“Ma, I’m afraid of Graul the big gray wolf; Meeki says he’ll come to get me if his hunting for deer fails.”
“Don’t worry Teepa, sheep aren’t normally on his menu. He loves the long-drawn-out hunt; Meeki’s just winding you up.”
As mother and son were discussing the unlikely event of Graul coming to get them, he was already nearer than they thought - just a half of Wenlock Wood away from where they were grazing with their small flock.
Graul was a large and crafty animal. He had a fierce countenance with fangs like a young stag’s horns. He never ran with his pack but loved to hunt alone.
He had been trailing Fawna the roe deer for days. Three unsuccessful hunting thrusts had been made at her but she was swift and had the stamina to outrun him. Graul knew he would disappoint Vark his father, the pack leader, if there was no kill for him to howl and alert them to.
Graul eventually maneuvered himself so that Fawna was down wind. She was settled and grazing in a small clearing. He crawled cat-like towards his target and then made a ferocious leap at his prey and sank his fangs into her throat - she died instantly.
He bellowed out his victory call. Their small pack was soon on the scene gorging themselves and squabbling over choice parts.
“Graul you’re our prime hunter, surely one day you’ll be lead wolf,” encouraged Vark.
After Fawna’s death the deer colony decided to migrate to the Dulcer Plain. This was a distant open plain, which was safer from a surprise attack by marauding wolves.
When quarry became scarce the wild canines turned their attention to killing the sheep.
“Ma, I’m really scared of being killed by Graul. He got Meeki and I’m sure it’ll be me next.”
“I’m worried too, Teepa - we’ll go to Zoal the wise old earthman in Bracken Glade; he’ll advise us what to do for our safety.”
After explaining their dilemma, Zoal began to rummage among what looked like a pile of rubbish in the corner of the dark dingy room he lived in. “You must wear these. The wolves will surely be gorging on both your carcasses before long. We have to find a way to trick them”
He raised above his shaggy gray head, two even grayer shaggier hides of wolves (of the Vark pack) he’d bludgeoned to death. Vark thought, at the time, that the pair had betrayed him and gone off to join a rival pack.
“We must fix these furs on you and then you need to try and join the feral group; it’s your only hope of survival. You must become Moda and Shar, the two I butchered. The pack may see through your pretence but if you stay here you’ll certainly die.”
Zoal fastened Shar’s hide to Teepa and Moda’s to his ma, attaching them to their fleeces with burdock buds. Then he said to them, “May the Forest Spirit watch over you and keep you safe!”
When Teepa and his ma plucked up courage to advance on the canine band they were surprised that after sniffing their scent and complaining about their absence, they were accepted as family. Vark said, “Your voices sound different but your scent is good.”
Teepa’s ma busied herself in the wolf nursery helping to look after the cubs. Vark became impressed by her maternal qualities and held her in high esteem. He looked to her nursing skills when his demise was approaching because of old age. After his death things changed for the worse.
Graul was a bully, especially of Teepa, and his ma was glad that their tormentor was mostly away pursuing prey. It was on such an occasion, just after Graul had gone hunting, that she encouraged the pack to leave the oppressor behind and set out to find new hunting grounds. They went south traveling a thousand miles over the next few years.
After a while Teepa was projected, by his ma, to the position of chief of their pack.
Yet always in the background of their fearful minds was the thought that one day Graul would find them and claim by force his rightful inheritance.
Esau the lone hunter - Gen: Chapter 25 verses 27 & 28 RSV
Jacob’s pretense tricked Esau out of his inheritance - Gen: Chapter 27 verses 1 - 46 RSV
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