I took him home and he slept. I laid him in a corner of the yard, sheltered beneath a mighty pine. I covered him with a heavy blanket then came back inside and shut the door. I could hear him snoring from my living room. For nearly a month he slept. Or, at least I thought he did. After a few weeks of restful slumber, there were times that I could hear him stirring, but I chose to ignore him. He had been so calm that I hoped he would simply return to that state if left unbothered. There was still a large part of me that was fearful.

By the time that I did check on him, it was clear he had needed my attention much sooner. I thought he had tamed, but he was still feral. He had been plucked out from his domain and exposed. Without follow-up care he grew resentful. He had been living off the plentiful apple trees in our back yard, but clearly hungered for something more substantial. I could tell that he blamed me for his discomfort. I gladly took ownership. He was righteously angry.

I fed him. I made sure it was clear to both him and myself that I was remorseful. Even though we could not communicate directly, I could feel him calm.

He was fiercely independent, but I had uprooted him. I now have an active responsibility in his development. With him here in my backyard I can no longer be in denial. I can no longer turn a deaf ear to that howling in the distant woods.



One thought on “Hibernation

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