One moon cycle after the dogs had left, deep within the autumn season, Nanu and I rested in the den one sun, when the moon was low in the sky. The dark days that had usually come in winter had been late that year, and we had just hunted a calf a little ways north, so we had no desire to step out of the den. But, the feeling in the air was strange.

Nanu looked at me, his yellow eyes peering into mine like he searched for an answer to some question. Though, at nearly three winters old, instinct told me what the question was. My kind had repeated this cycle for thousands of years, for the sense of instinct within our hearts was deeper than any other instinct. I knew that everything I lived for, food, shelter, even warmth, was for this purpose. And Nanu knew it too.

He started bringing me portions of his kills as I slept during the day. I thought it was strange at first, but somewhere deep inside I knew what he was doing. The flesh was always the most tender, and nutritious part of the carcass. It was always freshly killed, with the fur licked off. He would hunt for me, bringing me back whatever I needed. Nanu also unconsciously kept watch over me, taking care not to let any other wolf in sight. Even coyotes stayed away.

I responded by consuming all that he gave me, not leaving any trace. When he looked at me, I would look back in the same way. When he smelled my fur, I would lick his muzzle. I knew he was inviting me, even in the most cautious and respectful way. And, I was inviting him as well.

"Aniu, there is something I must ask you," he said to me one evening. I looked at him, my warm breath showing against the brisk air. I caught a hint of his musky smell at each intake. I rolled over on my back, stretching my white paws into the air.

"Yes, Nanu," I answered, already knowing the question. He put his huge forepaw on top of my ear, pinning it to the ground. He ran his tongue across my jaw, closing his yellow eyes for an instant. I closed my, too, savoring the sweet moment. The intimate touch between us seemed to bind our souls together. I felt my heart swell with overwhelming love.

"I love you, white wolf," he said to me, raising his tail. I made a wolfish grin, wrapping my paws around his neck and licking his snout. I showed my front teeth playfully, keeping my ears relaxed and my tail flat to the ground.

"I love you too, black wolf."

As the cool air seemed to speak outside, the great spirits above exploded from the heavens and Nanu and I lay in the den. The cloudless night showed the universe in its most beautiful way behind the blanket of the aurora. And seemingly, with only a minute or two in its passing, an eagle cawed in the distance.