The Wolf and the Raven Part 1
There was once a great forest. The foliage of the tallest trees blanketed the floor in a lush green haze, where the roots crawled and slithered like snakes. Spanish moss dangled from the branches and shelf fungus created miniature stairways up the trunks. It was teeming with life, insects and birds and little mice. The forest was flanked by a rocky mountainside, which was cold and barren. No creature ever lived there because there was no easily accessible food or shelter except for the damp caverns scattered along the edge. One day, a group of dogs was getting tired of the noise and the crowd of the forest and ventured along the mountain’s edge. They found a suitable living space out of one of the larger, drier caverns and began making it a home. The dogs hollowed it out and brought in dry leaves and grass as bedding, and began clearing a trail to and from good hunting spots and ponds. These became known as the first wolves of their pack.
As the pack settled in, pups were born. Henryetta, a new mother wolf, gave birth to seven strong pups. As their soft fur dried out, it was obvious something was different. The last puppy was tiny, not much to even call a runt. He was behind all of his siblings in physical form, too- as the rest began to squirm and squeak to each other, he preferred to sit by himself in the corner. Henryetta observed this pup with concern. She leaned over to her husband, Larson, and whispered to him. “Do you see the little one, sitting alone? He never plays with the rest. He doesn’t even try to move around when I encourage him. I’m not sure he’s healthy…”
“What a weakling. I’d say give him a couple days, but if he doesn’t improve, we might have to drop him. Just don’t name the thing, I don’t see much promise in him.”
Henryetta sighed, and wandered away to separate two pups that had gotten themselves into a tangle.
The days passed, and the little runt did not improve, despite both parents egging him on to be more active. That night, while the other pups slept in a heap beside their mother, Larson plucked the runt from his spot by the scruff of his neck and swiftly carried him outside. “Dad! It’s cold out here! Where are we going?”
The pup squirmed from between his father’s teeth, but to no avail. Larson carried him deep into the forest before setting him down at the base of a towering tree. There he left him, in the dark night, the strange and eerie noises of the woods around him.