There is an old woman who lives among the many ridges and hollows of the Southern Appalachians. She lives in a hidden place that everyone knows but few have ever seen. La Loba does her collecting at night, particularly on a night like this, when the moon glows full and blue over the entire valley. A single seeing eye peers out from beneath her hood, the other pale and opaque. She clings her flowing robes tightly around her fat body as she moves, hopscotching quickly along the dry riverbed in tattered sandals. She is excited, scanning the ground feverishly, looking for that familiar pale ivory object jutting out among the round gray stones. After a while, she finds what she is looking for. She dives for the object, plucking it from the ground and examining it carefully with her fingers, sniffing it and rubbing the sharp edges. Satisfied and giddy, she opens the makeshift pouch at her waist and drops it in with the rest of the bones. La Loba turns around and trots up the hill, gripping the fabric around her prizes.
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