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Callum Cleary is the winner of the 2010 Litro & IGGY International Short Story Award for Young Writers.
First account: Alpha wolf
It had been 2 snows since I, Greyclaw, took over the pack, and so far my leadership has been successful and unchallenged. All but one hunt had led to a good feed, and even then that hunt was ruined by an over excited pup. This would be the last hunt before the snow set in, and will be the last time the pup will get an experience of the hunt itself. Now upwind of the herd of deer, I started to split the pack in two. Pack moon, Darkscruff, Swiftpaw and Snowtooth, where to chase the herd, so the weak deer would fall behind, and once separated from the herd, pack wind, which consists of me, Darejaw and the pup, Treehide, had the job of chasing and taking down the selected deer.
As I looked sideways at Treehide, I saw that he was staring straight at the herd, ears pricked up. I was wondering what his adult name would be as I noticed pack moon had chased the herd, and an adult was limping behind. As pack moon chased away the rest of the herd, I started to run forward to lead pack wind, keeping an eye to my right paw side, making sure Darejaw was NEVER in front of me, and consequently NEVER leading the pack in the chase.
Pack moon had done there job well, as the deer herd were now out of sight, except one, and that is where I was running to.
I hit the deer’s rump hard, and flipped over it. The lame deer span round, losing its footing and then was slammed into by Darejaw, his teeth literally skinning the deer, but didn’t penetrate. For once, he had followed orders, and Treehide was ready for his first kill… BANG.
Treehide reared back, and ran, as a tall tailless animal approached, holding an object that shone like the moon. Pack moon was just arriving when the noise killed the deer, and they had fled. Treehide, petrified, had to be dragged away by his scruff. Today wouldn’t be the day Treehide would become an adult. I wanted to attack the… thing… but didn’t. My ancestors had told rumours about a greater animal than the honourable wolf, and now I know why. These were the animals who threw moon and sun, these were the animals which could kill by moving a finger, these were the animals that let us starve for a day and these were the animals that denied tree hide’s adulthood.
Back in the clearing, I stood and looked at the pack.
“Brothers,” I started, and then stopped. “, where’s Darejaw?”
Second account: Rebellious wolf
Grey claw was staring smugly at the herd of deer he had found. Of course I, Darejaw had smelt it long before, but noting that his nose was as good as an elk’s butt muscle was probably not the best thing to say in front of the pup. Treehide was ignoring grey claw, at last, and was also staring at the herd. Pack moon was running towards the herd, and I, being me, spotted the dumb damaged beast before it started to run like a three legged elk.
I was still examining the hurt beast when grey claw ran, so of course, I followed him. Being the ignorant boar he was, he kept speeding up; too childish to show I was faster than him. While running towards the beast I considered my position in the pack.
Or I should be, but grey claw was leader, as he kept finding food for the pack, but I know he was just watching MY nose, and following MY scent, while staying in front of me.
After me should be Treehide, a young pup not yet tainted by grey claw’s ways.
After him would be Snowtooth, A useful wolf, ready to work even in snow.
Darkscruff would be next. He reminds me of… me, huge, powerful; the only thing he lacks is the brainpower. Swiftpaw next to last, as there will be no need for running long distances, all my hunts will be successful, but at least he’s honest.
Finally, last and by all means least, grey claw, the un-honourable fake alpha wolf.
I came back from my daydream to find the deer upon me. I lashed out as fast as I could, but not fast enough. I ran right over the deer, which was falling over from the ferocity of my quick attack, and Treehide stood by it.
He was just about to take MY kill when… BANG.
The deer shuddered, and lay still.
I could see another beast, holding what looked like a piece of moon, all silvery. I heard a yelp and turned around to find pack air or something running away, and tuning back, I saw grey claw stare down the beast.
I bet he was thinking of some heroic lie to tell the pack, like he looked into the eye of the moon itself, or a god who was so scared he chucked the piece of moon he stole into the air and legged it. What was important was he ran and I stayed put. Then as he pointed the moon shard at me, I ran to catch up with the tribe so I could boast about not running off.
As a wolf, I knew all the dangers of being pack-less, or alone, but that didn’t worry me, for I am Darejaw, the greatest wolf that ever liv-
I was tumbling over and over, something dared attack me! I tried to look at my attacker but was literally lifted of my feet, twisting in the grip of the beast just let his claws sink further into my skin, and with one final twist, I saw an eagle. This brave twist ripped my fur and the eagle let go, and I plummeted. Down, down, down, down, down. Approaching the ground, I saw the beast with the moon, and another beast, which the eagle flew back to, and in my final moments, I saw my pack retreating into the forest, abandoning me…
Third account: Wolf hunter
HUNTER BREAKS WORLD RECORD FOR MOST GAME KILLED IN A DAY
On the 23rd of January, 2010, a lone man called Bobby Wilson, age 32, broke the world record of 24 kills of wolf in one day…
I, Bobby Wilson watched the wolf pack in interest, looking for a wolf to shoot. In theory, this isn’t hard, but in my mind, only a certain type of wolf will fit “Bob’s fit for shooting” list.
They have to be brown; otherwise my wife says I am no better than a common wolf hunter.
They have to have 4 legs; otherwise my wife says I can’t shoot a moving wolf
They must not be old; otherwise my wife says that I can’t take on things younger than me.
The list goes on and on and on.
The wolf pack had started to run towards the herd of deer, and I aimed my gun, none of them were brown. I lowered it. As the herd of deer ran away, another pack of wolves started to run towards a lone deer. A younger wolf, with 4 legs and brown fur, was running at the back of the pack, and that’s what I aimed at.
I raised my gun, took aim, and missed. Instead I hit the deer in front of him.
It was a kill, I thought, and since the wolves were running away, I might as well grab the deer.
As I approached I saw a wolf, who looked petrified, like a wooden sculpture, so I raised my gun at it, then it ran.
Oh well, maybe I can say I need glasses to my wife, there will be no supper for me. I thought I heard an eagle, and so I looked up, to see a wolf, falling. Yes… it is a wolf. Yes, maybe I will have supper tonight. Now, how far to I have to run so it misses me?
Fourth account: Ecologist
As I sipped my bug riddled tea, and held onto my broken phone, I remarked sarcastically to no one in particular, “I love being an ecologist.”
My jeep had run out of fuel in the middle of the forest I decided to look for unusual behaviour in the herd of deer about 40 meters away, and to no surprise, found none. So instead, I took out my pen and wrote what millions before me have written, a study of what the deer is doing…
And after 15 minutes of studying the deer, I came up with this document.
The deer are eating.
That’s it. As I emptied my cup, I could have sworn I heard hordes of bugs sighing in relief, so filled it up with more tea and bug hell was back in business. I kept watching a frog for some reason or other, then looked at the deer again. But unknown to me, it stuck its tongue into my tea, to pick out a bug that had died, and hopped back to where it was. I heard it moving, but every time I turned around, it was back to the same point… it was mocking me.
That’s when something finally happened.
A pack of wolves ran out of the trees straight towards the deer, which in turn, scattered. A second pack of wolves ran out from a different direction, and I wondered if there would be a wolf fight. While the first pack chased the whole herd, the second pack was aiming for one deer. Two wolves smashed consecutively into the deer, which span around, and fell, where a third wolf slowed down and stood before it, I then,
A gunshot rung around the forest, and the wolf fell back. At first I thought the wolf had been shot, and I was really annoyed at the firer, but then the wolf got up and ran. And a man walked into the clearing. I sipped my tea angrily, it had a strange taste, and the frog seemed to laugh at me, and then it hopped away.
I stood up and I went to put my coffee cup in my tent, as I did a wolf crashed into it, probably dropped by a golden eagle, smashing it to pieces. Oh how I love being an ecologist.
Fifth account: Deer
Munch… Munch… Munch… Munch… Munch…………
Grass is good, I like grass.
Munch… I wonder how the other deer like there grass.
Munch… Munch… I like it fresh.
Other deer are moving away, I will follow.
My leg hurts. :-(
A grey deer is chasing me.
Is it a game? :-)
My friends are getting far away, I should follow.
I wonder what the grey deer wants to play.
Maybe I should play, and then catch up with my friends?
No, I will play with him later.
Grey deer ran past.
Grey deer don’t wan to play with ME :-(
More grey deer arrive.
Maybe they will play with me :-)
Friend deer’s are further away :-(
He caught me, he pushed me. :-(
The grey deer isn’t very nice.
I don’t want to play. I want to find my friends.
Another grey deer is running towards me.
I wonder if HE wants to play nice.
He tried to bite me! :-( :-(
He isn’t very nice.
Another grey deer is running towards me.
Will he be as mean as the other grey deer?
There is another deer, brown, running across the trees.
The brown deer is running in the air now.
I wonder is the brown deer wants to play with me or the grey deer.
Grey deer 111 has reached me.
He isn’t biting me…
HE wants to play nice with me. :-)
I have a new friend.
I wonder what he wants to pla-
A fast deer hit me.
I am hurting. :-(
The brown deer is closer. His front legs are huge.
The grey deer ran.
I am hurt. :-( :-(
Pale deer is walking towards me.
Brown deer reaches grey deer
Everything is black.
Is this a game?
I don’t want to play :-( :-( :-(
Sixth account: Another deer
Munch… Munch… Munch… Munch… Munch…………
I am next to friend deer.
I am also next to another friend deer,
The trees are moving?
The trees can’t move.
It’s a grey deer!
A grey deer is running towards me.
Grey deer are bad.
Grey deer have fangs (‘,..,’)
I better run.
Friend deer has hurt leg.
Friend deer can’t run.
Grey deer will get friend deer.
Grey deer are closer, I must run
Will friend deer be safe?
Grey deer have reached me, they forgot about friend deer.
I will run!
Friend deer is safe
Foot 1 forward.
Foot 1111 backwards.
Foot 11 forward.
Foot 1 backwards
Foot 111 forward
Foot 11 backwards
Foot 1111 forwards
Foot 111 backwards
Foot 1 forward.
Foot 1111 backwards…
I have run away.
Grey deer are running away.
Let’s go to friend deer.
Friend deer 11 can follow.
So can friend deer111 and deer 1111…
Foot 1111 backwards………
We are here.
Friend deer is sleeping.
I wake friend deer.
Friend deer won’t wake.
Friend deer has been sleeping in red water…
Red water kills deer…
Friend deer is dead. :-(
Grey deer noticed friend deer.
I don’t like grey deer.
There is a brown deer, running on air… holding grey deer?
Grey deer is now running on air.
Grey deer is running downwards.
Grey deer is hurt, and hits ground.
Grey deer is dead :-)
Red water makes sure of it.
Callum Cleary is a 12-year-old from Richard Cyhalloner School in New Malden, Surrey, UK.