Fortunately, we weren't late for Moon Child Law. I wondered at Don's daring as he introduced me to the teacher - a sever lady whose name was Miss Lyson. I was made to sit next to the science boffin Dave Foxfur, while Don sat beside Ed and Lor next to Teritt. I guessed that the seating plan served to separate boyfriends and worst enemies - almost like they were on the same level. I vaguely wondered what would have happened if I'd had a close relationship with Dave. I didn't doubt that I'd have been seated at a table on my own.
Miss Lyson stood in front of her desk, regarding the boys sternly.
"Today you will be continuing Chapter 3, reading section 3.3 and answering the summary questions on page 27. Anything you don't do in this lesson is homework for Wednesday."
Her cool gaze turned to me. She was obviously the sort of person you had to impress before she was friendly to you. And in her case, I guessed something impressive wasn't something simple to achieve.
"Penelope, I will lend you a copy of the textbook. I'd like you read at the very least the introduction."
She walked to the back of the room where there were small bookshelves lined with small textbooks with black covers and piles of dark green exercise books in a cardboard box. From here I could see that the title of the textbook was either ‘The Law of Werewolves 1', ‘The Laws of Werewolves 2' or ‘Werewolves in Society'. Around me, everyone was opening their copy of ‘The Laws of Werewolves 1' and beginning the work. I noticed that no one dared laze around or interact with the person beside him, not even Don.
Miss Lyson brought me a copy of the textbook and told me, "There's a glossary at the back if you don't understand a word."
She briskly walked to the front of the classroom and sat at her desk. She picked up a thick hardback book called ‘Four Shades of Grey' and began to read.
I opened the textbook and flicked through to the introduction. Presently I began to read.
Werewolf Law is a subject of great importance to any child of the moon. It is not only essential to know the thirteen Rules of Conduct, but to understand the reasons the laws were created and how they may be interpreted in a Lupine Law Court. In this textbook, ten of the laws will be covered and analysed in detail, and examples of the application of each will be given. The sequel, a highly recommended read for those intending to work in a Lupine Law Court covers the remaining three laws, the full history of the Thirteen Rules, the punishments for breaking the laws and how they have evolved, and how to apply the laws in a modern day context.
The laws, in order of passing, are:
i) No wolf may hunt on another's territory.
ii) No wolf may be a wolf within a one mile radius of humans who are not children of the moon, unless in a forest or on its own private land, unless a pregnant female.
iii) No female who has mated with an Alpha may mate with any other soul.
iv) No werewolf may mate with a non-human wolf.
v) No wolf may eat a deceased wolf.
vi) No wolf may kill another (whether that wolf be child of the moon or beast), or hurt it outside of play-fighting and hunting practice.
vii) No lone wolf may be attacked by its previous pack.
viii) No wolf cub may be abandoned in the wilderness or mistreated by its parents.
ix) No wolf may wound a human (unless to create a child of the moon) or kill one, whether in human form or lupine form.
x) No wolf may hunt in a manner which rids its territory or brings about the starvation of another species.
xi) No wolf may hunt in a manner which endangers a species.
xii) No wolf may discriminate against another; every wolf should treat its fellows with respect.
xiii) No Alpha may abuse his pack of his authority over it.
And that was the end of the introduction. I was surprised by the third law - I wondered what could be the harm in mating other werewolves if you'd mated with the Alpha. Divorce happened all the time in human society, as well as mothers having children before marriage and finding other men while bringing their kids up alone. I hoped it wasn't some unfair law which resulted from a negative view on women though it awfully sounded that way. I was also stunned by the fact that the law about the Alpha abusing his pack had been the last law to be introduced. How long might Alphas have been terrorising the wolves beneath them? Thank goodness someone had thought of it at some point.
I glanced at a clock hanging on a wall behind Miss Lyson's desk. It was twenty to twelve.
I decided to write the laws down in the notepad I had brought with me, so that I could always have them close at hand to check my actions, and partly because I thought they were interesting enough to think about from time to time. While I was copying them out, I felt Miss Lyson's eyes on me. I glanced up to see a smile of approval on her face - I had apparently impressed her. I returned to writing happy that she thought well of me.
When I had finished and put away my notepad, it was five to twelve. I reckoned I might as well continue reading the textbook - if I cam here, I'd have a lot to catch up on. And admittedly Werewolf Law sounded an interesting subject. I didn't mind reading non-fiction as long as the topic didn't bore, disgust or annoy me and I found learning new things fun.
Chapter 1: The first law
Section 1.1 - History
In the 17th century, before any laws were created, wolves did as they pleased. They roamed the forests freely, hunting whenever they felt like it, killing each other without mercy - often over petty things like eating a dead animal when the other wolf wanted it. The first law (‘No wolf may hunt on another's territory') was passed for two reasons:
1) To prevent the extinction of the best prey in an area marked by a pack as its territory
2) To limit the ‘wolf wars' raging in certain forests (Note: the term ‘hunt' in the law also applied to fellow werewolves'.
There was a general positive reaction to this law: many packs in the country were peaceful and didn't want trouble, and even the wolves who had invaded other territories agreed to follow it. In fact, the vast majority of wolves liked the idea of keeping to one area. That area would be theirs and theirs alone, and they would be able to hunt how they liked it. There was opposition, however, from wolves who thought that wolves were wild creatures, not a species that ought to follow rules like a human. Indeed, a common view at the time was that werewolves were superior to humans, though ironically no wolf ventured into a town or city for fear of being slain.
The wolves who broke the law were killed by the pack whose territory they invaded and if the pack was too great to win a battle against, the Werewolf Council sent out assassins to put an end to the criminal behaviour.
Key words for this section:
wolf - the common abbreviation of the word ‘werewolf', meaning ‘man-wolf'.
Where it is unclear if the term refers to the animal or the supernatural creature, look for the words ‘beast' or ‘child of the moon' (the former meaning the animal and the latter meaning the supernatural creature).
territory - the land ‘owned' by a pack of werewolves, or in some cases a lone wolf.
marked - usually by filling the area, or entrances to the area, with the pack's scent (individual to each pack)
‘wolf wars' - battles between packs or individuals from different packs
assassins - wolves privately hired out by the Werewolf Council to enforce Werewolf Law during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They are depicted as coal-black wolves in art, with eyes of black fire and pointed ears. It should be noted that these were not true depictions: an assassin resembles an ordinary werewolf.
The Werewolf Council - the governing body for wolves living in England, Scotland and Wales.
There were two summary questions on the right-hand side of the section (the section being a double page), and these were ‘Why was the first law created?' and ‘Why did some wolves oppose it?'
I pulled out my notepad and was about to answer them when Miss Lyson appeared in front of me smiling so widely that her features were quite softened.
"Would you like an exercise book?" she asked kindly. "You could keep it as a reminder of today if you don't join Lupin Scuela - thought I must tell you that you seem to have the making of a fine Moon Child Law student.
I flushed in pleasure.
Beside me I noticed Dave smiling.
As Miss Lyson fetched an exercise book, he murmured, "You've made a good impression there."
"Thanks," I replied quietly.
Dave inclined his head before returning to his work.
Miss Lyson handed me the fir-tree coloured A4 exercise book and walked back to her desk, the hints of a spring in her step.
I wrote my name on the book and ‘Moon Child Law', and turned to the first page on which I wrote the short date, a title of ‘page 3, Section 1.1 Summary Questions' and my answers to the questions.