He was the oddest client I have had in my 25 years
of practice. He was impeccably dressed in a tweed suit and silk tie. I’m not accustomed to clients not wearing
shoes, however. He did wear quite a large,
round pair of spectacles on the bridge of his even larger nose...well, snout.
“Good evening, Mr....Zwolf is it?” I said, checking my chart.
“Sorry, it’s just Wolf. The Z is silent,” he replied
“I hope you don’t mind my saying so, but that is a very unusual name.”
“Not in my family. Or even my species. You should see what reunions are like. All twelve million of us trying to leave with the same monogrammed hat.”
“Why don’t you lie down, please? Make yourself comfortable.”
“Are you totally sure?” the nebbish wolf replied, “I’m usually not allowed on the furniture.”
“Please. It will be okay.”
“Thanks. I must warn you I have a chewing reflex. You may need to muzzle me.”
I knew this was going to be a very tough case. A colleague, a Ms. M. Goose referred it to me. She owned a halfway house for women in crisis. She said this beast of a fellow was constantly harassing one ‘Miss Hood’. After the girl’s grandmother disappeared, this Mr. Zwolf...er...Wolf was the first one they brought in.
“I’m a wolf!” he said suddenly, breaking me out of my inner monologue.
“I ...uh...yes, I see that. So, you think you are a wolf, do you? Is that a costume?”
“Oh, no. I can assure you this fur is real. In fact some girl tried to spray paint me as I got off the subway and told me I should be ashamed of myself for stealing an animal’s skin. She does have a point though. I got my skin from my mother.”
I picked up the leather-cased writing pad from the desk and made my way to the mahogany chair beside him.
“So, this is very interesting. Um...why don’t you start at the beginning, Mr. Wolf.”
“Well, for that I’d have to go back to when I was born. I’m from a very large family of seventeen. I was a middle child of the litter, so I was mostly ignored. Thanksgiving was murder as there was only so much caribou to go around, and if you weren’t quick enough you ended up eating Aunt Myrtle’s Jello salad.”
He reclined back onto the couch some more and placed his paws behind him.
“Do you have a good relationship with your family?” I asked, jotting some notes.
“I guess you could say that. I only killed one of them. It was either that or get stuck doing the dishes. Steve should have backed down when I challenged him.”
“So your parents: tell me about them. You stayed with them?”
“For the most part. We lived in the den. Well, in A den. In the den in a den. It made my father angry that we all slept in the den of a den and he wanted the den for himself to lick himself and look at gazelle porn. I’m a very unusual wolf. I’m Canis lycaon on my Father’s side. My other half is Canadian.”
“Yeah. We grew up eating maple kibble.”
“Tell me why you are here.”
“I was ordered to come here actually.”
“And why was that?”
“I ended up in jail.”
“No, I cheated on my taxes. I always forget to carry the one.”
“You were sent here for harassing a little girl and her family.”
The wolf looked at me with fire in his eyes.
“You remember this little girl?” I said, showing him a picture.
“Yes, it’s her cloak. I must have some bull in my family too. I mean, aside from Uncle Horace the politician.”
“Do you know the consequences for...people in your circumstances?”
“They send you to the vet?”
“Vets I can handle.”
“And give you an injection.”
“The big sleep? I’m not scared of that.”
“Or even castration.”
“AHHHHHH!!!!!!” winced the wolf, crossing his legs, “Don’t say that word! That’s even worse!”
“Your obsession for this little girl seems to be at the heart of the matter. Why do you think you stalk little girls?”
“It was probably my mother. I was taught to follow her everywhere. And then to sniff out my prey.”
“And she would go to endless lengths of perversion.”
“Oh? What did she do?”
“She would lick me in strange places when I was child, claiming I wasn’t ‘clean’. I thought she was talking about a poppy flower I ate once but it turns out she didn’t like how I smelled. She was a neat freak with all the licking.”
“Where did she lick you?”
“Please. I’d rather not.”
“Show me on this stuffed animal where she licked you,” I said.
“I can’t do that.”
“And why not?”
“Because that looks like my Uncle George. A Korean family barbecued him. It was quite a shock to the family. He wasn’t even kosher.”
“Hmmm, it sounds like you’ve had a ruff life.”
“You’ve been waiting your whole life to make that joke, haven’t you?”
“You know that’s not what I meant.”
“Forget it. She didn’t lick me. I made it up. My mother was a saint.”
“Come now, Mr. Wolf. Please tell me more about your mother. Are you afraid to tell me the truth?”
“It wouldn’t make any difference. Every time I tell a lie my teeth grow.”
“You seem very taken with your teeth. You just smiled at me and licked them. In fact you’ve done that 3 other times during this session.”
“Well, I don’t like to brag but I have 20/20 teeth. That’s funny because I don’t even floss.”
“How do your teeth make you feel when you flash them like that? Do you think they give you a sense of power?”
“Why don’t you ask my dentist Dr. Rubenstein?” he said licking his lips again, “He charges by the fang. He always tells me what big teeth I’ve got. And mine are quite unusual specimens.”
“And what’s so unusual about them?”
“Sorry. It’s an ancient lupine secret. My mother told me never to show my canines to strangers.”
“I’m no stranger. Would you consider showing them to me?”
“I don’t know. This is only our first date.”
“I think your teeth could be the root of your problem. You also seem to have a long history of troubles and attachment to your mother and until I get a look at them your problems will not be resolved.”
“It could be dangerous. They are considered deadly weapons.”
“They are very large teeth.”
“Well you know what they say...”
“Come now, Mr. Wolf. If we are going to make any progress on your condition, you will have to learn to trust me.”
“Why don’t you give me a shampoo first and then we can move on to the condition?”
“Mr. Wolf, if you will NOT cooperate I am afraid I will have to report back to the judge unfavorably!” I said. “Now, are you going to show me your teeth or not?!”
“Well,” giggled the wolf, “but only because you’ve snarled. Here...”
And with that, the wolf unhinged his big black jaw revealing the perfectly lined mouth of—