Rites of Passage

Futility

A lesson never practiced is a lesson never learned ...

Kaiden Reid

One dark night there was a pack of wolves that basked in Luna’s beautiful radiance. They besought her as her chosen to prove their strength and gain her favor. To them she posed a simple task: break this bundle of branches in half and I will avail you with great wisdom for your deed. So the wolves set about their task and tore madly at the bundle. Much to their surprise and fury their claws had little effect and the bundle was too big for them to get their jaws around. They struggled for days each one taking turns thinking they were smarter than the previous but alas on the third day they gave up. They howled at Luna, “You tricked us! These branches are more than they seem!” The glade was quiet for a moment and the wolves waited for some response. In her infinite kindness Luna reached down and pulled on the string tying the branches together. The sticks fell to the floor in a heap and Luna bid them to try again. In unison they tore at the branches and ripped them to pieces in a matter of seconds. The wolves looked to each other and then to the sky questioning if their success warranted any response from their mother. She beamed down on them and they felt a great comfort, they had indeed succeeded. One of the wolves spoke up to her, “I see now what your lesson was for us oh beautiful and wise mother. Apart we fail but together we triumph.” And so it was that Wolf learned the value of his pack.

In all of Luna’s blessings, none is more important to our survival than each other. We forgot that last night. I forgot that last night. Lila is hurt. We were awoken in the night and then attacked by a crazed beast. Our efforts to fight this affront have ended up causing us more harm than we have inflicted. We rushed out to meet our opponents thirsty for blood with fangs and claws bared. All the while we gave no thought to the sixth member of our pack. Not. One. Stray. Thought.

They almost killed her. I would say that I have no words to try and get my point across but the truth is that I have too many words. Beaten. Bruised. Battered. Mangled. Butchered. Hacked. Mutilated. Dismembered. Yet the truly tragic part of all this is that none of these words can ever truly describe what Lila must feel. My gift has never felt more useless. For all my strength it means nothing if not to defend my family. That is what my father taught me, but in my arrogance I thought myself above his lessons and teachings. I am futile.

K.R.

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