The Friend Who Never Left


Mama licked the fetal sac off Lupus’s head and he saw the world for the first time. Or more precisely he saw Mr Moon. With a calmness born of many deliveries she gnawed at the placenta till it was dangling free of Lupus’s body and wolfed it down. She wouldn’t be able to hunt for some time and nutrients were a must to survive.

Lupus didn’t even notice his mom snacking on parts of himself. He was still staring at the beautiful, yellow orb shining down on him with a doubt-dispelling radiance. Nothing else he would see in the world would ever compare to that first sighting.

In twelve weeks he began hunting with the pack. He had already forgotten the 63 days of darkness in his mother’s body where he slowly formed. It felt as if he had been only in this world. The new experiences of life hit him with a dizzying force. At times, he felt the knowledge the world had to offer was limitless and he would never be able to know even as much as his big brother.

In this time of insecurity and aloneness, the only friend he had was the one he spotted first – Mr Moon. When he would run with the pack at night, Mr Moon would anxiously peer outside a cloud, uncovering a neatly laid trap. How proud Lupus felt when he pointed out to his Papa, the yawning jaws of a snare whose brutal metal teeth lay in wait to maim the appendages essential for freedom.

Once when the pack faced the harshest winter of their lives and were close to eating each other’s hearts, Mr Moon urged Lupus to follow his fading light. At the end of night on a road without map Mr Moon showed him the carcass of a gigantic whale who had lost his way in water and crashed into land. How Lupus had howled that night telling his clan he had found food, his voice breaking with exhaustion and the sheer relief of knowing they would all live to see another winter.

When the casanova entered their pack and mated with his lady of interest he slumped down and shed the tears of his aching heart into a nearby lake. After some time he looked up, unhappiness clinging to his fur and he saw Mr Moon nestled on the water, gently eating his tears.

Often Lupus wished Mr Moon lived on earth. It would be great for them to hang out by the rocks, hunt in the woods, be casanovas for one season and finally settle with their mate in one pack. The time on earth Lupus hated most were the new moon nights, when his friend seemed to have completely disappeared.

On those days, Lupus would do nothing but wait on the highest hill for his friend to emerge from the blackness which seemed to have swallowed him. On the first sighting of Mr Moon he would yelp with joy and life would come back to its beautiful normalcy.

Some nights he would do nothing but look at his friend and yowl his love for him. All his tenderness would be poured into a tunnel of sound projected at the sky. The entire forest would listen to this howl of friendship between wolf and moon and feel so alone in their hearts, they would wish and wish for that one friend who would take away the loneliness, which walks hand-in-hand with life.

Moral: Friendship isn’t about physical proximity

Lupus is drawn by the fabulous Bijoy Venugopal. You can find more of his wonderful stuff here

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