The Wolf Who Cried Boy

by Sam Rasnake

There was a boy who cried wolf. We know this fable, and call it the beginning of literature. Thing with no name. But truth is — it was a wolf who cried boy. According to Kafka, anticipating Nabokov, the origin of literature is when a wolf comes down from the crags, out of the dark, forbidding forest, and into the open, crying, “Boy! Boy!” but there is no boy. The pack is, of course, astounded, mesmerized. Someone first tells it. Someone writes it down. Dreams it. And so on.


There had to be a wolf, eventually — we all know this — to write it down. A book written by a wolf — about people no less, about trucks, banks, and pots full of water, about blazing fires and mountain laurel, sheep and cattle. On the back cover, he wears a jacket and jeans, a fedora and scarf, one paw at his hip. His bio reads: “His work has been widely published in The Village Voice, Conundrum, Teton Tales, and Alpha. The first wolf to be recipient of a Fulbright, he studied literature and architecture in the Carpathians. For two years he wrote a weekly column for the Denver Times, ‘The Poet and the Beast.' Living in the Wyoming Basin, he directs a creative writing program from his den.”


The story begins ... There were no pigs' huts of straw or stick or stone. No chimney or door. Nothing worth his time to enter, nothing to tear down for another meal — which was quite disturbing, even for a wolf, since the times were so depressed and one never knew where the next meal, or if and when — might be coming. Of the book, critics write of how well the protagonist assimilates the mind of a pig. Thumbs up. Five stars. Book of the Week. A sales ranking of 383. “More real than real.”


— published in Emprise Review, and featured on Lake Effect — Flash Fiction Friday, and also included in Cinéma Vérité