The Heavy Wolf

March 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

INTERVIEWER

You have a ritualistic way of going about things, don’t you?

HARRISON

It’s a bit embarrassing, isn’t it? One night in my cabin I saw a flash of light and thought somebody was entering my driveway. I was so angry that I jumped out of bed and hit my head on the iron chandelier. I heard this horrible howling and yowling and I smashed through the back door to look for the car, but it was just a lightning storm. I was covered with sweat and my nose was distended, and I had long teeth and there was hair all over me. Obviously a little attack of lycanthropy, see? My dog wouldn’t speak to me for two days. Perhaps it was all the anger finally coming out of me because I’d heard a wolf down in the delta, and three days later I saw the wolf right on my two track. Two days later, I dreamed I found the wolf on the road and her back was broken, and I hugged her and she went all the way into me, and I remember thinking humorously in the dream: God, I’ve been trying to lose weight all summer and now I have to carry this she-wolf around in my body. How can I ever hope to lose weight? But she didn’t seem too heavy.

–Jim Harrison (1937-2016), from The Art of Fiction #104, Summer 1988

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