FREE STORY FRIDAY: Wolfmoot


Her plaintive cry told of wide open spaces. It sang of hunters in forests raising voices in gratitude to Mother Moon. It trilled into long winter years when food was scarce and times were hard. It led to pups gamboling in summer meadows. The howl spun tales of packmates lost, heroic and tragic, unto the backdrop of the sable sky. Like a master seamstress, threaded through her lupine aria was a single question: Mother, when can we come home?
When her voice finally faded away, swallowed by the night, Moonsinger regarded the assembled wolves sternly. Her eyes bore the weight of years regally. Many fell upon their backs and exposed their throats, such was the power of her gaze. “Wolfmoot is at a start,” she intoned, “We have gathered to talk about the two-legs. Man.”
“What of them?” sneered Lord Jackal from the south, “They have no claws to threaten us!”
“You do not know them as we do cousin,” whined Hyena, Jackal's cousin from further south, “They will stab you with claws of wood!”
“They may thrive down south, but in the north they have no fur to keep them warm,” said Redmane, a solidly built mountain wolf.
“Yet still they are here, within our lands despite lacking claws or fur,” Moondancer, Moonsinger's mate, said.
“Then we should lead the tribes to war!” cried Orso, the great shaggy leader of the northern expanses.
“Yes, yes, war! Before man can invade your lands and hunt your game!” Hyena squealed shrilly.
“We must act before they take our game; make us starve!” cried a wolf within the crowd.
“They have killed many of us,” Hyena added, seizing upon the momentum building, “Those they don’t kill, they enslave. Ignore the two-legs at your own peril.”
“I would not fight the two-legs if I were you,” came a tiny voice from the back of the crowd.
Moonsinger searched for the speaker, the crowd parting as her gaze moved to the side. Finally, she settled upon the owner of the tiny voice. He was dwarfed by those around him, each tribe only sending the best of their stock. “And why should we fear these Men?” she asked.
“It is true that they are born without fur, claws, or even fangs to rend their enemies, milady,” the small wolf, named Dog, said, “But what they do not have they steal from that which is around them.”
“All the more reason to strike before they turn their eyes upon what is ours!” cried Lord Jackal. There was a general murmur of assent among the gathered.
“Crack their bones and suck them dry!” Hyena added.
“We need not make Man our enemy!” Dog retorted.
“And what would you have us do, little Dog, bare our necks to them?” Orso howled. The conclave devolved into much heated yipping.
Moonsinger's clear howl cut once more through the summit, this time short and concise. In the stillness that followed, she said, “It is always the small that shall ever pursue peace. Peace is a fine thing among our own kind. But we cannot bow our heads before the two-legs. We must raise our hackles, bare our teeth, teach them to fear the Wolf.”
Much excitement met this statement, except from Dog and his tribe. “Your claws shall bounce from the pelts of the great wooly mountains they wear to stave off the cold. You will cry when they use their wooden claws upon you. And you will beg for death as a mercy when they spit you over their Skylights,” he said mournfully, “Me and mine will not be a part of this. You plan your great Demise.”
Dog walked away from the Wolfmoot and turned from the wolves forever. He went back to his lands and sued for peace with Man. Years down the road, with young pups at heel, he looked upon the tribe's totem and sighed.
“What is it, Grandfather?” one of the energetic pups asked.
“I'm looking to the past and wondering if things could be different.”
“Why?”

“Because once there was a great wolf named Moonsinger and now she is just old bones hung on sticks,” Dog said. “Makes me wonder what will become of the sons of Dog.”

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