This is a fable about a wolf named Jenshano who lives in the forest, alone.
|Once upon a time, in the forest, there lived a young wolf named Jenshano who didn’t have a clan. He spent all his time wandering the forest, grooming himself, and hunting little animals. One day, the wolf got up early in the morning. His goal was to make it to the other side of the forest to visit a new lake that he’d heard of through word-of-mouth.
Someone had said to him, “Lake Genoa is excellent. The water springs eternal. It’s so clear. You can see all the little fish in the lake. And they’re healthy! You should go out there whenever you have a chance.”
Jenshano thought about the lake as he prepared his meats for the journey. Would there be fresh animals? Beautiful sunshine? Quite a bit of exercise along the way? Jenshano grabbed his hat and went on his way. The trail through the forest was barely worn yet inviting. As Jenshano began to walk from the front door of his den, he thought about all the things he’d been through until that point.
He thought about the young pride that he had been a part of. He thought of the beautiful life he had lived. He thought of his family. He remembered how loyal his mother was. She stayed with the family through thick and thin: through famine, disease, drought, human incursion. Every day, she told him she loved him. And then, one day, she was gone.
Jenshano kept walking. He didn’t know how far it was exactly, but he had an instinct that he had enough energy in the tank to make the trip. He snacked along the way, enjoying a sip of water from each brook that he passed. This was the ultimate expression of life to him. After about one day, Jenshano reached a clearing. At the end of which stood a giant lake.
“Is this lake Genoa of legend?” said Jenshano to himself. “Have I made it?”
It was beautiful. The sunlight shone down into the water. Like sparkling fireflies, the sunlight was reflected up and all around. The birds were chirping and there were deer everywhere, including reindeer. Jenshano slowed down a bit. He had come here by himself, and he didn’t want to get mule kicked or trampled. He had to think strategically if he was going to enjoy a feast of the ages.
Jenshano crept around the lake, keeping himself in the tall grass. His paws were silent, and his breathing was deep and slow. He had all the confidence necessary to make this work. As he made it to the edge of the lake, he wasn’t sure what he should do. Walking up to the water, he looked directly down to see a panoply of fish looking back up at him. These were large, healthy fish. The kind the one did not see everywhere.
Jenshano couldn’t believe his eyes. He pawed the water, trying to ensure that what he was seeing was not an optical illusion or a mirage brought on by hunger or an insatiable imagination. It was real. The fish stirred, then quieted. Jenshano was beyond overjoyed. He looked over to his right and saw something in the distance. It was a ball of fur, and it was shaking.
Jenshano snuck back into the tall grass and approached, ready for anything that would come to take his life, or his subsequent meal. He could think of nothing he’d want better than to see himself fed. This might be the perfect opportunity to make his move. Jenshano made himself quiet and approached. Apparently, the creature didn’t hear him.
As he approached the furry animal, Jenshano could hear footsteps from afar off. He had no idea who they could belong to or what, ultimately, this meant for him. As he walked towards the animal, Jenshano noticed the big ears, long feet, and bushy tail. It was a rabbit! Jenshano had rarely experienced the eating of a rabbit, but when he did, it was one of the tastiest animals around.
As Jenshano approached, he noticed that the rabbit was crying. Against Jenshano’s higher judgement, his friendly virtues began to take hold. He slowly walked up behind the crying rabbit.
“Why are you crying?” said Jenshano, his mouth filling with saliva, his body twitching slightly.
“I…They don’t understand!” said the rabbit.
Her voice was the sound of an angel to Jenshano’s ears. He had never heard a voice so soft and inviting. It sounded like a thousand choruses set off at once. Jenshano’s first instinct was to strike and take his meal, but he was hesitant. He spoke again to the waylaying rabbit.
“Who doesn’t understand?”
“The other rabbits?”
“They want to send me away.”
“To the edge of the world, to where no one returns from.”
“You don’t want to go?”
“I love it here. This is my home.”
“Why don’t you just go? Just to see if you like it?”
“You don’t understand my family. When they say something, it’s an order, a command. No one can contradict them. They are all-powerful.”
“I see what you mean.”
Jenshano stood there, on all fours, next to the rabbit as he looked out on the water. The frogs jumped across the lily pads as the dragonflies made their rounds. This was a beautiful day indeed.
“This is a beautiful lake. I see why you don’t wish to leave.”
“This is my only real home. Anyplace else would be death!”
“My name is Jenshano. What’s yours?”
“Karmela. My name is Karmela.”
“I suppose you’ll eat me now. That’s all that wolves do, you know. Eat little rabbits.”
“I don’t think that has anything to do with this.”
“You wanted to eat me, though. I could hear you sneaking through the woods. Your gums are covered in saliva.”
They looked at each other for a moment, each giving the other an expression of their highest selves, their personality.
Just then, Karmela became agitated.
“What is it?” said Jenshano.
Jenshano then looked behind himself and saw thirty male rabbits. They were all young and strong. Muscular. Some of them had tattoos.
“What is this?” said Jenshano.
“Who are you?” said the lead rabbit, who seemed to be the strongest. “You’re trying to corrupt my sister!”
“Get him boys.”
The other rabbits then began to swarm the wolf. They lit fireballs and threw them at Jenshano. Soon, his fur caught fire. Not knowing what to do and being unprepared, Jenshano ran around and began to panic. He couldn’t survive the fiery beast that was him. He died.