Dec 08, 2023
Dec 08, 2023
by Karishma V.M
The young wolf padded slowly down the path, a few meters behind his pack. The alpha male led them deep into the jungle, followed closely by his mate, then by the rest in the hierarchy. Overhead, the full moon glowed like a pearl in the sky, its pale beam of light illumining their way. A few moments later, they came to a crossroads and stopped. The road branched off in two directions. The leader bent his head low and sniffed the ground, assessing the situation. Finally, guided by a primordial sense, he took the path on the right. The rest of the pack followed, taking the path that scores of other wolf packs had taken before them.
The youngster at the back hesitated. He waited till the others had gone ahead. Then, when he was sure that they had made sufficient progress, he turned left.
He stood at the entrance of the path, which snaked into the distance. Moonlight struggled to penetrate the dense canopy of trees that grew on the sides of this trail, giving it the impression of a long, unending tunnel. Thin shafts of light that managed to come through cast the path in an eerie glow. The path felt unfamiliar, yet strangely comforting. The thought about reaching the other end of the track and making new discoveries beckoned to him.
He stood for a moment, his keen sense of hearing alert, for any sounds of danger that may be lurking in the shadows. So far, there was nothing. With a last look into the distance, he made a decision and stepped into the unknown. There was no turning back. He pushed all other thoughts away from his mind and focused on what lay ahead. He had just taken up his calling.
After days of battling hunger, pain, the various elements of nature and the temptation to give up, he finally emerged on the other side of the trail, into a clearing, wounded and half-starved but still in one piece. The journey had been hazardous and taxing. The forces of nature tested not only his physical and mental strength, but also that of his spirit. More than once, he had been on the verge of giving up. He realized then that survival without the pack was almost impossible. Throughout the journey, he was often reminded of how protected he had been in that pack, safe with his brothers and sisters. Together, they had hunted down prey and fought off predators. But he had just won a battle on his own.
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