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The Wolf's Tale of the Little Red Wolf
Once upon a time there lived in the forest a little red wolf, the most beautiful young wolf who was ever seen. Her mother, the Alpha female of the pack, adored her dearly, and so did Grandmother Wolf, the wisest of the pack. One day, while wandering through the canyons, Grandmother Wolf stumbled upon a piece of red cloth tangled in a bush, and gave it to the young she-wolf to wear around her neck, for the old she wolf was leaving to a den of her own, and wanted to be remembered. Other wolves in the forest soon noticed this beautiful she wolf, thus giving her a nickname, Little Red, and her family was greatly honored for their beautiful daughter.
One day, her mother came back to the den from her long hunt, and told Little Red, “Take this meat to your grandmother. She is sure to be lonely in her new den, and it would greatly please her to see you again.” Then she dropped her voice and whispered, “but beware of the two-legged hunter, my child. They are like us, in many ways, but they show great hostility toward our kind now, for they do not understand our way of life anymore.”
Little Red nodded and took the meat in her tiny jaws, setting out for the higher mountains to her grandmother’s den.
As she trotted along a well-beaten path, she came across a tall creature, covered in a strange coat of fur that didn’t cover his arms, legs or face. He carried a long, silver stick in his hands, and large size made his feet pound across the earth. The little she-wolf had never seen a human before, and this one watched her curiously, though with a hidden malice in mind. This creature did not appear to be the threatening hunter her mother warned of, so she let him follow behind her as she dragged the meat, unconcerned of this company. The hunter dare not tempt her now, for he feared there were more wolves nearby.
“Where are you going, pup?” he asked, his voice booming but suddenly soft.
“I’m taking this meat to my Grandmother. My mother says she is lonely at her new den” the she-wolf replied casually.
“Is your grandmother’s den nearby?” he asked.
“Yes; her den is just up this hill, a little ways into the woods.”
“Very well then,” said the hunter, “I will meet you there. It would be an honor to meet such a wise wolf.”
The man sprinted straight through the woods, following the young she-wolf’s direction up the mountain. The pup was heavily burdened by the large piece of meat, and took her time dragging it up the hill. The hunter arrived in plenty of time at the freshly-dug wolf den, very deep with a wide entrance. He quietly approached the den, hoping the old wolf was inside. Though her ears were still useful and her memory sharp, Grandmother Wolf had almost completely lost her sense of smell, and could not pick up the hunter’s scent outside. The old wolf lifted her head and growled feebly.
“Your granddaughter, Little Red,” squeaked the hunter, imitating a pup’s bark; “I have brought you a piece of fresh meat from Mother’s hunt, and we thought you might be lonely.”
The old wolf grumbled hungrily and slowly rose to crawl out of the den. She felt very happy to see her granddaughter again.
As she climbed out, the hunter raised his rifle at the opening. Just as the old she-wolf came out to stand in front of him, he pulled the trigger, but missed, and the old wolf’s instincts and self preservation gave her the strength to leap away, dashing into the forest.
The hunter threw down his gun angrily, but then had another idea. He picked up his gun and got down on his hands to crawl deep into the den. Kneeling in the dark, he waited for the pup. The tiny she-wolf finally made it to the den, and laid down the piece of meat a little ways from the den. The pup respectfully waited for the old wolf’s permission to enter the territory. The hunter’s scent was quite new, but faint, and she could not smell it over her Grandmother’s. The hunter heard snuffling and knew the pup hand come.
“Who’s there?” he barked, making his voice lower to match the old wolf.
“It is your granddaughter, Little Red,” the she-wolf replied happily; “Mother went hunting and thought you might be lonely, so I brought you some meat.”
“Just drag it to the den entrance, my dear,” he barked, raising his rifle slowly; “and come let me have a look at you. I haven’t see you in ages.”
Little Red approached the den and peered into the darkness, for she could see quite well. But her pup eyes were still young, and she could only see the dim outline of the hunter, for he was deep within the den. The she-wolf tilted her head, as the old wolf didn’t look quite the same.
“Grandmother, you’ve lost your ears,” the pup squeaked, slightly worried.
“I’m an old wolf, dear; I don’t need large ears anymore,” the hunter grumbled.
“Grandmother, what a short muzzle you have,” the pup giggled.
“I don’t need a long muzzle, dear, I don’t hunt nearly as much.”
“Grandmother, you’ve lost some hair,” the pup said, looking closer.
“I stay inside the den, the cold weather isn’t a bother.”
“What a…strange stick you have, Grandmother,” the pup said hesitantly, eyeing the gun, confused and wary now.
“All the better to silence you with, my dear,” the hunter growled, using his normal voice and raising his gun.
The pup whined, seeing the hunter she had met earlier, and now understood that this was the creature her mother had spoken of.
Just as the hunter was about to fire the rifle, a large black wolf, growling and snarling, ran out of the bushes and clamped it’s large jaws around the gun, for the old she wolf had warned the father of the little red she-wolf, and would do anything to protect her. As he much stronger than the human, he managed to wrestle the rifle out of his hands and toss it away, bent and broken, into the forest.
The black wolf turned back to the hunter, his teeth bared and his eyes of gold fire. Just as he was about to lunge at the human, he stopped himself, and his fur relaxed just a bit. He glared at the man, but his tail went down.
“You are not worth my time, human. For you have become a nuisance to this world. You take without asking, you kill without thought, and you spread lies of our savagery, which is more the image of your own soul. We were once brothers, you and I; we stood side by side. Our bond was bone deep; you looked to us as guides and we to you. But now you don’t need us, and betrayed the trust. You seek out my children, our future, without the respect you would give your own.” The wolf stopped and walked to stand over his pup.
“I have seen goodness in your kind. I have seen you care for your pups as we would ours. I have seen those who still believe in the wolf. But there are those of you who are blinded by greed as well. You no longer respect your prey as you once did. And now we must live in fear; from when the moon rises to when the sun sets, as outcasts to a world we both once loved. So I will leave you now, though do not think of me as a coward. For I have chosen to live by a peace we shared long ago, in hope that it can be restored one day.”
And, saying these words, the black wolf trotted away with his small daughter beside him, once more a voice, a spirit, of the forest.