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The Wolf and the Child

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Wolf and Child

Wolf and Child

The year was 1885. A woman, heavy with child, sat outside her home in the sun. She was a lovely woman, with fair hair and vivid blue eyes. She was anticipating the arrival of her children. They were already a few nights overdue and though not unusual, it worried her regardless.

A rustling in the bush alerted her to a presence and a large wolf stepped out of the thicket. He was a handsome creature, with a sleek coal black pelt and eyes like chips of black ice. The woman though, was unfazed by the intimidating creature. She smiled lightly, running a hand over her swollen abdomen as she watched the wolf begin to change.

The woman watched the man she knew as her soul mate move around the room with lethal grace. He was a stern man, hard with the pack and even her, but he was considered to be fair. He was setting up children's cots in their small home for the new children. It was later that night when the woman began to feel the signs of a child's forthcoming. She was prepared for a long night, she knew she had a difficult ordeal ahead of her.

Hours later, the scent of blood and new life heavy in the air, wolves had gathered outside the house and were anxiously awaiting the new arrivals. Sounds could be heard from inside the house. Gasps of pain were the most often, and the wolves knew the time was near. Finally, the first sound of a child was heard.

The first child born was a boy. He had a fine dusting of light blond hair atop his head and clear blue eyes. The man took the child from his mothers breast and took him outside to the wolves. A chorus of howls rose up at the sight of the small child.

The man steps onto the grass and kneels as the gathering of wolves began to form a circle around them. An old wolf, white around the muzzle, steps forward and stands before the man and child. The man bowed his head as held the crying child out to the wolf. Slowly, the wolf extends his head toward the child and gently touches his nose to the child's forehead, sealing the odd blessing. Another chorus of howls is released as the man takes the child back inside.

Soon, another cry is heard and the man returns. This time with a baby girl. The baby had dark curls upon her head and had gem-like green eyes. The man kneeled again, and the wolf came forward and looked upon the new child with the composure born of many years of patience before repeating the blessing. When the man returned to the house he did not come back, even though the wolves knew there was another arrival expected that night.

Hours passed and moon made her journey across the sky in silence, and still the man did not appear. Fear began to ripple through the pack. Something was terribly wrong, the child should have been here by now. Finally, as dawn began to break and both the sun and moon hung above the horizon, another sound was heard. But it was not the sound of a child, instead it was the low keening sound of a newborn wolf pup. The man appeared in the doorway, holding a small brown whelp by the scruff of the neck. He waved his hand, dismissing the pack. Passing over the elder wolfs blessing.

Year One

A small wolf pup sat on the porch of her home, watching two small children play in the grass. Her chestnut fur seemed lackluster in the shadow of the large man standing above it. The man stepped closer and eyed the small creature gazing up at him with disgust. He cast his steely gaze away as he moved the pup aside with his boot. The pup whined but got no response from its indifferent sire.

When the man left, the woman came out of the shadows and scooped the small bundle into her arms. The woman loved all her children, but her youngest was labeled an outcast and the traditional blessing was forgone at her birth. The woman felt that somehow, perhaps, it was her fault that her child had been born essentially the opposite of its kin. But a small part of her also felt that perhaps it was her youngest child's destiny.

Year Five

A small child sat in the clearing, staring up at the full moon and listening to the howls of its kin echo in the forest. The child may have been young but it knew but they realized they were different. It was no secret that the child was different and was treated differently. The child often wondered if it was their fault that they were so different. The child dismissed the thought though, in favor of thinking about when they would be free of the pack. Soon they hoped, for the disgrace they knew they caused to their family was becoming intolerable.

Year Ten

An adolescent wolf sat at the edge of the clearing, watching the packs gathering with interest for the first time in years. It was the Summer Solstice, a time when the young family heirs would be given their birthrights, their adult name and a job within the pack. The wolf had no predetermined hope of a name or place in their society, they only wished for any of its forms.

Slowly the moon began to rise and with it all the forms in the clearing began to shift and change. Within an hour a large wolf pack had replaced the human that had resided there. A large wolf prowled to the front and opened its muzzle. But instead of a bark or howl, words flowed forth, announcing the beginning of the event. The wolf stepped forward then, but no longer as a wolf. Now taking the form of an adolescent child.

An hour after the beginning of the meeting the heirs were about to be given their birthrights, starting with the children of the packs rulers and finishing with the children of the lowest ranking families. The first name they heard called was that of their golden haired brother. He would be the packs new ruler come his twenty first year. Next their raven haired sister was announced, given the title for the Council Head to be taken upon on her twentieth year. Hours later the last of the packs children were being called. Most had been made merchants, hunters or soldiers. The child waited patiently, knowing their name would be the last called.

Finally, their moment came. No words were spoken for a long time after they had stepped up to the packs leader. Then he finally spoke, "Upon this night, I have decided that the cursed whelp be banished!" A chorus of howls followed the announcement. Then before the child realized what happened, a large paw was raked across their face, leaving ragged gashes across their forehead and eyes. The child stumbled and began running to the surrounding forest. Banished from the territory, the child ran until they had crossed the border and collapsed under a lone tree.

Sun and Moon

Sun and Moon

The child awoke shortly before true dawn. The moon and sun hung together above the horizon, shining down upon the child. The child looked up at the sky, a rueful smirk playing across their face. For the very event that caused their cursed birth had now freed them of it. Elongated canines glinted from beneath the smirking lips as the child stood. As they began to walk towards the horizon the child left the nameless whelp behind and the newly reborn Renata walked away.

Written by Erebella
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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