Because my book has werewolves in it, I thought that I might do some web research. But it was scary out there… There were fangy drawings and artwork that was very dark and murky and full-moony. Very atmospheric, and, not to take anything away from it, not so much what I’m interested in. And, of course, there were communities and discussion boards where people took things very seriously indeed. I think the web site that I’m looking for is quite normal, pleasant, and possibly just a tiny bit eccentric. Going a couple pages in, you might forget how much time has passed because you’re so charmed. And then – a flicker – did you really just read that? You saw a passage of text that absolutely chilled you. But wait, it’s gone. Will you go back? Will you bookmark it? Do you dare? That is the werewolf web site I still haven’t found.
So I have been thinking about werewolves. They were part of the story from the beginning, so in many ways I haven’t really thought too hard about them. It was like, protagonist – check. Antagonist – check. Werewolves – check. And I’ve just read Shannon Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days (which was great and I should write something about that) and that had – well, not to give too much away – it had something.
Anyway, I might like werewolves because I think it’s very reasonable to be frightened of animals. Animals – even though I live with a very sweet one – can do things that are sudden and instinctual and seeing that in action can be startling. Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man is astounding and heartrending in this regard (and the plot keywords, on IMDB are really tops: Plane, Obsession, Man Eaten). Also, my dog, when I once tried to take a pork chop from her, gave me quite a lesson on this topic.
This time of year we have deer in the yard all the time, and they are big. They’re also quite jaded. I’ll come in from working in the office and they can barely bestir themselves to get up and go through the motions of, like, oh no, a human. Seriously, I feel like they’re doing it for my benefit sometimes. I am disappointed – in fact – when they look at me with their big eyes, pink tongues hanging out of their mouths, and basically give me a big, fat, “so what?” Then I feel powerless in my yard. Of course, I’m already powerless in my yard – the trees need pruning, we have mud-encrusted toys mining every square foot of the thing. To step into the yard is to see a testament to the powerlessness of the adults who live here. But then to get it from deer!
Although, really, aren’t deer just a teensy bit frightening? They are, for instance, almost the size of cows – small, stilt-legged cows, maybe. When they get up on their legs and they get skittish they do feel like wild animals, and they could run me down, I think. And that’s when I worry about my dog with deer, because my dog is so elderly and so self-righteous, I could see her barking at these creatures and then getting run down and basically chopped up by their hard tiny hooves. I love deer, goes without saying, but I do love my dog and I don’t want deer hooves all over her arthritic back, so on sunny days like we’re having now when I know my dog wants to nap outside and the deer are also napping outside and chewing the ivy, then I’ll go out with a spoon or something and rattle it along the deck railing and yell, “Deer! Deer!” like a fool until finally they find me enough of an annoyance to stiffly get up and then somehow effortlessly hop the fence.
Maybe that is why I’m writing about werewolves. So deer will finally show me some respect.