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Apr 23, 2021

Coming of Age Drama Fiction

              Legend of Lobo

Suzanne Marsh

The New Mexico mountains still resound with the sound of the Lobo wolf. Some say he is simply is a legend, a myth. I have reason to say the Lobo is alive and well. Perhaps not the first Lobo but I have seen a Lobo Wolf. I have heard their cries as I move silently among them. I am but a simple Apache boy; my Father say a simple Apache boy with a very good imagination. The Apache are storytellers for many moons; my Father and Grandfather and no doubt further back than them. I am straying from the story of Lobo wolf. I first saw Lobo near a cave I wanted to explore. It was just a quick flash of gray and white. I had one thing in mind to explore the cave; I was never one to obey the laws of the people. There was a price on Lobo’s head and soon he was being hunted by the Apache as well as the whites.

I decided to lay a trap for the one we called Lobo; I knew he went to the cave I thought perhaps he had a den near there. I would wait and see if there was a female also. Lobo’s are alpha males. I thought maybe if there were cubs involved I could take one home to our village and raise it. Father spoke to me more than once about disappearing up into the mountains. I could not tell him I was seeking Lobo, he would object to that. The Apache thought the wolves should be left alone, at least my Father and Grandfather did. Grandfather was the chief and what he said the people followed. I decided to corner Grandfather in the Hogan where he was making medicine for the people.

“Grandfather, I have seen Lobo.”

“Little Bear, if you have seen Lobo there are other wolves near by they travel in packs of at

least five to six. Do not go up into the mountains until we take care of Lobo.”

Grandfather thought that would take care of the issue, after all he was chief. I was but one of many grandchildren. Although I was perhaps more curious than most. I determined that I was going back up into the mountains and find Lobo and his band before they started raiding the cattle that the Apache need to survive the cruel heat and snow especially in the mountain areas of our reservation. There was also a small amount of pride in me for having located Lobo in the first place. I did not want Lobo to be killed; so I knew then I would seek him out. How I was going to do that I had no idea. I listened as the men on the reservation began to make plans to hunt down Lobo. I would get there first.

Three days later, I once again left to walk up into the mountains. Our reservation was in the desert. I expect that is why the story of Lobo is even more incredible. I climbed higher and higher into the mountains. I heard a Mountain lion roar. That was never a good sign. I hurried toward the cave where I would pray to the Great Spirit to deliver me from the mountain lion. The next sound I heard was a hiss, I had no way to defend myself from a rattlesnake...we might worship them but that did not mean I wanted to see one up close. It rattled a few times then slithered off...the Great Spirit was no doubt watching over me.

Late that night inside the cave I heard the cry of Lobo. Then I heard a reply to his cry. I thought perhaps he was talking to his mate. I had no time to discover where they were. Father and Grandfather had come looking for me.

“Little Bear, why are you here in this cave?”

“Grandfather, I heard Lobo crying to his mate. I want to find him, meet him.”

“Yes, and you will be his dinner. He is not crying because he is lonely he is

crying from hunger.”

“I could bring him something to eat Grandfather.”

“Little Bear I have spoken, you will return to the reservation.”

“But Grandfather, what about Lobo?”

“Go now!”

I shrugged I as walked away from the warriors who were searching for Lobo. I was not going to let them hurt him.

I heard something behind me...I turned…there was Lobo. He was big and gray his eyes a piercing yellow. I was not afraid for I knew he would not harm me. He walked toward me as if asking me to follow him. I followed him toward another cave. There I could hear cubs in the den whimpering. I went into the cave, there were three cubs, but no mate. I understood then that the cry was mourning for his mate. The cubs needed my help. I went down the mountain, bringing back milk for the cubs.

As I walked up into the mountains, I heard a mountain lion, Lobo must have been very near. The mountain lion pounced down from the ledge he had been perched on. Lobo flew at him with all the power he had. He knocked the mountain lion down. They fought. Lobo won the battle but he was hurt badly. I knew if I were to help my friend I would have to hurry back down the mountain. I would have to steal the things I needed to help him. I need bandages, herbs to heal his wounds. I waited until the Medicine Woman was out of her tent. I grabbed herbs that I had seen her put on a dog. Then I took some bandages. Time was not on Lobo’s side, I took one of Grandfather’s ponies. I galloped up the mountain. I found Lobo’s cave. I entered. His side was wide open. How could I save his life. He licked my hand. I held his head. I made a crazy promise to the Great Spirit, if he would let Lobo live I would do my best to help him and his cubs. I put the herbs into the wound, then would a bandage around his middle. Once again he licked my hand. This was no ordinary wolf, this one was special.

I made a litter to move him. I knew that if I pleaded my case Grandfather would allow me to

care for the cubs and Lobo.

“Grandfather, Grandfather.” I yelled at the top of my lungs. When he saw the litter he swallowed hard:

“My grandson, why have you brought this wolf here?”

“Grandfather is it not the Apache way to help our brother wolf? He saved my life

Grandfather, he killed a mountain lion. That is why he is hurt.”

Grandfather smiled then:

“My grandson, what is moving around next to him?”

“His cubs Grandfather, someone killed his mate. He showed the cubs to me.”

Grandfather was neither pleased nor displeased:

“You are going to care for the four of them my Grandson?”

“Yes, Grandfather. Then you will send them back to the mountain when all is well.”

“Yes, Grandfather but I had hoped to raise at least one of the cubs.”

Grandfather smiled.

The legend of Lobo the lone wolf is still told around the campfires of the Apache people. I am now Grandfather. Lobo died but his cubs survived, I still miss Logo but one of his sons is sitting here next to me. The Great Spirit works in strange ways.

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