In the beginning was a valley. This valley was as long as the British Isles, from Land's end to John O'Groats. It was as wide as Shetland, from Sumbrough Head to Hermaness. The mountains on either side were sometimes as steep as a slide. The beautiful pine trees clung on for dear life. In the heart of the valley was a lake the size of Yell. In the middle of the lake was an island no bigger than the Ness of Hillswick.
There was a river that led from the lake into the sea on the other end of the valley. The other end was blocked by a huge mountain that soared above the others. Its name was Mount King.
Between the lake and Mount King was a huge forest. Between the sea and the lake was a huge plain with a few forests. In this plain was deer, wild horses, wolves, foxes, bears, wild boar, reindeer in the higher parts, a mixture of birds and insects and rabbits and hares.
This story is about a pack of wolves who must fight for their lives and the lives of all in the valley.
The alpha male wolf was grey with beautiful eyes. His name was Curly. He lay outside a huge mound of earth that served as a den. Other members of his pack lay closer to the river a few metres away.
Curly was protecting his mate, Vala, because she was given birth. She had been in there for a few nights.
There was a growl and a whimper from inside the den, and Curly growled.
The story-teller of the pack, an old male called Tratto, sat beside Curly. His muzzle was streaked with grey-white, and he had a weariness over him.
“ Tratto, will she be alright?" whispered Curly. His eyes showed anxiousness.
Tratto lay down and answered, “ I hope so.”
Curly thought about his cubs they had last year. Only two survived, a male and a female.
The male was dark grey, and was called Fenris. His sister was a lighter grey and was called Freya. They were playing by the river with Curly's sister Keekee, who was a beauty. She had gorgeous grey fur, streaked with black and a white belly.
That night Freya, Fenris, Curly, Tratto and another wolf called Caramel, who was grey and brown, lay outside, waiting.
The next morning Freya woke to see her mother just coming out of the den. Her father lay asleep outside.
Freya got up and bounded over to her mother. Vala looked exhausted.
“ Mother!” yelped Freya. Her cry made Curly wake.
“ Can I see them?” he asked. Vala led him into the den and in a roughly made nest lay three cubs. One was a light colour, and the other two were darker, like their brother Fenris. One of them had a white mark on its forehead.
“ What are they?” whispered Curly. Vala grinned.
“ The light one is a female. The others are male.” she lay down in an arc shape and they squabbled over her teats. They suckled greedily.
They lay there together, grooming the little ones, until dusk. Then Vala said, “ what shall we call them?”
Curly paused, thinking. He pointed his muzzle to the female and said,
Vala smiled and licked him. “ Perfect,”
Vala licked the male with a white mark. “ Thor.” she whispered. Curly nodded.
“ Ouch!” cried Vala, “ the other male can bite!”
Curly looked at his son's paws. They were white.
“ Claws.” he said simply. Vala sniffed.
“ I-I like it.” she growled softly.
Later on that night Tratto came to see them. He kept his distance from Claws, but nuzzled Larka.
Next was Keekee. She whined and licked Vala on the snout. Keekee had always longed for cubs of her own, but Fenris and Caramel were too young and Tratto was too old.
“ Vala, they are as lovely as flowers,” sighed Keekee. She lay beside Vala.
Fenris, Freya and Caramel entered the den and Freya looked proudly at the little ones. Vala and Curly gazed at her.
“ Hello Larka, Claws and Thor. Welcome to the valley.” whispered Freya.
Fenris and Caramel started to howl. The others joined in. They howled through the night.