A wolf never leaves his pack

I am an Aquarius. To be honest, I know very little about star signs apart from knowing that Aquariuses in general are rather creative and independent types, which is something I can relate to. I have never followed horoscopes, which are usually found on the same page of the newspaper as the cartoons. Sorry, but the Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield animated strips get my attention every time. Besides, after reading each non-conforming horoscope in each different paper, it makes me wonder how people can justify getting paid to write such crap.

Neither do I play Mafia Wars, send vampire bites, throw sheep or the one I hate the most -play Farmville (please stop sending me requests, I live in a city and have a balcony for crying out loud..) on Facebook. Usually this applies to most random quizes, like ones found doing the rounds in the social networksphere in Facebook. I say usually. Every now and again, when trying to distract myself from the block of a blank page of a Word document that stares back at me, locking me in a stalemate when writing, I find myself clicking through Facebook. (Ok, ok, not now and again...better say quite often...) This week scrolling down the home page news feed I found a friend had taken the quiz: What kind of dog is adapted to you? So I took it too. The result was an Alaskan Malamute, the adjoining description: "Practically a wolf, independent and free like you, but also wild and mysterious, proud and never servile."

When I read this my ears pricked up. It reminded me of another quiz I had taken on Facebook a few months back in a nother blank moment: What animal represents your spirit? My answer? A wolf. Many other quizzes give so many random unconnected answers, just like the horoscopes from newspaper to newspaper, but this made me sit and think about myself for a moment. Especially when I reread the description for my result, which I had previously only skimmed and not given much thought to:

"Like most wolves in nature, wolf personalities tend to thrive in a social structure. Wolves have many friends that they do everything with, strong friends that they are loyal to, as the wolf spirit usually inspires others to be loyal towards them. This is very true when it comes to relationships: wolf personalities make strong connections with other people and even if a relationship ends most wolves tend to stay in contact with their former lovers. Wolves are typified by their unwavering loyalty, close relationships and determined dispositions."

And I reread it again.

These answers to this kind of quiz you take at face value and for a bit of a laugh, like horoscopes I suppose, but strangely this was the first time I can safely say I identify with any answers from any kind of quiz like this. It was like instead of just looking in the mirror I had just studied myself. I had taken a long hard look at myself and saw something that now surfaced from under all the shaving foam and all the times I had looked at my reflection while shaving. And there was someone else was standing hovering over my shoulder looking too, saying "Yes, that's you..."

I have friends I've known for over 25 years, who I still see and talk to regularly, wherever I am. Strong friends, friends who know me better than myself, friends who I live and would die by, who I am loyal to. I have an ex-girlfriend who is still a good friend today many years later. I realise that sometimes it takes a lot to get close to me, but if you do, I will always hold you there close at heart. I have only been in love twice, though both times deeply. Just like my family, I protect my friends like they protect me. They are my pack. I know what I want in life and strive towards it. I consider myself a pretty laid-back kind of guy, but screw with my pack...well, you better prepare yourself for my wrath, for you will see me bare my fangs, you will feel them plunge in to you and pierce your skin.

Maybe that is why I feel I am where I belong playing a team sport. That ethic as I have talked about before on MOMM (Go Jonny, go, go, go; 8/11/09) was drummed in to me early on as a hockey player. my club U21 team was a close knit pack. I played for the team, and they played for me. We battled together, we drunk and hung out together, we lived in each others pockets. All the way through to the then future club 1st team. More recently I have been to a couple of their weddings where we took up where we left off. A wolf never leaves his pack.

I have formed some long lasting friendships too through hockey. And I still love wielding my Grays composite hockey stick and going to battle with them. Being the oldest of three brothers, maybe I was born like that. I can remember a few times when I have had to stick up for them and 'sort people out' who were picking on them when we were practically kids. My fangs rarely show, but I have had them from an early age. Many times I have held back or even been relunctant to use them if it just involves me, violence is not the answer. But if it involves my nearest and dearest, a natural instinct prevails and nothing can stop me baring them.

And it doesn't matter where I am or how far away I am. Like Crazy Horse of the Lakota Sioux Indians disappeared alone for days on reconnaisance with the constant protection of his people in mind, he was always there in person when he was needed. It falls in with my golden rule of treating people how you want to be treated. And my pack are the same. My friends, my brothers. They stand for me just like me for them. You will very rarely see them bare their fangs, but if they do, it is an intimidating sight. A comforting sight. For us, that is.


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