First Bond


By Sharon, 2003



Runningwolf was bored.  He was tired of playing with the younger cubs, and the older cubs had been allowed to go on a hunt with the pack.  At nine seasons, he was too young to be allowed to join the pack's hunts.  He sighed then brightened.  He was allowed to hunt small prey around the holt.  He got his bow and arrows and went looking for his mother.  He found her working a bear hide with the other tribal tanner.  "Hello Mother.  Can I go hunting?" the cub asked.

     "Yes, but stay close to the holt," his mother smiled.
     "Okay, I'll be back before dark," Runningwolf promised.  He waved and headed for a game trail that lies to the west.

     His father, a tribal scout, had taught him how to track.  Runningwolf had become quite good at tracking small prey.  He studied the trail and found fresh signs of what promised to be a large ravvit.  Runningwolf started following the tracks.  He came to a spot where the animal had hidden, then run away.  The cub was determined to bring down his prey and prepared to follow the tracks.  He sensed movement and caught a glimpse of a gray flash.  The hair on the back of his neck prickled.  He felt like he was being watched.  He made his way over to the spot he'd sensed the movement from.  He found wolf tracks.  Now he knew what had spooked the ravvit.

     Runningwolf began to feel rather than hear the sound.  It was like the beating of a heart and the rushing of blood.  A strange song echoed in his own blood.
     A  young she-wolf stepped out of the brush and regarded him with bright amber eyes.  She glided up to the silent cub and touched her nose to his hand.  The song in his blood reached a crescendo.  **Summerwind, my friend.** the wolf sent.

     **Runningwolf.  Friend?**

     The wolf nudged the cub toward her back, **Come, show.**  Runningwolf mounted Summerwind and they loped to the North.  Summerwind ran for some time before coming to a burned spot on the ground.  She stopped and sent, **Down, five-fingers.**

     The cub slid down, alarmed.  He'd never seen a Human, but knew they were bad news to the elves.  He scented the air and could detect a faint, strange odor, ashes and the smell of blood.  He saw what they must have used for a fire and went to it.  He moved slowly outward, finding four sets of tracks.
     He motioned to his new bond, **We track the Humans then warn my pack.**

     The cub mounted the wolf and they followed the tracks to the Northwest.  The strange odor got a little stronger.
     Summerwind's ears pricked up, **Hide.** She came to a stop and melted silently into the trees along the path.  Runningwolf froze, almost holding his breath.  Now he could hear what Summerwind had.  Thrashing along the trail and odd voices.  The strange odor became overpowering.  The hair on Summerwind's back stiffened, but she remained silent.  Runningwolf wanted to see the Humans but was too frightened to move.

     Soon the sounds moved away, and the odor faded.  The wolf's fur smoothed, **Go home.  Warn pack.**  Runningwolf held on tight as Summerwind ran back to the holt.  When they got back, Runningwolf dismounted and went looking for Standstall, the Chief.

     The Chief listened impatiently as Runningwolf told his story.  "Why should I believe you, cub?"
     Runningwolf was dismayed.  He was not known to be a prankster, or a liar.  Then Summerwind growled at the chief and sent, **Cub tell truth.  Five-fingers hunt this territory.**
     The Chief sat up, "You've seen them hunting around here too?  Then they don't know we're here yet.  I'll send out the scouts.  Runningwolf, I'll need you to lead the scouts to the place you first found the prints.

     The hunting party returned after a successful hunt.  The scouts were called to speak to the Standstall.  The next morning, Runningwolf and Summerwind lead the scouts to the campsite the Humans had used.  He then wished them luck and went home.