• To run through the snow again

    Once there was an old man on his death bed. His family had gathered to witness his passing. All around there was tearfull conversations and mournfull sobs. The man lay in his bed, each breath coming with effort. His time had nearly come. He looked to the window. It was lightly snowing. The man could remember as a boy running through the snow. He always liked to pretend he was running through the woods with the wolves. There white forms running beside me, ghost against the trees. He wished so dearly that once more before he died he could run through the snow again. The man closed his eyes and slept.

    The wolf ran with the speed and grace that no other could match. Each spring of his legs carried him faster through the wilderness. The trees were a mere blur in his vision. The snow crashed against his face but he didn't slow. He kept bounding through the forest, his white fur whipping in the wind. Finally the edge of the sea of trees came. He burst from trees and out into a wide open plain. He finally allowed himself to slow. There he stood in the middle of the great plain, taking in its simple beauty. The snow continued to fall but already the clouds had started to part to reveal a pale moon. The wolf ran again, carrying himself up a hill. It took him only a short time to reach the top. Here the clouds had parted fully and allowed the moon to shine forth. It was full and the landscape was cover in its soft glow. The stars twinkled gently, but they could not match the majesty that was this night's moon. The wolf sat back on his hunches and stared at the moon, caught in its fullness and glory. Than he reared his head back and howl. The sound seem to float across the landscape and hung in the air itself. Soon other howls joined in and with them, the wolf sang to the moon and the stars. Than, after everything quieted, the wolf lay down in the snow, tired from his exsertion, and laid his on the backs of his paws. And there the wolf slept.

    They found the old man dead in his bed an hour later. He had gone to sleep and simply never woke up. But, except for the earlier sobs, no one else cried for the old man that day. For when all eyes settled on the old man's lifeless body, they could see a board smile painted across his face. It looked as though the man was still sleeping. Some say, he still dreamed, even as they buried him. For the smile never left his face. And no one cried for the old man.

    The wolf awoke and shook the sleep from head. He felt as if he slept for a long time. He looked and saw that others had come to join him of the plain. He got up and streched, feeling the bones in his legs pop and creak. Than he bounded toward the new arrivals. Soon, they were all charging their way through the sea of trees. And this is what kept running through the wolf's mind as he ran with his new family through the forest.

    "It feels so good to run through the snow again"