Pack Leader and I had a great good time howling along with CBC tonight in the kitchen, my favorite section of our den. She gets pretty crazy, banging away in time with the ape music on various pans and lids with a spoon or spatula, waggling her rump and thumping her feet on the floor, all this while howling—and cooking! What could be finer than a Saturday night in our kitchen?
A Sunday morning in our old kitchen in Belcarra, grumbled Toyon. Now that was a kitchen fit for wolves! We even had our own breakfast bar, a rabbit’s height above the floor and so near the stove and dining table that all the leftovers landed in our bowls. He sighed a big, gusty malemute sigh. By Silva, I miss that place!
What’s his complaint? I thought. Ghost wolves don’t need to eat, anyway, dispiriting as that reality may be.
Sila caught my thought. Love and food go together, silly wolf. My son had a limitless appetite for both.
You can say that again, Blue chimed in. Not to mention his appetite for sex. My first litter—eight pups!
You can’t complain about Toyon as a daddy, though, Sila replied. My son brought those babies lot of food.
Blue sighed. Regurgitated kibble. Yes, wonderful. He was a good daddy wolf, if a touch on the ornery side.
Oh, dear. Everyone seemed a little embarrassed, as I am the only wolfdog in the pack who is missing an essential part of the usual puppy-making apparatus.
I was about to reassure everyone that, really, life without the patter of little paws can be quite fulfilling, when Amaruq, the senior among us, broke the silence. Our Yukon cabin was all kitchen—all one room. There was always something good simmering away on the woodstove, most of the year. Pack Leader preferred the woodstove to the propane because one morning when we came back from Dawson City, we opened the door, just about the time the sun broke the horizon, and the whole place exploded. Lucky, Pack Leader had a whatchamacallit…a….
Fire extinguisher, growled Sila. We have heard this story, ’Ruq. Also the one about how good the baby mice in Pack Leader’s dresser drawers tasted, too.
Hmm…arggh…. Amaruq gakked a bit, as if his insubstantial body, rather than Sila, had interrupted his reminiscence. Our previous kitchen, ’way back when, on a bank of the Bow River, was pretty rough and ready by comparison. Pack Leader was still a student and didn’t have much of that smelly paper that humans exchange for other things. We lived in a chilly little wooden box where the food in a metal bowl would freeze before you could lick it clean. We had no kibble. So we survived by doing tricks at the local bakery and grocery.
Puzzlement must have shown on all our muzzles. Grocery? What the boney-bone is a grocery?
You young pups need edjumacation, Amaruq chuckled, in that grandfatherly manner he’s adopted to strengthen his role as the Elderwolf of our Pack. (After all, ghost wolves can hardly avail themselves of marking fluid to strengthen a claim to territory.) A grocery is one of those big buildings where humans go to hunt down food. And I must say, our Pack Leader is a mighty hunter. I’ve seen her emerge from one of those places in no time with the remains of a chicken, a pig, a turkey, a pig and a fish, all nicely wrapped up so that Pack Leader could store it in the freezer—I must say, our Pack Leader is a mighty hunter. Click To Tweet
And she hunted them all down in no time, broke in Blue. Even in Hawaii, where we lived. It gets hot fast inside the cars there; so Pack Leader would chain me up outside the grocery. The doors of those places are open night and day; I just sat there, enjoying the meat scents as they wafted out the door. Pack Leader made her kills very fast and quietly and then we told Car-car to drive home fast, before the kill heated up.
Hawaiian fish? I asked. I’m not much on fish, although lately Pack Leader and I have been doing a couple of slices of organic sprouted toast with cream cheese and lox…yum…drool….
I don’t know. Blue’s pretty forehead furrowed above her beautiful blue eyes. (I sure wish I’d met her when she was still embodied.) She brightened. We had local chickens, though, all around the house. Mostly I herded them in and around the mango and palm trees but every now and then, if Pack Leader took too long to cook up a kill, I’d do a little culling. But I’m sure you’ll agree, raw chicken with feathers attached is hardly a match for Pack Leader’s chicken soup or a nice mild pilaf.
I’d as soon have a bison bone, rumbled Toyon. Raw, preferably. Enough of the namby-pamby cooked stuff!
Outraged, I sprang to the defence of Pack Leader’s culinary mastery. You haven’t lived until you’ve had baked camembert on spiced naan! Or palak paneer with organic eggs—’way better than eggs Florentine! Didn’t you ever get polenta cooked in apple-juice pork broth? Prosciutto-gouda rolls? Turkey necks smothered in sweet-pepper-and-garlic sauce?
I could have gone on, but their jaws were all dripping with ghostly longings. Sorry…. I bent my head as they drifted away. For now.
Think I’ll bunt Pack Leader in the knee, asking for another chance to do inventory on the fridge, or maybe lick out that last pan. K9 cuisine makes for a helluva tasty Saturday night!