The Lone White Wolf: The Hunt - Poem by Matthew Bresette
As the first day of the new moon creeps into the trees, no wolf among the pack gathers to see the light overcome the darkness to bring in the new day except the lone white wolf. This peculiar wolf is almost solid white except for the black along the length of his nose. It watches over the pack as they peacefully sleep, unaware of his eyes that could protect everything that was soon to come.
Today was the first day of the long hunt for the white wolf. He must bring down an animal that could feed the whole pack for several days, so he could become an official member of the pack, but more importantly, he must prove himself to be one with the pack instead of running alone.
The leader of the wolf pack slowly raises his head like a turtle to look around to see who’s awake. He sees all the wolves are still asleep in a tight circle except the outcast. The leader doesn’t understand why this wolf sleeps alone nor does he understand why the wolf was born white instead of gray. The white wolf stirs from his wakeful sleep. The eyes of the self-proclaimed leader stay on him before moving off to look into the distance searching for all the answers to his questions among the countless trees.
The leader of the wolf pack slowly gets up and walks to the lone wolf and nudges him to sound the morning howl. It was customary for the leader of the wolf pack to do this, but for reasons unknown to any wolf besides the leader, the wolf chose the outcast to sound the howl. The white wolf understands and gives a howl to stir the remaining wolves out of their deep slumber.
Once all the wolves are fully awake and able to comprehend what today is and what it means for the outcast, they realize it is the first day of the new moon. It is the first day of the long hunt. All of the wolves first look to the leader, then to the outcast, then back to the leader wondering who is going to give the special howl to begin the long hunt. No wolf willingly howled the beginning of the long hunt because if the howl was bad, the hunt would go badly, but if the howl was good, the hunt would go smoothly and the hunt would be short. The answer is soon apparent when the eyes of the leader look over the pack to see whose eyes would meet his. None but one pair kept his gaze.
The leader gave a sign, and the wolf began to prepare to give the special howl that would determine the outcome of the hunt. A wolf could not open its muzzle and give an ordinary howl since the hunt would also go badly. To give the special howl the wolf must pull back its hind legs and brace itself to make sure all legs are securely anchored to the ground so that the wolf, while giving the special howl would not slide backwards during the middle of it.
The lone wolf was ready mentally and physically to give the special howl. Once his feet were securely on the ground, the wolf began the howl. The lone white wolf put everything in his howl: the pain of being an outcast his entire life, the anger at his individuality, everything was put into that howl. Wolves stepped back with their fur standing on end; birds flew away squawking bloody murder. The others started yipping and snapping at nothing in particular remembering everything they’d ever felt. After the lone wolf was done, he realized the effect his special howl had on the wolves and he noticed the disarray and confusion that he had caused.
The leader is satisfied and gets the pack into order; it was time to begin the hunt. The wolves began running, their muscles rippling beneath their skin. Nothing could stop them. Their destination was a mile and a half down the road where the large game was located. Running freely among the wolf pack, the lone wolf didn’t feel like an outcast, but whenever he began to get too close, a shallow snip on the shoulder would shove him away to a safer distance.
The game was just ahead; it was time for the lone wolf to prove himself to the pack. The lone wolf went ahead of the pack and picked one of the biggest caribou he could find and slowly approached while the pack followed. The wolves lurched like a bullet from a gun onto the caribou with the white wolf clinging to the exposed flesh of the neck bringing it to the ground but not before it got one last kick in. The kill was successful; the caribou was dead. It was then that the white wolf noticed the bloody mess of the leader of the pack. The last kick of the now dead caribou landed on the skull of the leader, and he was dead instantly. The sight was a grizzly one with his skull caved in and blood gushing out of the wound.
The self-proclaimed leader was dead with no next-in-line to follow. Every wolf looked to the now dead leader, then to the outcast, then back to the dead leader, and then back to the outcast. The white wolf met the eyes of each wolf and got an unspoken request from each one. It was unanimous; the previous outcast of the pack became the leader. For the first time in history, a white wolf was chosen to lead and will lead the wolves to a prosperity the wolves have never known.
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