Cold World, Red Snow

Shongind M8lsem

"Natures tendency is always towards balance: when the world is cold, the will is warm"

Alaska, one of the few remaining states in the United States of America where one can find the marvelous creatures known to many as Canus Lupus. More commonly known to even more, as Wolves.

Ah yes, wolves. What comes to mind when the word is mentioned? Carnivorous, flesh eating, man hunting monsters that will attack upon sight? Perhaps...but this would not be correct. Yes, wolves are carnivorous. Yes, wolves live off of flesh. No...They do not hunt man.

Another stereotype, are wolves killing off the caribou? No, hunters are. But they don't know that, their too blind to realize it. Oh, but they've come up with their own solution. Very simple really, why not kill off all the wolves? They do, after all, have the Alaskan governor's permission. Who cares if the rest of the Alaskan people don't want the wolves killed? Who cares if there's been a great many petitions sent in to stop the slaughter? They don't care, oh no, not them.

But what about the wolves? I'm sure you don't yet realize, but the hunters are not only killing males. No, their also killing mothers, pups, entire packs.

Let's shoot them from a plane! Or even better, lets chase them down in the plane, and then shoot them!

Bad ideas, I think. So now let us try to imagine what it would be like to be the wolves. Let us try to imagine what would go through our minds, if our family was killed before our eyes, if we were killed without a chance? Let us imagine...

"You just watch! I'm gonna be the leader some day!" came the joyous, playful voice exclaimed. The voice came from a pup, no more than a month old in age, with a pure white coat of fur, matching the snow around them perfectly. Her bright green eyes shown dazzlingly as she held her head high in pride.

"Nuh-uh Inaki!" came a second, hoarser voice, still filled with the playful tone. This voice emanated from the vocals of a light brown pup, the same age as the other. His deep, chocolate brown eyes stared determinedly at his sister, "I am!"

"Oh yea Davu? Who says!?" A third voice, another female. This one was black, as black as coal, with green eyes to match her sister's.

"Yea Davu!" And the fourth voice, the second male. Looking identical to the first, indicating that they were perhaps twins.

"Because," Davu replied, looking to his litter mates, lifting his chin in an attempt to make himself look more important. "I called it."

"I called it FIRST Davu!" Shouted Inaki, looking to her sister for support, "Right, Shiska? You heard me, didn't you?"

"Yea," Shiska replied, sitting down in the snow and squaring her gaze on Davu, "And so did Kritan." She glanced to the other male then, returning her gaze back to Davu a moment after. "So THERE Davu!"

"You can't be the leader Inaki." Davu said matter of factly.

"And why not Davu?" Inaki demanded, narrowing her gaze in a childish glare.

"Becauuseee," Davu drawled out, "Youur a giiirrl..." And he stuck out his small pink tongue for a moment.

"Hey!!" Inaki shouted out, getting to her feet and squaring her paws, "That's not FAIR Davu!!" And she ran at him, tackling him in a ploom of pure white snow.

Shiska and Kritan stayed sitting where they were, choosing not to get too deep into the brawl between their littermates.

"I WILL be the leader Davu!"

"Will not!"

"Will TOO!"

"Will not! Will not! Will not!!!"

"Will too! Will too! WILL T-!"

"Both of you, stop fighting!" The brawl stopped immediately, leaving the two pups sitting side by side, ears down to the side, and gaze directed at the ground.

"Yes mother..." Inaki uttered. Davu simply nodded, glaring at the ground, angry that the fight had been interrupted before he could win.

"Good, now its time to rest." The mother of the four pups stated, smiling down to the four. She, too, was pure white in color, also with bright green eyes. It was apparent that Inaki took after her.

There was a unanimous groan from the pups, followed by, 'We're not tiiired!' 'Can't we stay up, just this once?' and other such complaints. It wasn't technically 'night', though at this time of year in Alaska it was during 'The time of Darkness' as the wolves called it. This simply referred to the time when the sun of Alaska was below the horizon, and wouldn't rise for many months to come.

There would be another time, later on, when the pups and the two parents went down into the den to sleep. But this was only a short nap that the mother had gotten into the habit of making the pups take. Only of lately though, they needed all the energy they could muster.

'In case we have to run,' the mother, Sasaki, reminded herself as she settled down the four pups in a small area of indented snow. She nuzzled each one carefully, telling herself that for all she may be the last time she would have a chance to do so.

Some would call Sasaki paranoid, but not if they knew the whole story.

She turned to look at her mate, the father of the four pups, and alpha of their abnormally small, one family, pack. "Their asleep," She said softly, receiving a nod from the father.

"Kakan..." She started, glancing to the pups, "Have you heard anything?"

The male was large, as any adult male wolf would be. His fur was a mixture of brown and black fur, his eyes a deep earthy brown. "No..." he replied, stepping towards his mate, and licking at her muzzle lightly. "Sasaki...there was nobody in the other areas."

The white female stared skeptically at Kakan, sitting down heavily and staring ahead, "Then...their all gone." She turned her green gaze up to meet the earthy brown, "And...and we might be next."

"Sasaki," He sat beside the female, "Don't think like that, you have to be strong." He nudged at her muzzle with his own, turning her head up lightly, "For the pups. If you act like there's no hope, then they'll think that. Let them be pups, for as long as they can." He held her gaze.

"Don't you see?" Sasaki stared into her mate's eyes sternly, "It's inevitable. We can't fight them. Their hunters, Kakan. They have those-those monstrous things." She turned her gaze back down, then up a moment, "I'm going to lie down, with the pups" And she stood, turning and doing so. She curled herself around the four, laying her head on her front paws.

Kakan sighed, watching the female for a moment, and turning his gaze across the dark horizon. He'd keep guard for now, later on when they all slept, he'd sleep as well. But only when they were in the den, safe.

Inaki had lain awake, nestled in the center of her three littermates, and had listened to her parents. What they scared her. What had they been talking about? Where were the others? And what were hunters?

She fought her eyelids, refusing to let them close, scared that if she did she would miss something important. But alas, it wasn't long before she could no longer keep up the battle, and she too drifted off to sleep.

"Wake up, pups, wake up quickly." The voice of Sasaki was urgent, her nuzzling hurried, her eyes nervous, and frightened.

"Is there food?" Davu asked, quickly sitting up and looking eagerly about, not noticing his mothers tone "Is it time to eat?"

Shiska and Kritan woke up with a yawn, neither acting excited at the idea of food, nor picking up on their mother's nervous gestures. Then they spotted their father, standing not far away from the five, the fur on the back of his neck ruffled, his lip peeled back to reveal the ivory canines hidden beneath, and a low, steady growl emitting from his vocals.

"What's going on?" Shiska was the first to ask, Kritan's ears falling to the sides as he started to become nervous.

Davu also notices Kakan, looking from his father to his mother, but saying nothing.

"Mother?" Inaki questioned softly, "What's wrong?"

Sasaki replied to neither questions, she only stopped, perking her ears for a brief moment, looking to Kakan, and then back to the pups. "Come now, quickly. We must go back to the den." She began to nudge the four into motion, "Come on, run. We've gotta be quick."

Kakan waited for a moment, glancing back at his family to make sure they were getting on their way. He stayed put, ears perked forward, and listening. He'd keep watch for his family; make sure they knew when to pick up the pace.

A sound started, far off in the distance, coming closer. It was a low humming buzz; they'd never heard it before. But they'd heard stories...oh yes...they'd heard all the stories.

Kakan turned quickly, facing the five that had paused at the sound, "What are you stopping for?" he questioned, eyes wide, "Run!"

Sasaki quickly turned, nudging the four once more, "Quickly, hurry now! All of you, back to the den!"

"Mother what is it? You're frightening me!" Shiska said, running as she was pushed into motion.

"Don't talk, just keep running!" Sasaki ordered, following after, trusting that Kakan was right behind.

The humming got louder, closer, more ominous.

Then it came, a sound like thunder cutting through the air, followed by an echoing bang.

Sasaki froze turning and throwing her head back to look for her mate. But he was down, lying in the snow, the pure white fading into crimson around him. "Kakan!!" She shrieked, her voice cracking terribly as a sob threatened to take over. But she couldn't stop, she had to keep them going. She turned her terrified gaze on her pups, "Keep running!!"

The four pups, terrified, turned and obeyed immediately. Inaki was at the lead, followed by Shiska and Kritan, with Davu trailing in last.

It came again, cutting through the air, and echoing afterward.

The pups all stopped, turning to look back. Their mother was down, lying in a crumpled heap in the snow, surrounded by crimson.

"Mother!" came the cry of Shiska, she was the first to go back. Kritan whimpered, running after her. And Davu, too terrified to think of anything else, followed as well.

Inaki was too frightened to move, she stood there, staring, green eyes wide in fear, in terror.

It cut through the air again, the thunder, echoing all around.

Inaki let out a cry, throwing herself into the snow, pinning her ears to her head, and closing her eyes tightly. She stayed like that, trembling in terror. Who had fallen that time? Which of her siblings?

Another crash, slicing through the air around them, echoing off the snow.

Who then?

And again, the slicing of the thundering boom, the echoing of the aftermath.

'This is it,' was all that Inaki could think, 'This is it.'

"It's inevitable. We can't fight them!"

'Mother,' the pup thought, 'Father!' tears leaked from out of the corner of her eyes, soaking the fur on the side of her face, dripping onto the snow beside her head. 'Davu Shiska Kritan!'

She was next, she knew it. She had to be next. It was over, everything was over. Her life was over.

But the sound of the humming went over, by, and faded out into the distance. She kept her eyes closed, she didn't move, she trembled.

She was scared, oh god was she scared.

Warm, something was warm, touching her nose. She opened her eyes, her gaze coming into contact with the sight of crimson snow. She immediately sat up, she knew what that was. She had seen it before, when Davu had bitten her. It was blood, and it was everywhere!

Inaki backed up, away from the crimson, away from the bodies of her lost family, away from her lost life. She knew they were dead, they weren't moving, they'd said nothing. And there was blood, so much blood!

Inaki stood there, frozen in her place. The world was cold, it was so cold. And the snow was red!

"No..." She uttered feebly, shaking her head and backing up, ears pinned, tail drooping, "It's not right!" She turned.

She turned and she ran. Ran as fast as she could. Ran as far as she could. She couldn't stop, wouldn't stop.

Cold, it was so cold!

Cold world, she thought.

She thought, Red snow, Red!

For more information on the shooting of Alaskan wolves, visit the first website located in my user profile

Also, to get involved in other environmental problems involving wolves and other species, visit the second website located in my user profile

We can save them, You can help.