I must have walked a mile down the snow-covered road before I noticed. There was so much else to watch for besides what lay at my feet: on the right, icy slopes rising to a girdle of pines and craggy summits beyond; on the left, Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, plunging down to the unseen river before rising through snowy wastes and clumps of naked aspens to yet more forests and mountains. And there was the howling.
The first wolf howl is special. It certainly makes you look up. I won’t claim that it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I will say it was eerie and beautiful and utterly unforgettable. A second howl came, and maybe a third. And the sound echoed off the valley sides before it died away in a mournful diminuendo.
That was when I glanced down and saw the tracks. If there is no mistaking a wolf’s cry, there is certainly no possibility of error when it comes to the creature’s footprints. I squatted down, put my hand on the snow and found the print was both longer and wider. We were going in the same direction, too. A little further down the road, the valley was closing in and I saw deep tracks running down the hillside on the right, lots of them, all clearly wolves. On the left side of the road there was fur lying in clumps: grey crinkly hairs with a reddish tint.
This is the worst kind of discrimination: the kind against me! Kids don’t turn rotten just from watching TV. I don’t know what you did, Fry, but once again, you screwed up! Now all the planets are gonna start cracking wise about our mamas.
Shut up and get to the point! Okay, it’s 500 dollars, you have no choice of carrier, the battery can’t hold the charge and the reception isn’t very