Wolf: Parks and Recreation
You sniff the air for a few seconds, and, after you mull it over a bit longer, you decide that the park sounds like a nice place to visit first. Plus, you know the park Akam is speaking of - and it isn’t that far from you. You’ve been there before to have picnics and just to kick back and relax on nice days like this, so why not go there as a wolf and see what it’s like, if it’s any different?
You turn left and head that direction, breaking out of the wooded area entirely and walking onto the pavement. The surface is hard and somewhat grainy beneath your paws, yet still flat and relatively pleasant once you get used to the feeling of concrete instead of dirt and grass.
Of course, you are not alone - now you are in the city proper, and there are cars and cyclists, and plenty of people walking about, both coming toward you and heading the same way you do. You don’t feel nervous or afraid, however, especially since no one that looks at you seems to see a wolf, or at least react as if they were seeing a wild wolf trotting about their streets. (Granted, you muse that some people would assume a wolf was just a normal dog, perhaps, and you know there are people out there that might come up to you, either way…)
‘Good thing I don’t have to worry about that,’ you think. You don’t want that hassle right now, honestly. You just want to explore.
A few people glance at you and react with smiles or giggles or coos - even a rather burly, bearded man seems smitten by you as though you were an adorable puppy.
You are… kind of flattered by it, you suppose - you recall what Akam said would happen thanks to the magic he used on you, so it makes sense people would react to you so positively since they don’t see a scary wolf. But it isn’t a big enough problem that you feel bothered by this attention, especially since no one stops to pet you or to talk to you (not that these would bother you, you admit they wouldn’t, and you do wonder what being pet feels like since you have fur now).
That aside, you keep onward, trudging past people as you head toward the park.
Then, minutes later, you finally get there, and it seems… so much more lush and grand then you last remember it being. You step onto the grass and you are hit by a myriad of new scents - scents that strike you as strange, but familiar at the same time, for they have an odd flavor wafting about that you can’t really put a word to. You breathe in, and you can smell a number of them.
And then you spot, in the distance, a few people with dogs, some playing fetch or with a frisbee with said dogs. Your nostrils flare, and it clicks in your head that these dogs are what you’re smelling - this is their flavor, as it were.
“So you know, Master,” Akam says. He has been quite silent thus far, but you have the sense he’s been content to explore and observe with you. “Animals will take to you a bit differently now that you are one among them. But, well…” He smiles at you. “You might find you can understand them a bit better, too.”
You look up at his hovering form. ‘Do you mean I can talk to animals now?’
He chortles. “Something like that, I guess you could say. It isn’t so much that you can talk to them like in television, unfortunately, but you can communicate with and understand animals like you a bit better. It is a side effect of the magic, in truth: it lets you comprehend their various noises as words.”
You nod slowly and venture forward, feeling the grass beneath your paws again - it feels so very soft, and you can also feel the dirt as your paws dig into the ground from each step. The wind blows over you, carrying all the different smells, and all the sounds, too - the sounds of people shouting and cheering and the sounds of their dogs barking and… speaking?
You pause and listen, for to your ears, you can hear both the sounds you expect from dogs, yet along with it, you hear words, too, fused into the barks.
“Ball! Throw it, please! Throw!”
“Yes, let’s play! Play, I’m so excited!”
“Is that mine? It smells good. Is it mine? Is it?”
These are some of the things you hear, and you feel a little enthralled to be hearing the voices coming from the dogs themselves - that, and, you are also kind of amused. It seems those internet videos you see all the time might be more correct in how dogs think than they might be aware.
‘I wonder how they’d interact with me,’ you say, since you are an animal like them now.
Then again, you don’t know if the dogs would recognize you as a wolf or as a human or as something else. Akam didn’t comment on that prior, but you don’t mind finding out for yourself. You’re curious, and, you don’t think it would be any harm to see how that could go…
‘Akam, how do I communicate with them, exactly?’ you ask. ‘Do I just… erm. Bark?’
“You will see it better up close than for me to explain,” Akam replies with a playful look. “Trust me on that much, Master.”
You roll your eyes at this response, but, you don’t mind so much that it’s not really an answer at all - he isn’t wrong, either. So, it comes down to whether or not you want to go up to these dogs to have a chat. Do you?
Written by Hollowpages on 17 July 2020
Wolf: Howling Mad or Howling Glad?