We took a bus from Istanbul (Turkey) to Bursa, where we will spend a few days exploring the captivating nature. The Turks were determined to impress us. I guess they knew we don´t have some very high mountains in north Africa, I mean relatively, and that´s why they took us to the highest summit in Bursa.
The bus stopped, our Turkish companions went out to talk to the gate-keeper. Something was wrong. The place was protected and visitors were only allowed at certain times with certain authorizations. Apparently we didn't meet one or both of the requirements. There was tension in the air. The Turkish guys were engaged in a deep conversation that didn't seem to be ending soon. Confused, and a little disappointed about how things were going, I decided to stretch my legs and take a good look around at this snowy place before we leave.
I stepped out of the bus, took a deep, ice-cold breath and started walking, unnoticed.
A few seconds later, or at least that´s how it felt, our eyes met.
She was lying there on the snow, looking lazy and uninterested, at first. Making some significant moves my mind couldn't comprehend but my instinct told they were inviting. I acted first and thought of excuses for my actions later. I stepped slowly towards her (I´m only assuming it was a she because, again, my instinct told me so). When she made no objection, I went further, maintaining the eye contact, and, for no reason, smiling.
She looked exactly like the one in the photo, except... here eyes! They were clearer then that and much friendlier.
In that moment two of my friends were coming towards me, looking shocked, or maybe confused?
I reached out with my trembling arm to her. Adrenaline was conquering my veins and rising it´s flag all over my body. She looked away, but she kept laying there. She was suddenly not interested again, but not offended either. I sat on my knees next to her, gave a sign to my friends to try to take some photos, and started petting her.
That's when the alpha came!
Two other furry animals came. My instinct, this time, told me they were males, one of them the alpha! The red alarm in my brain turned on (probably a little late!), a decision had to be taken. My brain started processing: "Yes, this one is definitely the alpha, not only because he was bigger than the others, but also, the other one's behavior made it obvious. He was standing next to his alpha, but allowing him to be a few steps ahead, glancing at him, as if waiting for instructions."
The alpha came running. It was my instinct, this time, that told me to run away. Surprisingly, my brain had another opinion: "I wouldn't outrun this hunter anyway, if I try. Plus, there´s something else to notice here. This pack lives right in front of a gate in a touristic area. they wouldn't be kept alive if they were dangerous to tourists. Their eyes.. there's something in their eyes that reminded me of the Huskies( though I wasn't familiar with that name) I used to watch in the movies where they drag their masters' carriages, those were obviously tamed and friendly." Another stupid idea came to my mind right then. It said: "Even if they were wild, I could tame them, just like I tamed this female. Reach out with an arm, keep eye contact move slowly, and you'll be fine."
And so it was settled. I wouldn't run. I'd consider them friends. And so more ideas came to me to give me more resolve and more confidence in my decision. Alter all, if they weren't friends, my chances to survive were nearly inexistant. Also, after all this time facing me, they showed me no glance of their fangs. Wolves are so keen to terrorise their foes by showing their deadly weapons to them before attacking, as to compel them to give up any idea of fighting back, for the battle is lost.
The alpha ran to me. I reached out to him with open arms. He touched my hand with his fur and allowed me to pet him. His companion did the same. The trembling in my hands stopped. I was happy! Surrounded by... clearly not wolves, after all. Or were they?