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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

    “The Wolf Who Cried Back” by Gibson Burns

    A shrill howl pierced the calm night sky. Several houses around the small village lit up, as the residents were very aware of the nearby wolf-pack, and wary of anything they might try to do. Slowly, even more lights turned on, and people were starting to exit their houses, even though it was just past midnight. The villagers that had come outside, with angry and concentrated, focused faces, held all manners of weapons to defend themselves: Handmade torches, their farming pitchforks, small spears that they made to protect themselves, and pretty much anything they could get their hands on to help. One ambitious young man in particular, by the name of Danny, wanted to grab a weapon to help defend the village, but was turned away by his elders because that job would be too dangerous for him.

    “Why? I’m old enough to help, and I want to make sure nobody gets hurt! It’s just some wolves, look how many people we have here!” Danny argued, trying to get others to see his way.

    “No, Danny, you may be old enough to help out in the daytime, but you’re still not experienced enough to help defend us. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is right now. Get inside to safety.”

    Dejected, yet loyal, Danny turned away and went back inside his home, thinking all the way about how he could prove himself to the rest of the village.

    “I could keep doing work around here, of course, that would help me prove my abilities. I thought I did enough, though, maybe there’s something more.” Danny contemplated. Without warning, his mother walked into the room.

    “Danny, the wolves are gone! We can safely sleep now.” His mother sighed in relief. However, Danny still felt restless and distraught. He still wanted to help out in the future, and he needed to know how he could.

    “Okay then, I guess I’ll head to bed now.” Danny said, standing up from his comfortable position in front of the fireplace. He moved slowly towards his bed, still wondering how he can make himself more helpful to his fellow villagers.

    Meanwhile, off in the forest, the wolf pack had just been driven back to their den by a swarm of angry villagers carrying weapons of all types. One young wolf in particular was very scared for both his family and himself. After all, it was his howl that alerted the villagers to their presence. He was scared both of the villagers, but now he was worried what the other wolves would think about his actions, and what that means for him. After the howl, the young wolf had realized what he had done and dashed back to safety in the forest. All he wanted to do was create an ally in the people of the village, because he was tired of living in a constant fear, and he was sure that the people were too. When he tried to make contact however, he realized that the people had no way to know he was calling for friendship, not for a fight.

    When the chaos had settled a bit, and the wolves came back to the den, they sternly reprimanded the young wolf on his actions. He sensed that they wanted him to find out for himself why they said that alliance won’t work, and to come back with a new understanding. The young wolf, knowing it wouldn’t end well, reluctantly agreed to the proposal. He wanted to make up for the mistake he just made, and the night after the scuttle, he set towards the village to see what he could see.

    Again, Danny was restless, thinking of ways that he could make his prowess and ability known in the village, so he wouldn’t be turned away anymore. He was having trouble thinking of anything concrete that would help him out, so he decided to take a small moonlight stroll to clear his head. “Maybe,” he thought, “maybe I’ll find some inspiration out here that will show me a sign.” As he walked along the path on the border of the village, he looked into the nearby lake glistening in the shining moonlight. He glanced over to the towering forest just next to this lake, only to see something that looked like it was moving. Danny couldn’t tell if he was really seeing something or if he was just sleep-deprived. He made his way towards the previously-moving object to get a closer look, only for it to back away from him. He stopped. The figure stopped as well. Danny crouched down, and started slowly easing forward, as if to demonstrate that he wasn’t a threat to whatever it was standing in the shadows. The figure slowly moved towards Danny, apprehensive to get too close. As the figure exited the shadows, Danny saw that it was a small wolf. Immediately, he backed up a bit, startled that the wolves were back this soon. The wolf emerged more from the shadows, its ears down to show that it was alone. Danny, for some reason unknown to him, was trusting and reassured by the wolf’s actions. The two met, right at the border between the forest and the village, and just as suddenly as a wolf’s howl, the two beings, man and wolf, felt a kinship between themselves that the others’ family wouldn’t be able to break.

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