Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: FINISH (05/26/16)
TITLE: The Raven and the Wolf
By Jeremy Kirby
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At once the feeling surged upon her, and this time she didn’t have the strength to resist. She spread her wings wide, relaxed her grip from the twigs and leaned over the edge. Her mother gasped and lunged for her but it was too late, she fell from the great cedar. Her wings caught the wind but couldn’t hold on and she plummeted.
Poof, twigs and dry pine needles clouded the air as the tiny raven crashed down upon the soft blanket of moss. James and John cocked their heads as they surveyed this new situation. As the dust settled on the little bird, she raised her head just in time to see the wolf cubs charging her. Her tiny heart pounded through her chest. Suddenly a white wolf, slightly larger than the other two, plowed into their sides, sending them tumbling. He stood over her waiting for retaliation from his brothers, but rather they sauntered back into the cave with their parents.
“Hi, I’m Peter,” he said as he looked beneath him.
“I, I, I’m Raven,” she stammered.
That was the beginning of a life-long friendship.
Raven learned to fly on Peter’s back. As he ran, she relaxed allowing the wind to raise her into the sky. When the wolves hunted moose, Peter learned to look up and follow her. He was always the first to spot the moose, and soon, the first of the cubs to make a kill.
One cold and rainy afternoon, Peter and Raven were summoned to the den. All of Peter’s family, and Raven’s as well, were present. His father had a fever and wasn’t getting any better. The young wolf trotted slowly in and sat next to his Alpha-father.
“Peter do you love me?” his father asked.
“I do, of course I do.”
“Then you will trust what I say. You are strong, yet you care for the most fragile of creatures. Your love makes you courageous, so you will care for the pack and provide for them and lead them. You are now, Alpha.”
The lump in Peter’s throat stopped whatever words he was about to say. Tears were his only response.
“Peter, always remember to look up,” were his father’s last words, and then, he exhaled.
Peter ran and Raven followed. He ran past Todd Harbor and McCargoe Cove. He climbed Mt. Ojibway and howled to the moon. As winter set in he still mournfully howled as he was a king with no queen. His family was the last wolf pack on the isle.
Peter worried that he and his brothers would not be able to have families of their own. His lonely mother longed for grandchildren, if there were none, who would provide for them when they got old. Would he depend on Raven to always bring him scraps?
“Look up little wolf, look up!” Raven dropped a piece of meat in front of him. He sniffed it, unknowing of the strange scent.
“It’s venison!” she exclaimed.
“What is venison?”
She landed next to him chomping on her own piece. “Dear meat. Ya know, like a moose only smaller?”
He gobbled it up without even chewing. “That was good!”
Raven told him all about her trip to the mainland, about all the different animals and trees. She also spoke of a beautiful white wolf. The wolf said she’d heard a mournful howl across the lake but couldn’t find a way to get there.
“That was me,” Peter was amazed at Raven’s words.
He now had a rabid excitement blazing within him but reason told him that all hope was only vanity, for the lake was not frozen, nor had been for many years. So he did what his father had told him, and looked up. He prayed with all fervor and faith.
Once more, the snow set in and the temperature dropped. The blizzard stormed on for nearly a month before Peter wandered again to the lake. This trip was very different than any of the others. For the first time in his life, the ice linked them to the mainland. Looking up at a misty sun, he saw Raven guiding a white wolf and her family to Peter.
For Isle Royale, the season of the wolf is not yet over.
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