wolverine pelt

2

I have officially decided (again) to sell Queen Zenobia, my lioness pelt headdress. I’m thinking of modifying her form and turning her into a traditional rug, because, let’s face it, not many people want a lioness for a headdress, and it will be easier to sell her as a rug anyhow.

I’ve been thinking on what kind of animal I’d like to have for my next headdress to replace her, and I just kept coming back to wolverines. Small, ferocious, and a constant presence in my dreams, typically sticking to the fringes of my subconsciousness. 

But wolverine pelts are expensive, and until Zen sells, I didn’t think I’d have the chance to find one that would suit my needs and my budget. But a customer recently asked if I could source a very specific-looking wolf pelt for her - she had seen it in a dream of her own - and in my search for her wolf, I found a guy in Alaska with a collection of furs his buddy traded him in exchange for repairing his old Bushmaster aircraft. 

After I inquired about the wolf, he offered to sell me the wolverine, too. We haggled back and forth on prices, and finally came to a very reasonable agreement. I spoke on the phone with the seller and his wife (I guess they’re kind of lonely in AK, and a friendly voice is always welcome!), to arrange the deal. 

Above is the pelt I’m getting from them. He (she?) is 53″ long, has all paws and claws, and should be suitable for a taxidermy-style headdress. The only issue is that it was tanned 20 years ago, so I’ll have to be very careful about the re-hydration process on this one. 

Ironically, if not for the hunt for my customer’s dream-wolf, I would never have found my own “dream” wolverine. Weird congruences like that make me happy, and I’m really looking forward to giving this pelt some new purpose. 

Creative Writing Practice

(Creative writing study for my D&D character, Roar)

She was tiny - compared to him, at least - and he scrutinized her from his perch at the bar as she gnawed viciously on a leg of lamb, scraping the bone beneath the meat with her teeth as she ripped off full chunks and chewed them heavily. Beneath her table there in the corner, lay a large black wolf - still young and growing in to his awkwardly-proportioned body - who was likewise gnawing away at a bone, though with far less vigor than his human companion. 

The girl was covered in masterfully-crafted leather clothing, adorned with bones and teeth from wild animals. Her hair was short and unkempt, with pine needles stuck at the roots. She maintained a suspicious look in her eyes, but they glowed with curiosity, and a deep intelligence as she watched every movement made by every man around her.

A wolverine pelt was draped over her shoulders, too - paws tied about her neck and held in place with a leather cord. The face of the animal was expertly molded over a carved wooden form, and was given rubies for eyes, so that when the girl wasn’t wearing it down like a hood, as she was now, the snarling animal’s visage sat atop her own like a helm and stared her enemies down. 

The girl and her wolf-beast seemed out-of-place in the small-town bar, yet none of the locals dared cast their attention toward her, save the barkeep, who wordlessly approached the girl to re-fill her empty cup and to lay another tray of bones - leftovers from the kitchen - at the feet of her wolf companion. It was clear that her presence was accepted here, even if begrudgingly so.

Lord Hiron grabbed the barkeep’s arm as the man passed by en route back to the kitchen. 

“What can you tell me about her?” Hiron asked him, nodding toward the girl and her wolf. The barkeep let out a short laugh. 

“She’s a wild one, yes. Townsfolk call her ‘Roar’ cuz she ain’t got no proper name. Raised by wild animals, they say. Her an’ that wolf o’ hers been huntin’ down all these crazy critters that sneak out o’ them woods at night to scare-up the town. Why, just last week she killed a hoard o’ spiders, each the size of a well-built daft horse! Did it all in one night, too!” The barkeep paused and looked back at Roar with a mild adoration. “Yep. She’s a wild one. Town’s glad to ‘ave her now. Weren’t always that way, though. Word is, she killed herself a score of loggers when we first set up to build them new trade roads. Some say she can tern ‘erself into one of them wolves. In any case, I’m glad she’s fightin’ for us now, cuz I weren’t want ‘er against us, that’s for certain!” 

Lord Hiron nodded. “Thank you, good sir. That’s just the information I was looking for.” And with that, he rose from his seat and started toward the wild-girl. The barkeep reached out a hand to clasp the Lord’s robes and stop him mid-stride, but caught himself and muttered, “Wait!” instead. Lord Hiron paused. 

“She ain’t fond o’ strangers,” the barkeep whispered. “Best be bringin’ her a little somethin’ to keep ‘er on yer good side. A fair tiding,” he offered. Hiron nodded, and continued his approach. 

Roar looked up the instant he did so, locking her eyes on his and giving him a critical stare that seemed to say, “I have killed beasts twice your size and four times as fierce. Trouble me and you will regret it.” But Lord Hiron did not falter.

The wolf-beast beneath the table looked up when Hiron stood five paces away, hair bristling and lips quivering atop vicious crescent teeth. Roar made an almost inaudible grunt at the animal, and its tensed muscles relaxed, though the threat of a growl remained, looming on his marrow-stained maw. 

“May I pull up a chair?” Lord Hiron asked, bowing his head slightly. 

Roar did not move. She did not blink. She said nothing. 

Hiron grabbed a chair from one of the unoccupied tables surrounding her and brought it up across from Roar. She remained expressionless until he reached into his cloak and pulled forth a mouse trapped within a small wire cage. He passed it across the table to her. 

Roar tilted her head to the side, then, and took the tiny cage in her hands. The mouse hardly had room to turn inside the prison it had been kept in, and Lord Hiron watched with intense curiosity as Roar looked from him, to the mouse, then back. Finally, she held up the mouse and it’s cage, and released the tiny creature from it’s cell, slipping it into the breast pocket of her buckskin shirt.

Lord Hiron allowed himself a short laugh of amusement in regard to Roar’s action. In hindsight, if seemed that he should have expected it from the start. Roar picked up her leg of lamb, then, and took another slow bite, relaxed more now than she had been when Lord Hiron first approached. 

He took the opportunity and spoke: “The barkeep tells me that you are good at hunting and killing wild beasts. I believe that you are quite talented in this endeavor. Thus, I came to inform you of a proposition I have - one that pays quite well.” 

Roar’s interest in him seemed to fade, then, and she went back to her careful studying of the bar patrons around her. Lord Hiron spoke again: “The beasts I speak of, the ones I want gone….They are suffering. My men are tormented by them. We’ve lost many. In retaliation, we have filled their bodies with arrows and spears. But the beasts come back, night after night, and their rage only grows; their pain along with it.” 

Roar returned her focus to Lord Hiron, breaking her gaze only to glance at the mouse in her breast pocket as it re-adjusted itself. When she lifted her eyes to meet his gaze again, she said, “The beasts hunger. You feed them, they go away. They leave the men alone. Problem solved.” 

Lord Hiron nodded his head, acknowledging the intelligence of such a plan. “The problem, though” he noted, “is that these beasts only eat human flesh. They have developed a taste for it, and -” 

Roar cut him off. “Feed them horse. Horse meat is to them like flesh of men. Spears and arrows only anger the monsters; makes them want to hurt you more. Feed them horse.” 

Lord Hiron felt his patience running thin, but understood that he needed to tread carefully. He leaned across the table toward Roar and spoke now in a harsh whisper: “We are dealing with beasts that…aren’t exactly normal. We need you. Please - come with me. You will see what I mean.” 

Roar’s eyes narrowed and she rose from her seat and loomed over the table. She seemed to catch on to what the young Lord was saying now. “I’ll go,” she said, “But will not kill that which does not need to be killed.”