Ed and Fang

Midge left Ed after three years of marriage. She would have left sooner – any time after the first night of their honeymoon – but she was afraid that he’d catch her if she did. She finally split after reaching the point where she didn’t care if he caught her or not. As it happened, he didn’t bother coming after her.

Midge didn’t take their son Amos with her. The logistics of such an escape seemed too difficult to carry out successfully. Midge figured that she’d come back for Amos sometime later.

It took Amos longer to go. He had to grow up somewhat first. He bolted at the age of fifteen. His goodbye note consisted of “Your a rat and a skunk.”

The only one who didn’t leave home was Fang. Ed acquired Fang, a half-wolf mutt, from the pound in Tatoe, Idaho, up on the Canadian border.

Ed kept Fang chained. He beat him when in the mood. He starved Fang to show him who was boss. Fang truckled under, though the truckling didn’t do him much good.

Ed took Fang along when he went out hunting in the Kootinai National Wildlife Refuge with his trusty M-16. A trip in November took a turn for the worse when Ed twisted his ankle far from his Jeep. Sudden unseasonable snow bogged him down. Fang took a few good licks from Ed on account of the situation, as Ed sat fuming under a pine tree.

The wolves on the mountain began howling about then. Fang pricked up his ears. He’d had few occasions thus far in his life for ear-pricking.

The wolves eventually slid out of the bush across from Ed and Fang.

“We’re gonna kill us some damn wolves,” Ed said. He rummaged in his pack for extra ammo.

Fang dragged the M-16 out of Ed’s reach.

“Why you mutt!” Ed said. “Bring back that gun and then go attack those wolves. Defend me, you cur!”

Fang had a light in his eyes that Ed hadn’t seen before. Nor had Ed seen Fang slaver as he was currently slavering. And nor had Ed seen Fang grin before.