Moon dashed through the forest. The sound of her packs angry howls and barks filled her ears. “Never come back!” they howled. “If you do, prepare to die!” Moon’s tail was tucked in between her legs, and patches of her fur were missing. She tripped over sticks and fallen branches and leaped over a fallen tree.
She didn’t stop running until the rank stench of her former pack left her nostrils. Moon sighed and slowed down to a walk. Her tail untucked and drug into the dirt. Squirrels and rabbits peered out of their homes to watch the fallen wolf walk slowly through the forest.
Her belly rumbled. Her last meal was nine days ago, and it had just been the bone of a elk. Her head swung back and forth. She was desperate.
Her grey fur, normally shaggy and well-groomed, was ripped and sagged. The mix of black and white that swirled around her storm colored fur looked ugly and repulsing. Her ripped ears were flattened to her skull and her ice-blue eyes looked dull and lifeless. Her ribs outlined her pelt and her muzzle was bloody and brusied.
She knew that she could survive a few more days without feasting, but she was so hungry. Moon’s patchy tail was tucked in between her legs again. The tip twitched as if she was angry and about to attack.
“No,” she barked out loud, causing a few birds to stare at her. “I will not starve. I will die fighting.” With that, she leaped at the nearest animal, which was a rabbit. However, the prey around here was well-fed and agile, and the rabbit easily skipped away.
The birds took to the sky, warning the whole forest of the wolf’s presence. All the prey took cover in their barrows. Squirrels stuffed nuts inside of their jaws before easily climbing up trees. Ground squirrels dove into the barrows in the roots of trees. Rabbits squeezed inside their dens, and shrews and voles scampered into the bushes.
Her tail drooped farther onto the ground. If it drooped any farther, she knew she would trip on it. I’m going to die.
Moon had left the forest and was walking through a meadow. It was large and wide with soft, squishy grass. There were many collections of amber and gold flowers, and silver-and-white birds flittered through the air. The sweet scent of flowers and pollen drifted inside of Moon’s nose, causing her to sneeze.
It was beautiful, despite Moon’s sour mood.
The wolf lay down, curling herself in a ball. Right now, she wished she was with her pack. But half of her told herself that missing them was stupid. They were starving as well. Moon groaned, rolling on her side. They would’ve found her secret stash by now, stuffing their faces. She knew that they wouldn’t keep any for later. You are so stupid. Moon wished she hadn’t been gnawing on the bone near her den, then maybe the beta would not have caught her.
A rustling broke Moon from her thoughts. She sat up, her torn ears pricked. A fawn stepped out. It’s brown fur was bloody and ragged, and the outline of teeth on its thin legs told Moon that maybe it had gotten caught by a trap. Or a animal had tried to attack it, and the fawn had quickly fled.
Moon looked around. No sign of the fawn’s mother. Moon looked at the fawn. It was on its side now, body heaving as it struggled to stay alive. Too young to know Moon was a threat. The pale speckles on its body told Moon that. About one or two weeks old.
Moon approached the fawn, licking her lips hungrily. However, before she could attack her meal, the doe charged out of nowhere and stamped its hooves near Moon’s muzzle. Moon snarled, and the fawn was immediately awake, bleating in terror.
The doe stomped again, this time catching Moon on the snout. Moon growled and dodged to the side, sending a nip to its legs. She noticed that the doe was bloody as well, and a narrow hole was embedded in its shoulder.
Hunter! A hunter meant human. Suddenly everything fell into place. The fawn had gotten caught in a hunter’s trap, and the doe had struggled to set her fawn free. The hunter had shot the doe and she had fled. The hunter released the fawn, thinking it was dead. The fawn then ran away, and now the doe was here, protecting her child.
Moon barked at the doe. “Get away!” she spat, digging her teeth into the doe’s wounded shoulder.
“No!” the doe bleated, struggling to free herself from the wolf’s solid jaws. “I will protect my child, you beast!” Moon dislodged her teeth from the doe and instead lunged for the deer’s throat.
The doe was making weird noises, blood gurgling from her lips and body convulsing. Moon stepped back to admire her work as the doe had many seizures, its legs thrashing about. Moon waited until the doe grew still before digging into her meal.
She heard bleating, and turned her head to see the doe. It stared at Moon with wide, scared eyes. “You see this?” Moon asked, pointing her tail at the dead doe. The fawn nodded. “This will be you if you don’t get away.”
The fawn looked absolutely frightened, so it turned and skipped away. Moon continued to eat the doe, completely dismissing the cruel thing she had just did. Food was food. The grass and flowers around Moon were flattened and bloody and covered with pawprints and hoofprints. Moon thought that she had not only gotten a good meal, but a wonderful bed as well.
However, she was not dumb enough to just leave her meal out in the open with her sleeping far from it. So, she collapsed on her belly, hind legs outstretched behind her and forelegs drooping over the deer’s carcass.
You might just survive, Moon.