Unbranded and home on the range.

The One You Feed.

YOU: The insatiable, seasoned, and relentless hunter. The wild, unearthly beast that stalks its prey without tiring. The cold dread that grips my heart when I hear your feral and unforgettable howl causes a slow paralysis. The mere sight of your massive fangs and tusks,  which can shred muscle and bone into raw curry in a matter of seconds, inexorably pumps fear into my veins like the nurse’s needle injecting serum into my arm. Much admired are your firm, toned, and sinewy muscles that propel your dark and hideous mass forward as you close in for the kill. Your hollow eyes, so empty and yet, at the same time so full of hateful bloodlust, are often the last, grotesque elements of horror that your quarry has the sick displeasure of witnessesing before you devour their life force.

ME: Utterly weak. Continuously desirous of food and drink, I am also given much to peaceful and ignorant slumber. I cannot ever hope to match your tolerance for extreme heat or cold, as I do not have the luxury of as thick a pelt as yours. My stunted stride and atrophied muscles could never carry me even a tenth of the great distance that your limbs find so easy to cover. My entire pitiful mass is far outweighed by just your skeletal structure alone. By all measures, I am your next easy meal. You probably won’t even leave anything of my carcass for the scavengers, so lacking are you in mercy.

But my fear of such a disproportionate match utterly pales in comparison to another fear I have.

I’m afraid that you’ll make the fatal mistake of coming between me and something I love. Maybe its someone, or some people, that I love. Maybe its a destination I desire above all else. Maybe its a much-prized possession that I cannot bear to part with. Or a connection that I cannot bear to sever. I’m afraid that you will make such a regrettable mistake in the last second before your jaws are due to close round my jugular.

I’m afraid then, that I shall be the one and only terror you have ever experienced in your long and ancient life. Such a terror that would make you forget all of your carnal pleasures.  I am afraid that the dormant colossus inside of me shall then be aroused, and that it will lose any semblance of control and abandon the civility which is obligatory upon me even in the midst of such mortal combat. That he will rend your spine and use it to floss your entire gastric system from end to beginning. That he will rip your jaws wide open, that he will impart upon you, excruciating pain as he tears out your lengthy incisors and impales them into your skull through your ocular cavities, and that like Beowulf of old, he will cleave your still-beating heart from your cavernous torso, and gorge himself on its tasty contents. That he will tie a noose round your neck made from your own still-warm entrails, and hang you while you still breathe, and while you choke on your own bile and blood. I’m afraid that when this savage is butchering you and turning the surrounding rock and ice crimson red, that even the Angel of Death won’t be able to draw near to grant you a speedy and merciful exit to your soul.

And so even though I run to save you from myself, there is that gnawing fear that I cannot shake no matter how much I try to push it out of my mind. The fear that in the end, your passion for my flesh will prove to be your undoing.


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”


Filed under: Cradle, Leadership

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