The Wolf Finds The Sheepdog

Gray wolf. Français : Loup. Nederlands: Wolf T...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia public domain)

Newer readers – this is one you might need some context on. You can get that context here…and here.

The Wolf was a block and a half away when I turned toward the coffee shop. There’s a sunny spot on the street where I see him on cool mornings. That’s where he was, sitting on his walker, soaking up a little extra warmth.

I make a point of not driving up to him in a police car when I spot him. Back in the day, me pulling up in a police car was often the start of a bad evening for at least one of us. It just works out better now to let him come around on his own.

When I walked out of the shop with my hot chocolate (with blackberry syrup, trust me on this one) he was out near the driveway. “Good morning, Sarge, God bless you.” I returned the blessing and he turned back toward the street.

I walked toward him. As I got close I spoke quietly – “coming up behind you.”  He laughed and asked why I didn’t warn him like that twenty years ago. “You know damned well why I didn’t” I said. He grinned and admitted that he did.

We spoke about how he’d beaten addiction. The Wolf reminded me how long it had been since he’d left prison and “got right”. He covered all his “little jobs” he was working to make ends meet. He added in how he’d been “banned” from one location because he “made too much money there.”  Each time I talk to him we review those topics until I think that he doesn’t know who I am anymore. Then he says something to make me realizes he knows precisely who I am.

“I been looking for you” he said. “Im’ma be straight up with you about something I want you to know.I gave you a hard time when I lived over off of Tuckaseegee. I was a bad man, mentally ill in the head and I was bad on crack. I tried to hurt your officers, and I’d a hurt you bad if I coulda. We talked before, and I never told you how sorry I was. I am. I’m very sorry. I’m not like that anymore though.”

I thanked The Wolf for what he’d said and reminded him that neither of us were who we were back then. “I’m fifty-one now, I do things different than I did back in the day” I told him.

“You fifty-one? You’re lookin’ good Sarge. I’m sixty-one now.”

“You’re looking good too man, sixty-one, wow!”

“You lie like a rug.”

“Ok, how about you look better than last time I saw you?

“Yeah, that’s good.”

It was time to get back to work; I told him we’d talk again. “How much longer you doin’ this?” he asked. I told him I was retiring in six months. “God is gonna get you out safe, I already asked him when I prayed for you.” I thanked him and said I’d pray for him too. He smiled big.

“Pray harder, I’m quitting smoking.”

“I’ll do it brother, good luck with it. Be strong.”

He was walking away, but turned back and said “did you forget? I got off crack. This ain’t shit.”


19 Comments on “The Wolf Finds The Sheepdog”

  1. I love the Wolf stories; you tell it them so well, and for some reason I find them very reassuring.

    • omawarisan says:

      Thank you KB. It really amazes me that of all people, this is the guy that I ended up talking to and receiving well wishes from. The old life wasn’t kind to him though. He’s in rough shape.

  2. Somehow this is my first time hearing about the wolf.

    Redemption is strong stuff, as is forgiveness.

  3. We Found Him Captain! says:

    I know you are too smart to completely trust a wolf.

    • I’m glad you said this. It makes me feel better for thinking it. I was having trouble coming up with a zippity-do-dah play on blackberry coffee.

      While I wish the wolf all the best, my own experience hopes the sheepdog stays safe.

  4. The Wolf stories are wonderful. Although, you may not 100 percent trust in the Wolf that he has changed, you have to have some amount of pride to see that in his case the system worked. He seems to have great respect for you. I would say that is a win.

  5. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    People do change – or they get older, slower and tired. I’m going with the redemption story, being the positive person I try to be. Recognizing redemption in someone else is just about the greatest gift you can offer.

  6. Debbie says:

    Thanks for another Wolf story. It reinforces the Pollyanna in me, to hear that people can change for the better. Nevertheless, “bad guys” who know the Wolf might NOT have reformed, so the Sheepdog needs to beware, ok? I’m glad the Wolf is praying for you, too!

    • omawarisan says:

      I’m not going to back off of what got me through to this point. And when I show up on scenes I am starting to get a lot of “why are you here?” from people I work with. They’re looking out for me even more now that I’m about to go out.

  7. Blackberry syrup you say? Isn’t it too warm for hot chocolate?

    Now that it’s warm I go with Vanilla Frapuccinos…with cinnamon syrup.

  8. Laura says:

    I love the Wolf stories. And I trust your judgement on everything except the wisdom of adding blackberry syrup to hot chocolate.

  9. Pie says:

    I like the sound of blackberry syrup in hot chocolate. It could be as good as raspberry, which is heaven in a cup.

    Your encounters are probably helping to keep the Wolf straight when almost everyone else who knows him are not allowing him to change for the better. Sounds like he was a terrifying force back in the day, so his redemption is all the more remarkable. I just hope he can keep it together when you’ve gone.

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