The story of the life of a young timber wolf as he learns to be one with his pack.
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The dark engulfed the shadowed pine trees. High above the gently waving grass, the moon was a luminescent orb, casting an eerie glow on the otherwise dark ground.
There was movement, a shuffling sound along the ground, and then two golden eyes popped open. There was the sound of a creature moaning.
The moon illuminated a deep hole in the side of a very faint hill, and a creature leaped out of the hole. The moon revealed it for what it was. A hare. It began to listen for the slightest noise, an indication that the hunter was near.
It heard the shuffling of the monster, but too late. Jaws clamped down on the hare’s body, and with a fell crunch, the hare went limp, the little light of awareness that coloured its eyes giving way to black eyes full of unspoken depth.
The beast bent down to regain the grip it held on the hare, and began to walk away from the hare’s hole.
The beast had a long slender grey-white body with powerful back legs, and thin front legs. At the bottom of its legs were small paws, capable of moving the slender being at great speed, yet, padding across the grassy plains silently, which is what it now did.
Its face was that of a dog, its eyes proud and bright. Its long tail had fluffy tufts of grey fur, which waved like the grass in the gentle night breeze.
The wolf set the hare down on the ground near a massive pine tree. He lowered his head and began to eat.
The night was filled with the shrieks, moans, and howls of nocturnal life and the wolf listened to every one of the sounds, waiting for the sound it didn’t want to hear, the call of a rival wolf.
The hare’s red stained bones were showing, and without much meat left, the wolf turned and walked away. He left the little that remained for the thieving coyotes which, even now, could be seen lurking among the trees watching, waiting.
The gnarled old branches of some of the trees seemed to reach down to the ground, as if wanting some of the hare’s meat for itself.
The coyotes arrived at the carcass with a symphony of shrieks, barks and hoots. They crowded around the small hare and, although there was hardly enough for one coyote, they all lowered their heads to eat noisily.
The moans and howls continued throughout the night, never stopping until the sun slowly rose, as if fighting the moon for the right to shine.
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Day brought with it the chirps and squeals of birds, and the eerie songs of the crickets. The sun baked the already sun burnt earth, making the grass seem even more golden and warm.
The elk herd had crossed the river and made their way towards the safe ground that was the lake at dawn, meaning there was no big game to hunt.
A cloud of brightly coloured birds soared past while duller coloured birds of prey watched them hungrily, with the curious anticipation of the hunter.
The hawk made a sharp ‘Tseeer!!’ noise as it swooped down from the sky, angling its wings so it could glide effortlessly towards the flock of birds.
As if sensing the hawk’s presence, the cloud of birds billowed and swerved, like a wave of colour in the sky.
The hawk, five times the size of all the birds before it looked at its prey like one may look at a buffet table, wondering what to eat first.
Finally, making its body as streamlined as an arrow, the hawk latched onto a tiny red bird, who chirped and shrieked, struggling with its oversized adversary. The hawk gave another screech and begun scratching and clawing, slowly dragging the tiny bird down to the ground.
The struggle was being watched from the ground by golden canine eyes. The owner of the eyes had returned to his meal of hare a few hours ago, only to find it completely stripped of meat, the skull of the hare grinning up at him. The coyotes were nowhere to be seen, having completed their meal, and moved on to scavenge more food.
The two birds slammed into the ground, grass billowing as the hawk flapped frantically to stay upright, and on top of the screeching little bird.
The wolf launched forward from where he sat, tearing through the long grass. Stray leaves were kicked up behind him as he ran, his paws pounding the soft earth.
The hawk took off before the wolf even got near to where it stood. In the air, the hawk reigned supreme. But down on earth, the wolf wore the crown.
The bird was hardly a meal, but you could never be sure when you were going to eat again, and the fuller your belly, the better.
The wolf lowered his muzzle to the bird’s fragile carcass, but before he could take a nibble of the tiny strips of meat wedged between the bird’s fine bones, a sharp pain soared across his side. The pain came as a shock, numbing his body before it started to hurt.
He stumbled back, and there was a flash of golden brown fur.
The brown wolf was mere inches away from the other wolf, eyes blazing. A snarl ripped through the silence like the sound of paper tearing.
The brown wolf, unlike the grey wolf, had coarse mud-crusted brown fur, and a strong muscular build. His eyes held a different shine then the grey wolf, a different edge. While the grey wolf had the confidence of a young wolf at his prime, the brown wolf had the dull eyes of a fully grown wolf that had seen countless battles, and was a true survivor.
Wolves do not talk. Nor do they have names. They are known only as the thing they are – their rank. A wolf who is low ranking is Omega. That is who he is, and how other wolves will know him.
The way the large brown wolf carried himself, just his actions illustrated who he was.
The brown beta bared his yellow teeth, his fur standing on end making him look even larger. The grey wolf’s ears slid back, and he crouched onto his belly, tail between his back legs.
Weighing the chances of victory a scuffle, the beta sniffed, preferring not to take a chance in beating up this tiny little dog.
The grey wolf’s eyes plead for forgiveness. The beta snarled again, taking a step forward to lean down and snap at the other wolf’s legs.
With a piercing whine, the grey wolf backed off, head still lowered to the point of his chin scraping through the grass, ears flat on his head.
While the beta crunched through the tiny bird, the grey wolf bounded through the grass into the cover of trees. This forest was on the outskirts of the pack’s territory, and with any luck, he wouldn’t be bothered by another wolf, pack mate or not.
Although he cowered and ran when faced with a high ranking wolf, even from his own pack, he was still following pack protocol.
He was Omega. Low ranking, last to eat, and he would never mate.
He was chased off whenever he came too close, yet the other wolves would still want him close. This part of the forest was always empty. The usual feeling of not being alone vanished, the lonely feeling of an omega taking its place.
A breath of wind blew through the forest, making the trees rustle and wave, the dancing leaves kissing the leaves of the tree beside it. Birds took off from their hiding places, disappearing into the wide blue sky.
The wind made the wolf’s grey fur rustle and wave, though he didn’t feel the coldness that made the hares slip into their holes.
Jumping up suddenly, the omega barked to any wolf nearby, signaling he was leaving the area, and began to run.
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