Luke makes it clear that wolves do not cry from grief. They send out their Locator calls when a pack member is missing, because each wolf in the pack has a specific job. When one is missing, it leaves a hole in the system. If the missing wolf does not respond, eventually the calls will change again subtly, to an invitation. An invitation to a lone wolf to audition for the part.
And yet…and yet. The quote I quoted in my first post about this book was from the daughter, Cara. Much earlier in the book, Cara, who is in the hospital at the same time after being seriously injured herself in the wreck, has the bright idea that what her father needs is to see a wolf. Seeing a wolf will make Luke “want” to wake up.
Since Cara is immobile, it falls to Edward to be the one to smuggle the wolf into the hospital. They pick “Zazi”, who is the gentlest of the wolves, the one they let visitors get close to at the sanctuary. (Suspend your belief, again.) What ensues is that Edward more or less successfully smuggles Zazi into ICU, but not very successfully, because no matter how you cut it, Zazi does not look like a dog. And not that a dog would have been welcome either. It’s still kind of humorous, in a slapstick, gallows kind of way.
Zazi jumps up on Luke’s bed and licks him, and whines, but predictably he does not respond–because he can’t. Then she and Edward get kicked out of the hospital.
Zazi returns and “tells” the pack the story. That evening, Edward sits on a hill above the wolf compound, and says:
I wonder if the wolves know I am here, just because I am my father’s son.
Suddenly I hear one mournful note, which breaks and falls a few steps into another. There is a beat of silence. The same note sounds again, as clear as a bow drawn across a violin. It makes something inside me sing like a tuning fork.
At first I think the wolves are calling an alarm, because they can smell an intruder, even from this distance.
Then I realize it is an elegy.
A song for a pack member who isn’t coming back.
For the first time since I received that phone call in Thailand, for the first time since I’ve been home, for the first time in a long time, I start to cry.
And yet…and yet.