The doctor slowly walks up to the group of four wolves. Makade is the first to see them, pointing his ears forward and coming closer, trying to speak to both Spark and the doctor.
“What were you two talking about? What could you not tell us?”
This time, the doctor tries to answer
“It’s considering the diagnosis. It’s… now please remember, usually we’d want a biopsy to confirm, or at least, a much closer examination than I can do out here.” He is completely emotionless when he says “There is only so much I can do in a forest clearing.”
Waabishki moves forward quickly
“But do you know what it is?!”
“Well, I have a suspicion,” he answers.
“What is it!?” She demands
“Okay… It’s not a firm diagnosis, but it’s a guess based upon what I’ve seen.” He walks around so that he is perpendicular to Miskobag, lying down on the sled. The doctor looks Miskobag in the eye. “I think it’s cancer. It seems like cancer. Maybe Mesothelioma, hard to say.”
Waabishki pulls her lips back and lowers her head, still annoyed. But Makade’s ears fall slowly, his eyes loose their focus, and his lips loosen, almost like a wilting plant. Miskobag keeps his pained wince, but his eyes seem to water. The peppered wolf remains confused, looking in the direction of Spark.
“Cancer? What is cancer?” Waabishki impatiently asks, lowering her head closer to the ground.
The doctor tries to answer “It’s the uncontrolled growth of tissue in parts of the body.”
Waabishki almost interrupts him. “So what is the cure? What would your medicine have him do?”
The doctor looks afraid for a moment, and tries to speak to her.
“There… there… there isn’t a cure. Not really anyways. I think he will die. Maybe some months, maybe a year if he takes certain treatments.”
Waabishki’s expression drifts quickly towards where Makade’s has been, with her jaw opening up, her ears turning down, and her golden eyes becoming very wide. Tears flow down, already dripping onto the snow-covered ground. But after some seconds, she lowers her head, pulls her ears back, and pulls her lips all the way back, baring her teeth in an unambigiously threatening manner at the doctor
“Then what good is your worthless medicine, you alleged doctor!
The doctor immediately turns around, and bolts back frantically. As soon as the doctor turns, Waabishki bolts after him. For one half second, it looks like Waabishki will chase down the doctor. Makade moves a single step forward, the peppered wolf jumps forward two paces, and perhaps most surprisingly of all, Miskobag yells in his deep voice “STOP.” Waabishki stops after two or three paces. Maybe she stopped at Miskobag’s command, but maybe she stopped because the doctor stopped, as the doctor is now behind Spark, using him to separate himself from Waabishki. Waabishki starts to wail.