When I was young, and without my mother, there was a time that I heard that howl. I had been foraging in the hinterlands, picking from sea and shore. At that time, such activity was the most efficient way of feeding myself. It was relatively safe as well. If I kept close to the shore, I had an escape from anything that could spring from the trees. Keeping close to the trees meant that I was away from the creatures that swam in the shallows.
I had caught a fish. It wasn’t a large one, closer to shore they were smaller, but it was one that promised more than one meal. I had placed my trap out only a few feet from the sandy beach and it had worked.
Approaching dusk, I had returned to check my work. All but the last trap was empty. My disappointment had mounted until I came across this last one and my celebration overflowed. I must have given out a yelp or a cheer, something that I had never done before, and I caught myself, trapped the thing in my throat. But not until a significant volume had escaped.
For a short eternity, I stood there with the gathering darkness creeping around me. I held my breath, believing that would, even now, betray me. My yelp could not have been that great. It was only a tiny noise in a landscape of tiny noises. I waited for the world to forget it. The world was settling back into its pre-night routine.
And that’s when the howl came.