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A wolf

The Pack Howls for Ivan

Ivan Mishukov, age 6, was taken from the streets of Moscow in 1998. He had been living with feral dogs for two years, having run away from his abusive family. The dogs protected the child, and shared food and warmth with him. The pack foiled the first two attempts to rescue Ivan, some of the dogs attacking the humans while others led the boy away. Ivan has now been adopted. No word on the dogs.

Where are you, puppy-puppy?

The pack misses your smell.

Last night was cold, there was snow on the streets.

Were you warm?

How could you be warm, without the pack to huddle with you?

Did you get enough to eat?

We found some chicken bones - your favourite - out behind the place that always smells of warm food,

The place where the humans go, the ones that smell like flowers and alcohol,

The place where we find the food in the big boxes

When the angry man gets tired of shouting at us and goes away.

We ate the good chicken off the bones, and would have given you some,

But you were not there. We missed you then.

You would have climbed into the box so easily, not like us,

But like us you would have shared all you found.

Big-Dog is worried, he growls and growls

And looks for you everywhere. You're his to look for, to look out for,

And you are not here. It bothers him.

One-Eye has a sore foot, he limps behind,

And Broken-Tooth has the itch. He scratches and scratches, and wakes us up at night.

Curly-Tail has new puppies. They smell like Big-Dog.

Long-Tongue is dead. Some kids got him with rocks. We ran and chased them off,

But it was too late for Long-Tongue. His head was broken, and he walked around in a circle,

Then he lay down and panted, and then his breath stopped.

We howled for him,

As we howl for you, when the moon is up full

Above the buildings, above the snowy streets,

We howl

And then we smell for you, but we do not find your smell.

Where are you, puppy-puppy?

The pack misses your smell.

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