The Wolf Cub

By Carl Martin Johnson

The dark fur made him hard to see
On the shadowed forest floor.
His mahogany eyes looked up at me,
I half expected him to roar.

I hesitated a second only
Before I bent to pick him up.
He looked fierce, but lonely.
He was just a little pup.

He was proud and brave,
Yet trembling with fright.
My thick gloves served to save
My fingers from his bite.

I reminded myself this was no pet.
He was a hunter who ate his kill.
I was human and to him a threat.
I could not bend him to my will.

Should I leave him then to face the cold,
Perhaps to die of hunger?
He wrestled frantically in my hold.
He would have already died were he much younger.

My conscience told me to take him home.
My soul said set him free.
He is a wild thing, meant to roam.
Let his fate be what it must be.

I set him down and he stood still,
Looking at me as if he understood.
He bared his fangs to let me know, not kill.
It is man’s world, but his wood.

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