I was born during a full moon, along with my two brothers. The three of us were born in the River-wood pack, a wolf pack that was 10 wolves strong. The pack had a vast territory; from the plains to the west and the pinewoods in the north to the raging streams in the south and the sea in the east.
The pack travelled as the prey did, tracking them down and staying at dens that could sustain a wolf pack of this size. Since mother was heavy with cubs, the pack had gathered near the edge between the plains and the pinewoods. Here was the pack’s birthing den, a place where young cubs were save from other predators and where the pack could find easy prey.
Mother gave birth to 3 cubs; my older brother, my younger brother and me. By pack custom, we would get a name when we survived the first 2 months of our life. Before that time, we stayed in the den, being nurtured by mother and seeing no other wolf except her and my siblings.
When two moons had passed, Mother called us at the entrance off the den.
“Today you will be introduced to the pack.” Mother laughed while she said, “ You’ve had 2 moons to learn the pack scent, and I have thought you how to react to each individual in the pack.”
I turned my ears back against my head while thinking back to those lessons. When our eyes first opened, Mother left us alone from time to time, and she came back covered in the scent of one of our pack members. When we tried to greet her, she would act as that member and thought us how to approach that member and how the would react to us.
This could be a friendly and playful reaction, like when we would meet Keeran, the elder wolf. When Mother was covered in the sent of Zuko, our father and pack leader, she would grab our snout and force us into submission. Only when we showed our weakest parts, like our belly and troth, she would let us go. It didn’t make me look forward to finally meet father.
“Scared, Sister?” I growled at my younger brother. Being the lastborn, he was smaller and leaner then me and my older brother. He had a wolf brown fur with a shade of black around his neck and back. I curled my lip and showed him my teeth as his fur stood up. We never liked each other, probably because he always would find a way to embarrass me in front of everyone, or he tried to put the blame on me. My lip curled even higher when I could see that he was ready to charge at me.
Mother’s growl reminded us that we were not alone and that she was watching us. “I know you don’t like each other, but behave your self’s! “ Both of us lay down as fast as we could while putting our tails between our legs. I felt the soft sand off the den pushing against my stomach and sneezed because of the dust that flew up. It smelled like old leaves, milk and family, but I wasn’t distracted enough to forget Mother. I looked at mother, hoping that she wouldn’t be too angry and was surprised to see her smiling. “Well, at least some of my lessons are remembered by the two of you.” She walked to us and gave me a nudge with her nose.
“You don’t need to like each other, you can even ignore each other most of the time.” She looked at me while saying “ But as a member of the pack, you’ll have to work together for the hunt and to protect the pack’s grounds.”
She turned over to my younger brother and lowered her head to look him in the eyes. “ So it is demanded from both of you that you respect your siblings thoughts and that that you respect each other, no matter how much you disagree or hate each other”.
We stood up slowly while licking at her snout, hoping to calm and pleas her. After a few licks, she stood up and walked back to the entrance of the den.
While mother’s back was turned, my younger brother showed his teeth at me and shook his fur to clean the sand of it. Before I could react my older brother ran to me and placed his front paws on my back. “ Do you really have to look for trouble again Sis?” He rolled me on my back, backed off and leant on his front legs while putting his back up, inviting me to play. “ This kind of trouble is boring, you know? Trouble is only good when you ‘ve had some fun!”
I grinned at my brother and barked when he jumped me. After a few seconds wrestling, we could hear the pack gathering in front of the den. Both of us were wagging our tails when we could hear and smell the pack a few meters away from us. I looked at my older sibling from the corner off my eye. He always knew how to cheer me up and how to break the tension with my younger sibling. The pair of us were always together, playing, drinking or sleeping. And today, we would meet the pack as a team.