His pack fell victim to a bull moose during a hunt. one member could not handle their position and all were lost. His mate, gutted by a powerful stomp of the bull moose, crushing her rips right through her fur. He suffered a wound across his flank but was the only one of four wolves to survive the hunt. All he was able to bring back was an unsuspecting rabbit. The cubs tore into it and he sat there listening to them eat. He licked his wound, mourning the loss of his mate. He stared at the moon that night in front of the den, howling a mournful song. Eventually falling to sleep at the entrance of the den.
In the morning he stretched, frost shook from his fur when he shook off the cold. The cubs were playing with each other in the den. He had three mouths to feed and no help. He was wounded but not badly and would have to be the alpha from this point on. He growled at them and they stumbled into their own brand of attention to him. They followed him to the nearby brook where they all drank. He kept a watch on the surrounding woods for any signs of danger. The cubs held no vigilance when they tumbled around the water’s edge. He sighed to himself and then growled to them and they once again followed him back to the den.
The cubs knew he was leaving them again. There was no guard, there was no protection, there was only him. He knew if he left them, a mountain lion could simply come in and take all three without even a fight. So he brought them with him, they would be old enough to learn to hunt in another cycle of the moon. He trotted along with the cubs in tow. They kept up with him through the woods until they made a clearing and he growled at them.
They laid down at the edge of the clearing and watched as he crept into the tall grass. It wasn’t long until they heard the sound of squeal fill the air. He came back with a small suckling in his mouth. He would hardly consider it a packs meal. But he found it fed the four of them well enough. The cubs watched him intently throughout the next couple of days. Watching how he would slowly stalk off and within an hour or less, he would be back with food for the four of them.
This went on for four cycles of the moon. The cubs had grown and were now taking his side on the hunt. They have learned how to flank prey and trap them for the kill. He was proud of his young cubs and how they had learned and grown. That night they fed on a fat turkey that their sister was able to track and the two of them helps frighten the turkey right into her waiting jaws. Their faces mawed in the fowl’s blood. They slept in their den peacefully that night.
He took them along a large game trail, thinking they were ready for the trial ahead. He stopped, the cubs had also sensed it. They had stumbled into an area that made them back towards each other. He was hoping for having them take down their first deer. But something much different was happening that day.
The snort shifted the dust around it’s nose as it rose from the bushes ahead. It’s long legs lumbered into the path like fur covered saplings. The scent was unmistakable, it was the same beast that cost him his pack, his love. His fur rose and a deep growl that the cubs had never heard him make before rumbled through him, but within seconds, instinct took over and pack mentality won over their minds. They had their prey. This great beast was what they would dine on tonight.
He snarled, keeping the bull moose’s focus on him, the alpha. Their sister was the beta and took lead on flanking the left with one of the brothers. The other slipped into the brush to the right. His teeth parted as his growl intensified. He walked slowly towards the bull moose. Still keeping it’s attention. The bull moose lowered it’s head, aiming itself in defense to the immediate danger.
She stalked with her brother around to the side of the largest creature they had ever seen, but fear wasn’t in them, only the thrill of it all. She saw he brother on the other side of the brush. The slowly crept up until they were right beside a leg.
He knew it was time and let out a fierce bark at the moose, who was ready to charge. It flinched and that’s when the cubs launched out of the brush, each of them sinking their teeth into the tendons of the bull moose’s legs. It let out a blood curdling noise as it felt it’s leg muscles being shredded by sharp teeth. It’s massive head swung around and he lunged at the beast and bit down as hard as he could on the bull moose’s neck tearing a large chunk of flesh from it. A spray of arterial blood filled the air as the beast wailed again.
The chunk fell away from his mouth as he tore into the beast’s last good leg. it’s other legs failing as the tendons had already been ripped apart. It fell to the ground with a thunderous crash. She barely dodged under the falling behemoth and joined her father and brother’s on the other side. The last gasps escaped the bull moose as the family already started to tear into his flesh.
“Wolf and Cubs” by Rio Martin