The village where I was born and where I still live is surrounded by dense beautiful black forests. In there live many wolves, free and wild. You can hear them at night howling to the sky and its stars.
For as long as I remember, I can see the silhouette of a black wolf following me. It always has been the same. It looks like it chose me.
When I was a child, I used to play with it. Touching its dense fur while running in the woods or swimming with my arms around its neck in the deep water of the lake. I escaped the house in secret so many times to go meet my friend the black wolf.
But after a while, my parents realized my disappearance and saw me with the wolf. They told me that it was dangerous. They looked very scared and said to me that I might die if I still see the black wolf.
Slowly their fears became mine and the one who was my friend became my enemy. I stopped going to the forest as well as swimming in the lake. I stayed in the village with all the other ones.
But as I was not paying a visit anymore to my friend the black wolf, this one started to follow me in the village. It was always somewhere around me.
I travelled for years on the other side of the world, but wherever I went it was there. I spent most of the years of my life making all my choices based on distancing myself from the black wolf. If it was in a street where I was wishing to go I would take another one. If it was hiding behind a person I was wishing to meet, I would keep myself away from that one.
But one day, despite all my efforts, without knowing how and why, I ended up in the forest where we used to play together when I was a child. I got lost there. It has been so long since I didn’t explore this land anymore.
There, in the middle of the dense trees, I felt the black wolf before I could even see it. It was on my back. I turned slowly to face it.
It was there. All teeth and hair out. It was in rage.
I never saw it like this before. I felt pure fear within myself. I knew that what my parents told me was going to happen: I was going to die, it was going to kill me.
The black wolf walked slowly closer to me. I kept looking into its angry, fierce eyes. We were making circles, keeping a distance between us that was getting smaller and smaller.
Fear within me became strength. My muscles got tensed, I was not ready to die. I was going to face the black wolf.
I looked more intensely into its eyes. And there something happened that I couldn’t have predicted. I merged with the black wolf.
We were one in the eyes of each other. In this black void where no distinction was possible between it and I. An Amerindian chief that I have never met before appeared to me.
He said: “Better to become friends with your wolf, my friend, because every man at the moment he got born got one as a companion. Many run away from it, but it is a useless way of spending one’s life because whatever you do it will always find you back. This is the gift of life, it is paired with death and when we got born there is only one certainty: we will one day die. The black wolf elegantly walked on the side of the ones who remembered this and therefore know how to appreciate life by being remembered by its companion that at any moment it can stop. Be friends with your wolf my friend, this is the only way to live in peace. Be friends, don’t fear it.”
After these words, the Amerindian chief disappeared. I opened my eyes, seeing the wolf in front of me. My body was relaxed, I turned away to start walking towards my house.
The black wolf could attack me now, I was aware of it. I had no defence despite my trust. But instead of it, the black wolf started to walk on my side.
From then, the black wolf and I walked through life together. We climb mountains, talk with strangers, swim in deep lakes, sleep in the forest under the trees, and listen to the stars together. I don’t know how long I will live but who knows that anyway.
What I know now is the taste of life and I wish the same for all of us. I will be there, I promise, the time you will be facing the eyes of your angry left apart black wolf. « Be friends, my friend. Be friends, don’t fear it. » Will I whisper in your ears.
May you live at peace with your companion the black wolf, my friend, you won’t regret it I promise.
Written by Natacha Pincemaille-Neveu