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Friendship Teens & Young Adult Fiction

An Unusual Pair

They are an unusual pair. One flies high and with his acute vision can spot food that even some of those on the ground might not see. The other doesn’t rely so much on his eyes – nose first, ears second and eyes third. And yet, despite their differences, they get along just fine. The one provides food without trying to, which the other steals and always get away with it.

           The wolf isn’t selfish enough to care about losing a little food. He has enough to eat with each kill. The raven is the thief of the pair, always glad of the wolf’s skills in hunting. The first time they met, the wolf emitted a light snarl, but gradually he just got used to the non-threatening presence of the black-feathered bird.

           The bird knows to keep a little safe distance, but feels no real fear in the close presence of the furry mammal.

The Beginning of the Big Event

           It is a cool, slightly windy day early in the fall. Although the raven sees much more than he ever hears, on this day his hearing repeatedly startles him with several sharp messages that it is receiving, loud and short, loud and short. The raven recognizes the sound and has good reason to fear it. Once the maker of the sound took out one of his brothers, another time his mate. He realizes that it is a sound that should lead to him move suddenly, and quickly higher. Not far, just suddenly and quickly

           The raven knows that one of the two-legged, non-winged creatures is in the woods. He has to decide soon to either soar or hide. He chooses soaring, as high as he feels comfortable with.

Meanwhile on the Ground

Meanwhile on the ground the wolf is hunting. He smells prey, maybe several prey nearby. There are deer about. He is sure of it. His nose directs him to where he should go. The wolf stalks carefully, the smell of deer getting stronger, ever stronger. Now he can see it. There is one deer, a buck. The prey is pretty much surrounded by bushes, so would have few choices as to where he could run from his stalker. As it is, he is chowing down on some chewy leaves, so he is not at his most aware. The wolf is happy about that. It will make his success that much easier.

Then he hears it, a very loud sound that he has only heard a few times before, but never so close as now. His intended prey falls to the ground. It isn’t long before the wolf can smell blood. He doesn’t know whether he should move ahead, stand still or turn bushy tail and run. He decides to stand still as he is partially surrounded by bushes, not eaily seen.

Then he sees the creature that created the sound, severely wounding the now quickly dying deer. The long, branch-like device that is in the creature’s hands is the sound-maker and killer. The wolf knows that he has to remain standing motionless and quiet, not do anything that will draw the attention of the creature with its killing stick.

The Man

The exciting part of the hunt is over. It has been easy, almost too easy in his point of view. Now he will have to endure the part of the hunt that he doesn’t much like – the cutting. He will get himself all covered blood, which will be difficult to wash out of his expensive new hunting outfit.

           He likes the meat, and the positive response from his kids, but not his wife, when he brings home wild food. This one doesn’t have much of a rack of antlers, so he probably won’t be taking it home with him. It would impress no one.

           He looks around to see whether there are other deer besides the one that he has killed. Then he sees something. It is fairly well-hidden, but it still can be seen with what he often refers to as his ‘well-trained eyes’. It is a wolf, probably a male, judging by its size. And it is within easy killing range. This could make this particular hunt something to brag about to his buddies at the bar at their weekly get-together-brag-and-drink session this Saturday night. He will cut off the wolf’s tail, and impress the crowd with its bushy fullness. It might even earn him a few free drinks. He walks slowly, quietly forward, small step by small step. His intended victim isn’t moving. Good!. It will be an easy shot, and an easy kill.

From the Sky

Still high up in the sky, the raven is flying in wide circles. He can see everything now, everything that matters. There is the bloody deer, the hiding wolf and the creature with the killing stick. It comes to his perceptive mind that another killing might soon take place. The creature with the loud killing stick is going to try to kill the wolf. The raven does not want that to happen. The wolf is a good provider, one that is no great threat to him, no threat at all. So what can he do about it?

           He has an idea. The creature is not aware of his presence, as it is facing in the opposite direction. So the raven rises up and then goes into a deep dive. Faster and faster he flies. The creature lifts his killing stick up and points it directly at the wolf. But before he can take complete aim and fire, the raven extends its sharp talons and strikes him on his trigger hand, causing him to drop the weapon suddenly, firing into the dirt.

           The hunter looks at his hand in shock. He is bleeding rather profusely over his new shirt and pants, especially since he has been shaking his hand in pain.

Back to the Wolf

           Meanwhile, the wolf is watching and has seen everything that has happened. He knows how close he came to being shot. What he hadn’t seen until the very last moment was the raven’s diving attack on the creature. He did see the sharp talons strike a bleeding blow, causing the creature to drop his weapon. He heard the cry of pain, and smelled the blood. If his mouth could have been shaped into a smile at that moment it would have.

           Then he makes a decision. The creature has no weapons, neither grown as claws or big teeth or in his hand. So he, the wolf, can switch the situation around. He stalks forward and growls his loudest. Then he lunges. The creature cries out in pain and begins to run, leaving both his weapon and his kill behind.

           The wolf is pleased with this. Rather than approach the full meal ahead of him, he stands back and lets the raven feed. He has earned that much. The two are friends.

April 24, 2022 19:00

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2 comments

Michał Przywara
20:57 May 03, 2022

I like the idea of a wolf and raven being friends like this. It's also neat how this is written in a non-magical/non-fantasy way. Considering there's no dialogue, it has good pacing. One thing did stand out though. The line "Not far, just suddenly and quickly" looks like it's missing an ending. Thanks for sharing!

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John Steckley
21:13 May 03, 2022

Thanks Michal. I appreciate the comments. As soon as I saw the prompt, I immediately thought of a raven and a wolf.

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