I walked out of the house, letting the screen door slam behind me. There were no tears; only a heavy, heavy weight in my heart. I let my feet take me into the woods, following a path I had taken many times. It wasn't my fault she had died. She came down with pneumonia and there was nothing I could do. Mom had tried everything she could, every medicine there was, but with asthma, there was no saving my sister. She had been too young......too young! I reached the end of the path and sat down on the bench like I usually did when I came this way and waited.
Soon the bushes rustled and an old wolf came out of the foliage, blue-gray fur sleek and well-groomed. He and I had known each other for a long, long time; almost five years now. I had named him Flight. I didn't know why, but it was just a good name. I hugged him tight around the neck, and that was when the tears came. I sobbed silently into his fur, feeling it dampen underneath my cheek.
Flight licked my tear-stained face when I broke away, washing away the sorrow and comforting me. He brushed my side with his tail, beckoning for me to follow. I did, knowing exactly where we were going. Grandfather would be there and he would comfort me.
As we walked through the beautiful spring forest I observed the sunlight that filtered through the thick leaves of the oaks and maples. Birds pecked at bushes and flitted from tree to tree. A rabbit hopped across my path as we walked. Eventually, we reached the place that Grandfather always was. His old branches reached out to me, pulling me toward the trunk of the old beech. I grasped the lowest, thickest branch and pulled myself up into the branches, higher and higher, not stopping until I had reached the thickest branch of that height.
Flight watched from below as I settled myself into the crook of the branch. It was wide, wide enough for me to curl up in, but I just lay, belly up, gazing at the sky, feeling my remaining tears dry out in the sun. I stayed like that for hours, thinking about Arrie, how she had liked to hang from the lower branches, giggling as Flight had tried to reach her toes by leaping up, tongue extended out of his mouth. Flight and Grandfather had been our secret, but now it was only mine to keep.
Flight whined, letting me know that the sun was setting, that I should be getting back. I sighed and climbed down Grandfather's branches and onto the forest floor. Flight licked me and I kissed him goodbye before heading back to my house. I would see them both tomorrow, and I knew that I would probably be heading back very often for the next few months.
I heard my secret wolf howl a goodbye as I reached my back door and knew that he was sitting by Grandfather, hoping that I would be happier when he next saw me. Well, he had a long wait ahead of him.