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The Wolf

It was a cold, dark, snowy, and lonely night.

I was trudging through the snow, making a solitary journey through a snowy forest. The sky was pitch black except for the full moon, which reflected of the falling snowflakes. The evergreen trees wore jackets of powdery snow, evenly distributed on its branches.


Wearing a thick blue jacket, I made my way across these snowy woods, carrying a bulky backpack. In my backpack were essentials, including hunting and cooking supplies for my journey. Since I was running out of ration, I decided to hunt. Some fresh meat would make a welcome change to my diet.
Starting to feel hungry, I loaded my rifle and looked around until I found some fresh deer tracks. Since my backpack was too heavy, I left it under a nearby tree. Following the tracks, I soon arrived at the location of the deer. The deer was enjoying the local vegetation, unaware of the imminent threat to its life. As it was happily munching on some plants, I aimed at the deer and shot.

 

BOOM!

 

After a long day of walking, the deer tasted heavenly. The mouth-watering aroma of the cooked deer hung low in the air. As I was eating, I heard a low growl.
I jumped, dropping my food and scrambling up while getting my rifle ready. My heart thumped in my chest. I was alone, out here in the wilderness. Anything could happen. I fingered the trigger.


I waited. ”One, two, three,” I counted mentally. What was that? Is it a threat? Is it gone? Should I fight? Should I run?
All of a sudden, a wolf stumbled out of the shadows. It was massive and had blue eyes that reflected the light of the moon. However, it was incredibly skinny and weak, and its whole left side was bloody. The wolf was panting, and his eyes were glazed and unfocused.


Keeping my gun pointed at it, I watched as it stumbled towards me, then stopped, falling flat on its face. Looking up at the gun pointed directly at him, he glared at me and growled, refusing to beg, refusing to appear weak, refusing to succumb to death. Proud until the end.


I stared at him. He was incapable of walking, much less harming me. The wolf must’ve used the last of his energy following the scent of my food. Determining the wolf was of no threat to me, I slowly and carefully sat back down to finish my meal, keeping my finger on the trigger and watching him the whole time. I could see him eying my meal, drooling at the sight, making feeble attempts to get up, but without the energy to satiate his hunger.


Watching this majestic wolf lie on the ground, with the very thing he needs and wants in front of him, but not able to get it, made me feel bad for the poor thing. We were both alone in the woods, with no one to rely on. If I was injured and starving, close to death, I might very well find myself in his position. On the ground, dying.

 

Alone.


Against my better judgement, I cut some meat from the deer and walked over to the wolf. At this point, he was barely conscious, but he still mustered the energy to look at me and growl softly at my approach, perhaps thinking I meant him harm, but saw the meat and instead had a pleading expression in his eyes.


I put the meat a few inches away from him. The wolf, seeing his salvation in that chunk of flesh, desperately pawed and reached for it, but only managed to push it further away. He howled in frustration. I took the meat and fed it to him. He gobbled it up vigorously, almost biting my fingers off. Seeing that he was still hungry, I gave him more, and more, and more, until there wasn’t any deer left. I then melted some snow over the fire and put it in a bowl, giving it to him.
I then proceeded to clean and bandage his wounds. He seemed to know what I was doing and trusted me, drinking the water I set aside for him.


“Why am I doing this?” I thought. “I don’t have much medical supplies. Why am I wasting them on this wolf, who could be dangerous?”


After that, I went back to my original spot. The wolf, feeling much better, padded over to where I was sitting. Feeling a rush of panic, I picked up my rifle, but calmed down when I didn’t see any aggression in his eyes. He came and sat next to me, quite happy that I saved his life. I carefully put my rifle down, still suspicious. After a while of him sitting near me, doing nothing, I finally relaxed.


The wolf was deep in sleep, and I dozed off too, exhausted from the day. While I was sleeping, it started snowing. The snow was falling faster and faster, and the wind was picking up. The wolf woke me up, terrifying me at first because I had forgotten about him, but quickly remembering. He was urgently trying to get me up, and it didn’t take a genius to see why. A blizzard had started.


Stumbling up and cramming all my supplies back into my bag, I followed the wolf. He seemed to know where he was going, and he wanted me to follow. Barely able to see five feet in front of me, I followed it to a cave after what seemed like an eternity. There, we took a moment to catch our breath.


Tired, I collapsed. The wolf curled up, also tired. We watched, together, the blizzard that came out of nowhere.  There, in the middle of the night, in unknown territory, brought together by extenuating circumstances, were two different species, sleeping under the same roof, sharing their companionship. As I watched the forces of nature, I finally realized why I chose to save  this wolf.

 

It was a cold, dark, and snowy night.




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