Not for the thousandth time did Job muse at the irony of who he was. As he straightened his tie in readiness for the day, he stood before the mirror looking at his bald head and his soft facial skin. No hair, not anywhere, and Job was a Werewolf. What was that word…that symptom where people have no hair…oh yes… Alopecia. Maybe that’s what he had, where you lose all you hair and it doesn’t come back.
Job was a meticulous man and a loner, because he had to hide his identity. At night when the sun went down, Job with no hair, turned into a very large luxuriant-coated wolf. If he didn’t love his wolf-ness so much, he would hate his lonely existence. There was no woman, no family and no close friend to whom he could spend quality time. So Job’s day time existence was dedicated to sustaining his nights, and to do this he had to be very careful.
Today was Saturday and he was going to be busy at his used car dealership. His nostrils flared at the anticipation of the upcoming day’s work. He was selling a fleet of units that he had purchased from a rental car agency. Job had a good reputation in the Twin Cities as being honest and respectable, so he got the best deals and he passed those profits down to his customers. Job used his wolf senses to keep himself away from crooked deals and dealers.
At noon Job went home and polished off an entire roasted chicken. His wolf-ness wanted to swallow whole chunks, but his man-ness cautioned him to chew. The wolf in him was impatient, but Job tempered it with his rational human mind. “Wolf,” he would say to himself. “Humans cannot swallow their food whole and they can’t kill their enemies and they don’t appreciate you snarling at them or sniffing openly at their women. If you’re a good wolf today, you can run unfettered through the night and I will save more money to buy another parcel of land along the Minnesota River for you and other wolves to run in forever.” The wolf curled up in the heart of the man and rested waiting for the night to come.
Job sped through the traffic on 494 back to his office, parking his BMW in his private parking space. He had been renewed and he was ready to work the rest of the afternoon. All was well, cars were leaving the lots quickly and Job was getting rich, one vehicle at a time.
That evening, Job pulled into his long shaded driveway. The only human sound allowed in his property was the roar of his sports car. There was a power to its engine that Job loved, almost as much as he loved his own roar. His Harley had the same effect on him, but today with a chance of rain, he had driven his Beamer.
A trail of clothing led from the inside of the locked front door to the kitchen, where half of a pot roast with potatoes, carrots and beef were eaten, the rest put into the refrigerator. The trail ended at the back door, locked from the inside. This was the place where Wolf awoke and Job the man rested in the heart of the wolf.
Out of the house and sniffing the wind, Wolf made his rounds to read the signs of the day’s activity. Deer, rabbit, squirrel, bird droppings from the barn swallows that nested under the eaves of his barn. The swallow’s second batch of eggs had begun hatching today. Sun-warmed wild honey, rank hollow tree nest for porcupine. This was the world Job the Wolf loved.
Though it was cloudy, Job could feel the moon and the night begin to enfold him into its passion. So Wolf ran, letting his powerful muscles carry him up a hill and down into a ravine. His great claws dug deep into the damp soil, releasing the earth’s pungent aroma. Mushrooms, decaying leaves, deer shit. It was all good. He continued to run and hunt and explore until the approach of dawn. Then he turned his wild face back to the man home and to the deeply hidden den, where no one but his own two beings knew of its existence.
There was a rabbit burrow around here someplace, but tonight he would not hunt for it. Down at the river he drank deeply, tasting fish, frog, algae and beaver urine, and this too was good. Through the hidden door he returned to the comfort of his human scent where he curled up and slept until true morning came.
Job awoke refreshed and ready to start the new day. He whistled slightly as he turned the shower on in the bathroom. He poured a cup of coffee and towel dried his bald head and chest. He picked up his clothes from the previous evening, put on a leg of lamb in the slow cooker and reheated the pot roast from last night’s dinner. This was Job’s daily routine, and as he left the house he recited his daily mantra, “One more parcel of land and a few more acres. One more parcel and a few more acres”
He had amassed these thousand acres and would continue until much of the lands along the Minnesota River were put into a land grant designated for the preservation of all wildlife but especially the wolves. Eventually, he would retire, sell his business, and turn his farm into a research and observation station. He himself would stay here until he died and he would live off the proceeds of the sale of his business. If he had no descendents, the funds would go to the research center.
Each night Job watched the moon grow, knowing it would soon be full. His mouth watered as he sensed its coming and with it came danger, risk and joy. He listened to the wild wolf packs that lived along the river. They yipped and barked and howled to other wolves, “What news, where deer, when full moon,” Singing in wolf song of family and lust and hunt. Job howled with them. Then he heard an alpha male sing, “Stay away lone wolf, or we will kill you, for you do not belong to our wolf pack.”
In Job’s laughing howl, he challenged. “Don’t dare me young alpha, for I will kill you and take everything from you.” Job knew he was bluffing but they didn’t and though his wolf-ness wanted to fight fang to fang and claw to claw, his man-ness knew he was older and he really wasn’t ready to die on this hill, or any hill for that matter. So he took off back to his man-house.
Over the next few nights, he watched the full moon draw closer. He chased down a rabbit, rolled in dead fish and tried to catch frog in his teeth just for the pure joy of it all. The wild wolves sang and he sang and as the full moon approached, the antagonism vanished as they all sang together as brothers and sisters. Tomorrow night the moon was at its fullest, where the real world pulsed in time to the oldest and most primitive of celebrations.
All day, Job worked. He showed cars, pickups, reviewed loan applications and mentored his young sales people. The business was so successful; he chuckled inwardly at its simplicity. His motto was, “do no harm, be honest and be generous.” That was it with no more frills.
Night came and the day’ events were still with him. Being generous and all that sounded pretty noble, but would Job be this kind if he were still financially struggling? These were the thoughts he mused upon while he rested atop a small knoll that night. He listened to the earth’s evening pulse, with the frogs, the crickets, and the cicada’s being the loudest. Even his blood-pulse matched its cadence. He howled with the wolves, sang to the moon and gave homage to all living creatures.
Then an unfamiliar wolf began to howl and sing. This one was new and it excited Job, for the land had welcomed another family member. Then the new wolf’s tone changed from joy to mocking. “This was the night of the full moon, a night of celebration, not dissention,” Job thought as he stopped his own song to listen. The other wolves were torn by the moon’s call and this new challenge.
“I sing louder and I sing longer.” Began the new voice. “I defend my territory, and I am more wolf than you will ever be. You are wolf but I am werewolf!” Over and over the young one sang, until the pull of the moon held sway over the land and he too sang in peace.
After the celebration night, Job hunted and searched for the werewolf. His dilemma was that he did not know what a werewolf smelled like, since he had never known another one besides himself. Job was tired, for there was so much wild land to cover, and he had not heard the werewolf song since the last full moon. He was beginning to doubt that he had actually heard it. But as the next full moon came again, the werewolf song began again.
“I sing louder and I sing longer.” It began again. “I defend my territory, and I am more wolf than you will ever be. You are wolf but I am werewolf!” This time the song had a mournful tone.
“Of course it is mournful.” Job thought. “Being werewolf is a lonely and difficult life.” He had few memories of his own childhood. One memory was of a frigid morning, when the onset of winter assaulted his naked human body. An old man found him huddled and shivering in his garage, and took him in. The old man must have known what he was, but he never mentioned it. How he had gotten Job legitimate papers with a name and a date of birth, Job never did find that out, but in the end, the old man bequeathed everything he owned to Job. This included this old farm along the Minnesota River.
Now, with the full voice of the werewolf calling out, Job tracked and followed the young one quietly and patiently for days until be found not only his wolf den, but also his man den. The young one was about fifteen in man-years. He had a mate and he had an ATM card. How odd was that. When it was time to introduce himself, Job waited until the young one was in wolf form, and staying far enough away to not be a threat, Job called him.
“Werewolf, where? Werewolf, where are you?” He called. At first the young one was silent, but night after night, Job’s persistence paid off.
“Why do you continue to bother me, old one.” The young werewolf called back. “You are a stupid old wolf who knows nothing of me. You are like a biting fly. Leave me be or I will snap you with my sharp teeth.”
“Old one?” Job thought. He had never thought of himself as old. This was an “aha” moment, as it had been when he had first recognized werewolf scent. “I guess I am old, compared to this young one.”
“I know you are werewolf, just as I am werewolf.” Job reasoned with him. “I know where your man den is, I know where your wolf den is and I know you have a mate and two young ones. I know you sneak into the city to buy goods for your family.”
“You are not werewolf, you are stupid wolf and if you come near, I will kill you, Old One.” The last portion was said with a sneer.
“Does a wolf know about werewolf? Does a wolf talk to you about ATM cards?” Job continued. “I have a home and land and I can give you shelter and a man life.”
“Then meet me in the glade and I will see the old werewolf.” The young one said, but without as much threat in his tone.
The two met, the young one rolling onto his back, acknowledging his lower status. The female was not his mate, but his mother and the two young pups were his sisters. Job learned that all female werewolves and her pups stay in wolf form until the pups are weaned. Jason, who was the young werewolf, would change into his man-form during the day and use his mother’s bank account to provide food, shelter, and man-clothing for himself. Job opened his home to the four of them and they accepted.
A year later, Jason was turning into a typical teenager by day. A bit sullen, a DO NOT ENTER sign on his bedroom door, annoyed at his two little sisters, and loving motors and loud music. The twins were rolling and romping from one end of the house to the next, screeching at the top of their lungs. Jason’s mother, Alaina, was now Job’s mate. She slept contentedly in their shared bed.
Not for the thousandth time did Job muse at the irony of who he was, as he straightened his tie in readiness for the day. “Maybe I do have Alopecia,” no one else in his new family was hairless. He sighed deeply contented, as he began his daily mantra.
“One more parcel of land and a few more acres.…”