I am a cowboy Lupe. I patrol the harsh desert lands, protecting those in need
and fighting those who threaten the well being of others. My name is… well my
name is insignificant. After all, names can change as fast as we think new ones
up. They vary with the time of day or with the sway of our emotions. All that
you must know for now is that I am a male starry Lupe, strong and brave, in
my late twenties. For five years I have wandered alone across the barren landscape,
defending others as I leave my past far behind me. However, if you stay a while,
I will tell you about my life, and my rebirth.
It began six years ago. Like every young Lupe, I was strong, courageous, daring,
and terribly headstrong. I was a loner, wandering the desert day after day seeking
adventure and laughing at danger. I felt I needed no one, no pack or family;
that I could face life on my own.
At the time, I had wandered into a particularly hostile part of the arid landscape.
As I rode on, the cacti and other flora became less and less numerous, until
even the short grasses and scruffy plants vanished all together. The day wore
on and the heat became unbearable. I pulled down the brim of my cowboy hat to
shield my eyes and loosened the green bandana around my neck, but this did little
to improve my state.
The sun was scorching the back of my neck and my horse began to stumble in
his exhaustion. He longed to stop and rest, but I knew that to pause now, with
no shelter from the heat, would prove fatal. We had to keep going until we found
a canyon or outcrop with some shade. By chance, I looked up and caught a glance
of a large rock formation up ahead. Relief washed over me, I knew there must
be some type of cave or overhang that could provide proper shielding from the
"Come on, boy," I urged my steed. "Only a little farther."
We continued to plod slowly towards the rock, until we finally reached the
foot of the hill it sat upon. I dismounted and led my horse up the slope. The
climb was slow and tedious, and I feared my legs would give way any minute,
but I somehow made it to the top. My effort spent, I collapsed onto the ground
and lay there panting. After a minute or so, I sat up.
"Well," I said, "we made it."
No sooner had the words escaped my mouth than I felt a sharp, cool blade slide
across my creek and press firmly under my jawbone.
"Friend or foe?" questioned a light, feminine voice from behind me.
I sat rigid, and cursed my negligence. I should have known a camp would have
been made near the rock, being the only shelter for miles. I turned slowly to
face my assailant, careful not to make any sudden movements. Before me stood
an elegant cloud Lupess with strong pale blue eyes. She held her arm steady,
the dagger still inches from my throat.
"Friend or foe?" she reiterated, a bit harsher this time.
I narrowed my eyes. "I am a friend to all who are abused and wronged, but a
foe to all would harm the innocent," I stated firmly.
It was a very stupid thing to say, a statement that could have easily left
me in the desert for good. However, it must have pleased the Lupess in some
way, for she smiled and sheathed her weapon.
"Welcome, you are in Quataro lands now. You are free to rest here and regain
With that, she turned and made her way back to a cave in the rock. Huh,
I thought to myself. I had never heard of the Quataro Pack; I didn't even
know there were Lupe bands way out here. I stood up and made my way over
to my saddlebag. The long journey and left me extremely thirsty, as well as
terribly hungry. I stuck my paw inside the bag and felt around. I only just
began to wonder why it seemed so empty when, to my great dismay, I saw my starred
paw pop out of a rather large hole.
"Oh no," I moaned, wiggling my fingers. How was I going to survive without
food or water?
"Is something wrong?" asked a quiet voice right next to my left ear. The sound
so startled me that I jumped and spun around in a panic. I came snout to snout
with the cloud Lupess. She looked at me questioningly and had a worried expression
in her eyes.
"Oh no, nothing's wrong," I lied. I could tell she wasn't buying my act.
"You're dehydrated, you should really drink something," she told me.
"Oh, yeah I know, but…" I scratched the back of my neck, feeling very awkward
indeed. In order to save my pride, I was about to make a stupid excuse about
not needing water or something tough like that, when she peered over my shoulder
and spied the ripped saddlebag. She sighed and rolled her eyes before grabbing
me firmly by the wrist and leading me to the cave.
"Follow me," she said in an exasperated voice. She brought me though a low
passageway and into a large cavern. Once inside, the Lupess released my arm
and walked forward while I allowed my eyes to adjust to the sudden darkness.
I looked around the grotto and my jaw dropped as the contents came into focus.
Inside were enough supplies to house at least fifty Lupes. I was still standing
flabbergasted when the cloud Lupess returned holding a various assortment of
"What would you like?" she inquired kindly. "Peaches? Chicken soup? Baked
Beans?" I stood stunned.
"I can't take your rations," I replied earnestly, gently pushing away the
cans she offered me.
"Nonsense," she laughed, dumping all the provisions into my arms. "We have
more than enough. If you won't choose, then just take them all!"
With that she handed me a large canteen and left the cavern carrying oats,
water, and an apple (no doubt to feed my poor horse). Even as I watched her
leave, I still stood dazed by the remarkable hospitality she had just shown
me. Who wouldn't? Not five minutes ago the same Lupess had held a knife to my
neck. I shook my head in amazement and shifted my gaze to the food in my arms.
As chivalrous as I was, it did not change the fact that I was still famished,
and, seeing as the Lupess would not allow me to return the provisions, I knew
no reason why I should starve myself. So, I sat down on the cool cavern floor
and opened a few of the cans.
A while later, empty and half eaten tins lie strewn about. I took a long swig
from the canteen and placed it down with a sigh. My hunger satiated and my thirst
slaked, exhaustion caught up with me. My eyelids grew heavy and my head began
to nod. Unable to fight my fatigue, I curled up on the rock floor of the grotto
for a long rest. I was asleep before my head even touched the ground…
To be continued...