The day after the blizzard abated Ben and Izzy drove to the cabin on their snow machines.
Shepherd stood on the porch with Pal and Trap.
They cut their engines.
“Dad wanted us to check on you,” Ben said climbing from his snow machine.
“I was safe,” Daniel said. “I thought of you guys too. How did you do.”
“We were fine,” Ben said.
“How is Trap doing?” Izzy said petting Trap.
“As you can see he’s doing well,” Shepherd said.
“Do you think he’ll stay with you,” Izzy said.
“No,” Shepherd said. “He’s restless and wants to roam. It’s his nature to be in the wild. Someday he’ll leave. He’s waiting either for the right time or the right excuse.”
“Is that how you are?” Ben said.
“That’s a surprising question,” Shepherd said, “but it’s a good one. I like it here.”
“Aren’t you afraid of Amarok?” Izzy said.
“Are you?” Shepherd said.
“No,” Izzy said.
“Why?” Shepherd said.
“I don’t really want to talk about Amarok,” Izzy said.
Shepherd turned to Ben. “What about you?”
“No,” Ben said. “I don’t want to talk about him either.”
“That’s okay with me,” Shepherd said. “I’m not afraid of Amarok either.”
“Don’t you ever want to go out on the town, chase women, get loaded, or just hang out with your rich friends?” Ben chided.
“No,” Shepherd said seriously. “I’ll never go back to that. It is a vain empty life. You have it so much better here.”
“We watch movies and it looks fun and exciting,” Izzy said.
“Have you ever seen a movie about natives in Alaska?” Shepherd said.
“Sure,” Izzy said
“Is it really like that?” Shepherd said.
“They portray us as being slow and dull and uninformed,” Ben said.
“Believe me,” Shepherd said. “They are the slow, dull, and uniformed.”
The boys spent another hour at the cabin. Shepherd prepared a meal for them and the sped away; disappearing into the streambed.