Sunday, November 2, 2014

Three Pigs and Wolf

by Laura Kaminski

Dreadlocks: Three young javalina, trotting line behind sow-mother, up the embankment, across the road, fast-moving. Born with all their hair full-length, short little hoofed haunches not yet grown into their hides. Strands hang down into the dust, rusty gray-brown and wiry black rodent dreadlocks, a row of escaping Rastafarian wigs.

Too North: Strange to see them this far north in land that has grown cherries and seen snow. Drive up slow and stop the Jeep, get out and stand exactly where they crossed, look down the crease they’ve left in the middle of the field, flat trail to match one worn by the Mexican wolf in the Phoenix Zoo.

First Wolf: He is a river of instinct carving a path to a soap-bubble sea held delicately in his mind. Perpetual walkabout, his trail a curving figure-eight, he never pauses or hesitates, never looks around or up or out. Wonder if he is pounding down the path to ease the way for the rest of the pack. He faces forward, never sees the ones behind him who follow single-file, each paw-pad placed exactly in the foot-falls of First Wolf.

Mobius: Perhaps, instead, he’s hay-wired late, wakes each evening, begins running, perpetually tries to catch up with his pack. He cannot see them. They move impossibly ahead each afternoon while he is sleeping.

Darwin: Contemplate the javalina strait, straight parting of the mountain grasses, half a mile. Fast, they’ve vanished into a scattering of rocks and juniper, fast. Fast like the wolf, and faster. Have a caricature vision, bearded Darwin, fraying track-suit, watching from the hill. He has a stop-watch timing laps, advises them to step it up, reminds they must clock it faster than a wolf-trot or their furry little bacon will not make the team.

Source: Gaze south, pick up the sweet dusty scent of pollen, follow it backward, trace the migratory river to its source. Wonder how many generations they have been running, these piglets, since they began south of the border, set off at the pop of a gun from some sun-drenched village. Mark mileage generations in the changing shades of green. Agave lime tequila grasshopper. Taste for salt.