I and my brothers…We live in forest called Katyn. And many others live with us. But we are different from other wolves. Our blood is true Katyn blood. Others come from Siberia. Well, it doesn’t matter. All of us are wolves and trying to survive a famine. The wind is getting colder and colder. Winter is on the way. We should go and hunt, but not with foxes. I should not say this, but I hate when they come with us and do nothing. And then we have to divide our meat with them! I don’t get it, why is our leader letting them eat our food? My mind was full anger. Then I saw my brother. They usually call him Zus. He looked at me with his shiny blue eyes and said:
“Are you coming with us?”
I replied: “To hunt?”
“Do they join us again?”
“Who are they?”
“Lev, how many times do I have to tell you? Stop hating them. They are smart and powerful. And they are part of us.
“No they are not. They just eat our food and do nothing.”
“At least they are saving us from the bears.”
I turned around because I didn’t want to listen to him.
Lev, listen to me carefully. Do not bring up this subject again. I can’t risk my whole family for your selfish ideas. Now let’s go. We have work to do.
I was really angry but I followed my brother. After walking awhile I saw a bunch of wolves and foxes were waiting for us. Our leader was talking to one fox. Then he saw us and said:
“Where were you guys?”
Zus replied: “I am so sorry Lazar. I had to find my brother.”
Lazar gave me a careful look and said: “Look at him. He is growing really fast.”
The fox turned around and started to stare at me. Zus replied: “Yes, he is. Now, should we proceed?
Fox: “What’s your name boy?”
I gave him a cold look and said:
“It is Liev. But they call me Lev.”
“What a wonderful name. Do you know my name? My name is Lahr.”
Zus: “Nice to meet you Lahr. Now maybe we should go on before all the deer run away?!”
Lazar: “Yes, we should go Lahr. Enough chatting.”
I didn’t say anything. Lahr knew that I didn’t like him. We hunted three deer. Foxes were waiting for us. Lahr and the other foxes got two of them, but we only caught one. Lazar was kind of mad but he didn’t say anything. Zus looked at me and said:
“Lev, it’s been a long time that we haven’t hung out. Let’s go to that famous cave.”
“The one where each person gives philosophical speeches and the best one gets rabbit meat?”
“Yes, that one. Maybe we can get some of that meat.”
“Or listen to good speeches!”
“Ha, ha, ha Lev, you sound like my grandpa.”
We went to the cave. It was huge and smelled like rabbit meat. There were a few wolves eating rabbit meat. My brother tapped my back and said:
“Here you can offer your ideas.”
“The one you told me this morning.”
“But, you said…”
“I know what I said. You are free in here. You can say whatever you want.”
Zus turned around and said: “Wolves, Lev has a speech for you guys.”
But nobody was listening. Everybody was busy by eating their meat.
“Dear wolves… as you know…this forest is special for us. We hunt to survive…”
Still nobody was listening…
“Why is nobody listening?” I yelled “What, this forest is not important to you?! Look at yourselves, trying to give a good speech just to earn rabbit meat. If foxes were not taking our food, you were not have to do this. Look around, what are we hunting for…to feed foxes?”
Everyone stopped what they were doing. They were staring at me carefully.
I continued: “We are not as foolish as they think. They are not saving us from bears. We are the strongest ones and we are the ones who own this forest. We should not divide our food with them. They don’t deserve it. Stand up for yourselves and for your brothers who are dying of hunger.”
Finally, I was feeling free, but the words were making me sweaty. Why I was afraid?! I shouldn’t have fear. So I looked at them with serious eyes. Everyone felt proud and howled. The owner of the cave gave me two pieces of fresh rabbit meat and said:
“Tomorrow, come again.”
I did the same speech over and over. The cave was full of foxes, wolves and bears. All the foxes left while I was talking so I went on and said: “The foxes are the most useless things in this world. But bears don’t know how to open their eyes and see it.” I pointed my finger at the bears and said: “The foxes are leading you. You bears have no brains. Instead you follow that little cowardly thing.” All the bears stood up and tried to kill me. But other wolves protected me from them. They left the cave and never came back. Now only wolves were coming to listen. The next day our leader Lazar and fox leader Lahr came to listen to me. I didn’t change my words. I saw surprise on Lazar and Lahr’s face but I kept going. After I finished my speech, Lahr looked at me full of anger and said: “Shame on you! We are saving you from hunger and from bears. And this is how you respond? Traitor!”
I replied: “No. We are saving you from hunger. And you have no right to call me traitor. You are not the master of me.”
Lazar: “That’s enough! Lev, I want you to leave the camp for a while. Gather your thoughts and don’t come back with these ideas.”
Lev: “But Lazar!”
Lazar: “I said enough! Go before I change my mind.”
I couldn’t say anything. So I left the cave and walked away from camp. While I was leaving somebody shouted my name.
I turned around and it was Zus and his friend Biel.
Zus: “Lev, here…take this rabbit. You will need it.”
Lev: “Thank you brother.”
Biel: “Don’t worry Lev. We will not let the foxes lead us.”
I smiled and went away. I found a good place to live for a while. One winter passed and I thought about going back. Yes, I’d spent long enough in exile. I should definitely go back.
I came back to the camp and everybody started to stare at me. Zus and all the other wolves were really happy.
“Ha! Brother! Its good to see you”
“Yes brother. It has been a long time.”
“Lev, since you left the camp, a lot of things have changed.”
“Lazar died. Now Lahr is leading us.”
“Holy moon! How can this be possible?!”
“Even worse is that now we have new rules from Lahr. Such as we can go hunting, but only the ones who are dying from hunger can eat the meat.”
I couldn’t believe it. I went to the same special cave. And many other wolves followed me. I didn’t go in because it was too small for my crowd. I jumped on the nearest rock and said:
“Dear brothers and sisters… As you know, I was not here for a while. If I had been, believe me I would never have let Lehr lead you. We are stronger than them. If we get together and attack them as one , we will get more food and there will be rules which will serve only our own good. So who is with me?”
Every wolf cried out:
Everybody understood what had happened in the past. So they started to attack all the foxes. We killed them full of vengeance. I was trying to find Lehr. Yes, there he is. I run and jump on him. He was crying but it didn’t touch my feelings. I bit his neck and he gave up his life in seconds. Every fox saw me, so they stopped fighting back and ran away. All the wolves looked at me and howled really loud.
After the foxes left, good days came back. Every child was happy. A lot of wolves were coming from other forests. Finally, every wolf was not hungry. Now, I was the leader. But I was leading the camp with my brother Zus. I married one Siberian wolf named Ava. Every male wolf was really proud of me as a leader, so we decided to make a disciplined military. I chose Biel as our wolf general.
We had no famine, no fighting and no unfair justice. Many years passed and my brother Zus died. So we made a big funeral for him. At the end of that day Biel brought a report from outside of our forest. The bears and foxes had joined together, and were marching toward us. I was sure that they intended to make war on us. What should I do now? I wished my brother was here.
I looked at Biel and said: “Biel, gather the wolves. We have to get ready for war.”
Biel replied: “Ok, Lev.”
I went out and every wolf was standing in one line. Before I saw them, I thought I should give up. But their eyes gave me the belief that I would not lose this war. They may be strong but we have good strategies.
They, the foxes and bears came to our forest. The war went badly for us. My wolves were fighting to defend their families. But everybody was dying. I called Biel. He came to me with blood on his head. I looked into his eyes and there was no hope in them.
I said: “Biel, tell the female and baby wolves to run away.”
He looked down and said: “All of them are already dead, Lev.”
I couldn’t speak. Did Ava die too?! All my hope was gone now. Zus, where are you?! Why did you leave me alone? If you had been here, I am sure that we would have won this war.
I saw Biel attacking one bear. But this bear smashed-in his head with one fist. I looked around and foxes were watching the bears kill us. I could run away but I didn’t because how would I explain that to Zus in the afterlife? So I turned to attack one bear. But I couldn’t hit him. The bear grabbed my leg and threw me far away from him. I was really hurt. Then I watched as a lot of foxes made a tight circle around me and started to take revenge for their old leader Lehr.
by Jennet Kurbandurdyyeva