The wolf passed silently behind the bars of steel. The little children made faces at him. He pulled his lips away from his teeth. The uniformed man pushed the children along. He threw a large piece of raw meat into the wolf's cage. He muttered about the animals eating better than he did and moved on. Soon thereafter, the zoo closed. The sunlight faded into black, and the moon rose. The wolf laid on tattered straw, and quickly fell asleep.

The wolf awoke to the sound of his cage being opened. An unfamiliar man opened his steel door. The wolf jumped to his feet and bit the man on his shoulder. The man hit the wolf with his flashlight and tried to spray his assailant with mace. The mighty wolf let go and ran off.

As the wolf ran to the exit, another man obscured his path. The man was tall and heavily built. The mighty, robust wolf overtook the tall man as if he were but a small child. The wolf pressed on.

As the light of day struck the earth anew, the wolf came to a great forest. No humans were around, and the wolf was free to roam. He walked into the woods, unchallenged. Freedom was his.

by Zachary Gamble

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