I found two likely-looking wolves dead on the highway as I was leaving Texas, and once, alone one night along Elm Bayou, I howled up a wolf a quarter of a mile away that sounded querulous, quirky, unpresumptuous, yowly, variable and female. We were beginning to converse, but I left it to answer another wolf howling in the distance. This second individual and T talked back and forth until I started to wonder; the sound jerked and creaked, awfully low in pitch, almost like a windmill. Indeed, that's what it was—I'd left a real wolf for a windmill!
One morning soon afterward I was visiting with a rancher who said he wanted to kill all the turkey buzzards in the sky as well as the red wolves. There are plenty of buzzards; we could see about 15 roosting on poles and trees. Just over-" night the rain ditches had filled, but suddenly the sun broke through the clouds, lying at a cannon's angle, the kind of sun that made you answer to it, changing, irradiating dead as well as living things. Greens bled into blues and reds, white was black and black was white. Then, in this incredible intensity of light, what the buzzards did, following some lead from an elder, was all at once to spread their wings, holding them outstretched stock-still to dry. What we were witnessing was not unfamiliar; everybody has seen pictures of a totem pole topped by a raven carved with its wings outspread—the Earth's Creator, according to the maker of the totem pole. Ravens are the buzzards of the North. What we were privy to—15 blizzards spread-eagled, metal-colored, in a violent sun—would have transfixed an Indian of the Northwest, would have provided a whole life's ozone to a woodcarver, a vision any warrior would have died for, if in fact his excitement didn't render him invincible. Fifteen images of the Creator in a rising sun would have propelled a great chief into his manhood, after walking naked for a month. An end or a beginning, certainly, except that there are no divine signs now.