A shriek of laughter echoed through the forest, bringing smiles to many faces. It was a
sound that often decorated the dull green and brown surroundings, adding a bit of color. A
mother deer turned back to her young fawn, which was making its way along a little ridge. It
suddenly fell, bleating until it hit the ground a half-second later with a thud. The light tan animal
quickly made its way back to its mother, who nuzzled him fondly. In a blink of an eye the fawn
was already exploring a new found crevice under an oak tree.
A badger shook his head disgustedly at the noise and continued its endless search for
food. It poked its nose in many rotten logs and scratched through hard dirt looking for nests of
tasty grubs, or perhaps a frog or two. When chancing upon a small bit of rotten leaves, he dug
under and hit a nest of delicious bugs, which held his attention for a few minutes before he
ambled off in a new direction.
Another noise tried to make itself known over that of the laughter. A squirrel scolded at
the interruption of her silent studies of perfect places to store her food in preparation for the
winter. The chatter made its way to a stream nearby, where a king fisher fluffed it feathers in
annoyance. His sharp eyes caught a movement to his right and he darted under the water and
emerged again with a wiggling fish in his long, thin bill.
The source of the first voice continued her high-pitched squealing amidst her friends. One
pup batted the carved wooden ball towards her and she caught it with one paw and rolled it back
to a nearer pup. He, in turn, caught it, and decided the game would intensify in fun if he ran away
with it. The pack followed after him, each and every member sprinting as fast as they could,
trying to keep up with him.
One female on an outer flank stretched her muscles. The wind flew past. Her ears
flattened against her head; her bright eyes squinted. I’ll get him! I’ll get there first this time! She
thought. Many times she had thought this over the past few weeks. She would get out from
behind the pack of pups and become the fastest, the strongest.
2. The boy-pup at the lead glanced back at her, laughter dancing in his eyes. He knew she
would never catch up; nor would any of the others. He was the fastest. He always would be. All
of his buddies would look up to him as so. He reveled at this rank. Caught up in his thoughts,
Beedo missed Maxas coming up beside him until he felt the ball being torn from his grasp by her
sharp milk teeth. He gaped at her. No one was ever able to catch up to him at top speed!
Maxas grinned at him and took off to one side, dancing within herself at this new feat.
She could become like him. No, she would become better. Maxas decided to show the adult
wolves her possession. So she circled around and brought the little pack into camp, each one,
including her, dragging there feet with tongues lolling and sides heaving. But Maxas had the ball.
She had the ball!
Maxas brought it to her father, who was dozing off at the entrance to the cave that most
of the pack slumbered in. She stopped in front of him and set the ball down.
“Father!” She rolled the ball at him, bumping his nose. He snorted.
“Huh? What?” He saw Maxas. “What is it Maxy?”
“I got the ball!”
He looked at the wood between his paws. “Oh!” He looked up at Maxas proudly. “I told
you you could do it. Anyone can do anything they set their minds to, especially in my family.”
Maxas chuckled and rubbed her nose across his face. “Yup. And it was easy too! I’m
getting a lot faster. I caught Beedo like a jet! Oh, dad, you should have seen me! I was like a blur
of wind! And the look of surprise on his face when I had the ball! It was wonderful!”
Her father smiled. “I’m sure it was. I wish I could have been there.”
Suddenly one of the pups ran up to Maxas. “Maxy, we need the ball! Come on, were still
Maxas turned to go, giving the ball to her friend Esha. “Bye dad!”
Alagor watched proudly as his only daughter out of four pups ran off to play, and then lay
his big head back down between his paws with a huff and fell asleep.
3. Chapter 1
Maxas felt the muscles in her shoulder ripple; a comforting sensation. She lowered her
body to the ground so her belly was close to brushing the grass. Her limbs were stretched before
her, ready to spring her forward to land on her prey. No one can escape my pounce of doom!
Thought Maxas. Beware of that doom, you rabbit!
The Maxas pounced on the grey hare. “Ha! You’re mine!” She had its tender neck under
one paw, its back wiggled under the other. She pressed down, and then ate her breakfast. When
finished, Maxas walked back to the camp. On the way, she met up with Esha, who, by the looks
of the red stains about her jaws, had been after breakfast also.
The two continued silently to the camp, splitting their separate ways without a word.
Maxas went to her father, while Esha decided to nap in some sunny place. When Maxas reached
Alagor, she lay down beside him and huffed as her chin hit her paws. She thought
Why am I so different? So much faster and stronger and better? Why can’t I be normal?
Having to hunt in the pack for a decent meal. I’ve never hunted with the pack unless I was bored.
Never out of hunger. I can catch my food on my own. She sighed. All my friends are jealous. I
guess I don’t really have any friends, except for Beedo. Kind of. Not really anymore. I’m a loner.
and I’m little more than a pup!
Maxas fell asleep to these thoughts, her sides heaving heavily as she dreamed. At certain
times, her nose or ears twitched in anticipation, or her tail thumped on the ground. Her paw
Maxas ran through the forest, breathing heavily as she sprinted on. She could feel the
breath of a thousand wolves behind her. Chasing her. Fire came from their dragon’s mouths,
always scorching her silver fur, turning it black. One wolf, larger than the rest, was neck and
neck to her. He turned to look at Maxas and chuckled evilly. “We have you now, young one!”
Maxas woke shaking violently and coughing. She shuddered. “It was only a dream,” she
said out loud, trying to calm herself down.