Even from underneath the great oak tree at the top of the hill, I can still hear the other cubs roughhousing down in the pit. They love to gnaw and scratch each other as they roll around in the dirt. Yet here I am, all by my lonesome writing in my little journal.
I say this with no malice towards anyone involved, not even towards myself. I don’t resent any of the other cubs for playing. They’re practically my brothers and sisters. And I certainly don’t hold any ill will towards myself for not participating. When we were much younger, I used to try and play with them. But now that our teeth and our claws have come in, I realize that I can no longer do so without getting hurt. My teeth were too flat and my paws too smooth. But I’m not too broken up about it. It’s just another moment where I realize that I’m different from the others.
That’s why Mother Silver gave me this journal. She found it on one of the scavenging journeys the elders went on and gave it to me so that I had something to preoccupy my time. She’s always been especially kind to me. Whenever one of the other cubs was too rough or too mean, she would always intervene. She hates seeing me get hurt. That’s why she gave me the fur pelt to wear; so that I would be protected from harm.
I always wonder why I’m the only member of the pack who has to wear my fur. It makes my body feel all too warm during the long season and reeks of the dead meat the hunters bring back for the others to feast on. Or at least it does on the inside. The outer fur smells of the wild and warm scent the others give off — much different from the grassy and gamey smell of my own body. It’s streaked with black and silver and white and gray, to the point where the other cubs have learned to call me “Colors.”
This is how the others got their name too. Black Spot got his name from the spot on his face. Pure Gray for the consistency of her fur’s coloring. White tail, Gray Snout, Speckled Black, and so on. The only cub who has a different type of name is Three Fang. He got his name after losing a tooth in an encounter with a mother boar. It had come charging at us cubs during a hunt when her own young were in danger. Three Fang was one of the youngest at the time and came from an outside pack that had all sadly passed away after a fire.
When he saw the boar, he wasn’t frozen in fear like the rest of us. As the boar charged at us, there seemed to be a certain fire in his eyes. A primal hatred bred into all wolves that made him instinctually try and pounce towards the beast. He sunk his newly grown teeth into its neck, killing the boar but losing one of his fangs in the process.
After that, there was a big celebration to commemorate his first kill. The elders were proud that a wolf so young, even if he wasn’t one of their own, could do so, especially considering the amount of meat the boar had. The rest of the pack feasted on its body for the next week. Except for me.
Since as early as I can remember, eating meat has made me sick. Mother Silver always made sure that I had enough dried grass and berries to fill my stomach with. That’s part of the reason she became a member of the scavenger team. She used to be a member of the hunter team, but changed when she grew too old. Or at least that’s what she tells me.
The other elders tell stories of her in her prime. How she ran through the forest a shining shadow. How she preyed on the biggest of game and slayed massive beasts. And how she only became a scavenger after she started taking care of me.
That last part always makes me think. I trust Mother Silver to tell me the truth, but some of the other cubs don’t seem to feel the same. Especially Three Fang. When he first heard the story, it felt like something in him changed. He no longer looked at me like I was his sister, but as something to be pitied. As something to be avoided or else you catch a disease that makes you weak. The others don’t seem to notice, but I do. The others idolize him too much to notice such small things. He’s their hero after all. He used to be my hero too, but I suppose things change as you get older.