. LB wants to know what happened, but I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t ever want to talk about it. I should just be happy the rest of the family is alive but I keep thinking back to them. And what she did to them. What is to stop her from taking out the rest of my family? There was only one choice. I would have to leave to keep her away. I was the one she really wanted.
"Are you sure about this", said Raven who is never sure of any of my plans.
"Yes I’m sure. I need to find her and make her pay."
He sighs. "Ok, but at least wait a year for your wounds to heal."
"No. I’m going now."
"Your nose will never be the same. How are you going to track her without a scent?"
" I have my ways", I assure him.
I wake up sweaty and more tired than when I went to sleep. That dream always wore me out. I hold up the picture of my family. Someday we will meet again I assure them. I just have to kill your killer first and that will probably kill me along with her. But right now I don’t care.