Ferick is a young wolf, learning the ways of a wild. He dreams of being a great hunter and fighter, but one foolish mistake makes his life change forever...
I leapt joyously outside the den, relishing in the morning light. The suns rays filtered through the leaves above me, creating pretty patterns in the grass. I yelped with delight as a branch fell down, and pounced on it, trying to snap it in half with my teeth. In the end, I gave up, and flung the branch away, and it disappeared into a nearby bush.
Behind me, Ferisa growled gently. I whined, pushing my ears back as I wondered what I'd done wrong.
"Ferick, that's not very respectful. The tree that the branch came from provides food for the prey we eat. That was no way to thank it," she said sternly, flicking her tail over to where the branch had fallen. I dropped my head with shame and curled my tail between my legs.
"Sorry, Ferisa," I said quietly. "I won't do it again." The she-wolf grunted, showing that she was satisfied with my apology. I still felt slightly ashamed though. My mother had always taught me to respect everything around me, because no matter how insignificant they may seem, they all played a role in letting us survive.
Ferisa noticed my dipped head and tilted her head to one side. "Are you okay, Ferick?" she asked gently, no longer sounding angry. She wasn't my mother, but she cared for me like one. Out of all the she-wolves in the pack, she was probably my favourite.
"Yes," I replied briefly, lifting my head up again. "I love the sunlight!" I added with a wag of my tail. Ferisa smiled.
"It won't be like this all the time, though," she commented thoughtfully. My eyes widened with confusion and shock.
"What do you mean? What will it be like?" I demanded, not understanding. How could the forest possibly be different? It had been like this since the day I'd been born!
"It'll be fall, and there'll be less sunlight. And it'll be cold and snowy," Ferisa replied gently, licking me between the ears to calm me down. I still couldn't quite get my head around the fact that this paradise around me would change, but I just accepted it. "And by then, you'll be big enough to hunt with the pack," she said. That made me feel better. I couldn't wait until I could stray further from the den and just run for miles through the trees.
"Will it be like that forever?" I asked curiously, raising my head to look at Ferisa.
"Of course not. Next year, the whole circle will start again," she explained.
"Circle? What circle?" I questioned, raising my eyelids and tilting my head with puzzlement. Ferisa laughed gently.
"The circle of the seasons. It goes round once every year; spring, summer, autumn and winter," she replied, smiling at my foolishness. I pressed my ears back, slightly embarassed, but she didn't seem to mind. After all, I was only a pup, still learning about the ways of this confusing world.
Suddenly, a large wolf padded into sight. It was my father, and although he was walking stiffly like he always did to show dominance, his ears were pressed back against his head, and as far I knew, that showed fear. Why would my father be afraid?
Ferisa raised her head, her tail raised as a greeting to my father. He curled his lips, showing his teeth, and Ferisa's tail drooped again. It was clear that my father was in a bad mood. Then, he howled, summoning the pack together.
"He's calling a meeting," Ferisa whispered into my ear, before nudging me gently towards him. Cautiously, I made my way towards my agitated father, wondering what he wanted.