Dragon Defense

Anxious, Shariel scrambled up the hill at a brisk pace.  Soon her muscles burned and her lungs ached.  Afraid to stop, she scolded herself for being lazy during winter. 

Pebbles skittered down from a high boulder and startled her into a crouch.  She slipped a dagger from her boot and gripped the blade.  Two pointed ears and a head popped over the boulder.

She released pent up breath.  “Chacka!  I should’ve known it was you.”  The silver wolf stared down from a rocky perch as his glistening white teeth formed a canine grin. 

Shariel climbed to his level.  “Don’t sneak up on me like that.  My nerves are all jittery since I imagined someone watched me near the village.” 

Chacka sniffed the breeze and rotated his ears.  Hackles bristling, he stared down the mountain trail.

“My imagination’s working overtime,” she chattered unaware of the wolf’s defensive posture.  “I’d lay odds we’re in for a storm.  I get spooky just before a big blow, but a spring storm shouldn’t last long.”  Shariel wiped her forehead and eyed the woods.  “Why does your mate hide?  Haven’t you told her I’m a friend?”

Chacka kept his head low and menacing, a deep growl rumbled in his chest.  

“She’ll learn to trust me.”  Shariel climbed the trail, talking.  The wolf stayed nearby until she reached the cabin, and then he melted into the forest shadows. 

Shariel shouted, “Bye, Chacka.  See you later.” 

“Talking to your wolf again?” Aunt Bess stood in the door.  “Don’t you know wolves would just as soon eat you as say howdy?”

Shariel grinned.  “If Chacka ate a human, he’d pick one who doesn’t like him.”

Bess laughed.  “I’m too tough to be appetizing.  Did you get everything?” 

Synopsis

Anxious, Shariel scrambled up the hill at a brisk pace.  Soon her muscles burned and her lungs ached.  Afraid to stop, she scolded herself for being lazy during winter. 

Pebbles skittered down from a high boulder and startled her into a crouch.  She slipped a dagger from her boot and gripped the blade.  Two pointed ears and a head popped over the boulder.

She released pent up breath.  “Chacka!  I should’ve known it was you.”  The silver wolf stared down from a rocky perch as his glistening white teeth formed a canine grin. 

Shariel climbed to his level.  “Don’t sneak up on me like that.  My nerves are all jittery since I imagined someone watched me near the village.” 

Chacka sniffed the breeze and rotated his ears.  Hackles bristling, he stared down the mountain trail.

“My imagination’s working overtime,” she chattered unaware of the wolf’s defensive posture.  “I’d lay odds we’re in for a storm.  I get spooky just before a big blow, but a spring storm shouldn’t last long.”  Shariel wiped her forehead and eyed the woods.  “Why does your mate hide?  Haven’t you told her I’m a friend?”

Chacka kept his head low and menacing, a deep growl rumbled in his chest.  

“She’ll learn to trust me.”  Shariel climbed the trail, talking.  The wolf stayed nearby until she reached the cabin, and then he melted into the forest shadows. 

Shariel shouted, “Bye, Chacka.  See you later.” 

“Talking to your wolf again?” Aunt Bess stood in the door.  “Don’t you know wolves would just as soon eat you as say howdy?”

Shariel grinned.  “If Chacka ate a human, he’d pick one who doesn’t like him.”

Bess laughed.  “I’m too tough to be appetizing.  Did you get everything?” 

Diane Rapp became an entrepreneur when she started her own dog grooming salon in Santa Barbara, California. She spent the next thirty years as a small business owner; she sold real estate, started an office supply/copy center, and performed free-lance advertising design.