Revenge would have to wait until Tame was well enough to move around more easily. So if he had to run for his life, he would be able to do so or at least run far enough to hide. Tank had gone off at first light. I wasn't sure what he was up to, but I hoped it wasn't something stupid like going after the rogues on his own. But my worry had been for nothing as he came trotting back with a rabbit bouncing around his closed jaws. Before he had gotten anywhere near me, I had nudged my head straight towards the den, where Nurse and Tame had returned to rest. Tank bobbed his head and trotted straight into the den and returned without the rabbit and took off again.
I cocked my head. How much food did he think that Nurse and Tame could eat in one sitting? But this time when he returned he had two more rabbits and laid them before me and lay under a shady tree and panted until he fell asleep a short time later. I ate one of the rabbits and left the other where Tank had dropped it. I decided to do a patrol run to scout the area and to stretch my legs, it felt great to run and bound about. But I took care not to get over excited as I knew I couldn't leave what little pack we had back at the den so exposed. I was sniffing around when I came nose to nose with a red and black and white wolf. She was young and reminded me of a fox just in the shape of a wolf with yellow eyes. She was beautiful, I couldn't believe my eyes when she dropped to the ground and covered her head with her paws before I even got a growl out.
I was shocked with her behavior I took a step back and growled. Who was she and why was she here? Was she a spy for the rogues? No, she didn't smell of rogues. I sniffed at her, and she shook with fear. She was a loner from the smell of it. I yapped at her, but she didn't move but closed her eyes tight. This confused me. I sat in front of her but still she didn't move, I think she was waiting for my move. We could always use a new pack member, but I would take her before our group and see if they would accept her, but first I had to get her there. She seemed too scared and fragile. I'd had enough of this crap. I got up and walked behind her and gave her a big nudge up the tail and got her to her feet and continued to nudge her towards the den.
When we arrived, Tank was awake and on lookout. Tank got to his feet and growled at the female I was nudging who dropped to the ground and again covered her head with her paws. That's when Tank saw me and he sat down cocking his head at the wolf before him. I rolled my eyes. All I could think was “bloody pup.” I snorted. I walked into the den and found Nurse and Tamer eating. I whimpered, and they both go to their feet, Tamer a little shaky but doing better than he was. My ears pricked up, it was good to see him on his feet. We walked out of the den as a group. Nurse was the first to notice the newcomer and growled but what shocked us was Tamer ran straight up to the new wolf and pounced at her with a howl. When Tamer landed on her, she let out a loud whine.
Tamer got off the red wolf and marched right in front of her and flopped to the ground and just stared into her eyes with his one. The pair stayed like this for a long time until the she-wolf blinked, and Tamer got up and licked her snout and bumped his nose with hers. And it was done. She was accepted into our pack and nudged noses with everyone, I was last, and as I approached her she shook once more but after I had nudged her with my nose I returned to the den. Now we had a new wolf in our pack, things were looking up, and we could attack the rogues and Nurse could get her revenge for the pups taken from her.
Night came quickly, and the others all curled up together to sleep as I stood watch at the mouth of the cave. The moon shone big and bright in the sky, and I inhaled deeply. Tomorrow. Tomorrow we would take down the rogues. I snorted and nodded my head to myself. Foxi, I named the newcomer and it was obvious as to why I did, was a light sleeper and woke to every little sound but would soon fall asleep again. Strange one this ex-loner. I wondered how she survived on her own for so long, but now she had us, and we had her.
The following morning Nurse and Tank waited for me at the mouth of the den, I did a quick check on Foxi and Tame. They were still sleeping. I nodded my head and left with the others. We walked silently towards the boundary line between rogues and us, we slipped across as silent as the wind, we separated, and we each went our own way with one goal in mind search and destroy. I headed towards a large boulder when I heard a low growl, I stopped, but the growling continued.
At first I thought the growling was at me but just as I was about to keep moving, I heard another growl. Different from the first. I knew the second growl, it was Tank. Then a battle broke out just beyond the grass and large boulder. I dropped to my belly and edged forward as the sounds of wolves fighting rang in my ears. Then there was silence. I heard a snort. Taking a risk, I popped my head above the grass line with my ears forward. Lucky for me Tank was the victor of the fight.
I must have startled Tank as he turned to me and growled until he saw me. He lowered his head and whimpered. I bounded over to Tank and nudged him with my nose. I knew he didn't mean to growl at me. I looked down and saw the rogue male at Tank's feet. I was shocked by what I saw. The male was basically skin and bones and smelt horrible like decaying flesh. No wonder Tank took him down so fast, he had no strength to fight a mouse let alone Tank, who was in his prime.
But something seemed off, why was the male in such bad condition if they had a pack of four. With that many in their pack, they should have been able to hunt pretty well. But now I think about it, I didn't scent Scar or Gash much at all, like they hadn't been here in a long time. Why would they leave? I couldn't think about that now, Tank and I had to find Nurse. We both turned tail and left the male where he dropped.
Tank and I moved as a team and sniffed around looking for Nurse, she wasn't hard to find or follow. The anger was dominated in her scent. We found her crouched in a patch of grass, she must have heard or scented us as she didn't turn to greet us. Instead, she had her eyes trained straight ahead. Slowly she stood, tall and proud, and I let her take the lead as she stepped out of the grass. Tank and I flanked her on both sides just in case there was a surprise attack. But nothing stirred.
Tank and I stayed back as Nurse started growling, the scent of the female rogue was strong here, and this was Nurse's score to settle. Nurse moved forward, and that was when I saw what she was eyeing. The rogue female was out in the open on her side, and just like the male she was skin and bone and smelt just as bad if not worse. The female suddenly noticed Nurse and rolled until she was laying upright. Tank suddenly sprung into action and startled both Nurse and the rogue female, but he didn't stop until he was in front of Nurse.
I had to find out what was going on. Nurse was going to rip Tank apart if he didn't move, it wasn't until I was beside Nurse that I smelt it too. Pups. The female had given birth overnight and it was why she was so weak. That and she was also sick. Tank whimpered and walked to a hollow tree and pawed at the ground. I went to see what had him so excited. Tank moved out of my way, and I stuck my head straight into the tree and there lay two black fluff balls. I nudged the fur, and it barely moved which meant the pups hadn't fed or warmed by the female. I gently picked up a bundle of fur and walked to Nurse to show her.
Nurse saw the pup and sniffed it and then licked it, Tank followed close behind with the second and Nurse repeated her prior action. Tank and I put the pups on the ground and the female trying to get up growled nastily, but Nurse pushed us aside and stood over the pups and growled back claiming them as hers. To me it was Nurse saying, you took my pups, I'll take yours. Tank and I stood next to the pups as Nurse rushed forward and pounced on the female and took her ear in her mouth and ripped it off without hesitation.
The female howled in pain, but Nurse wasn't finished. Next she scratched out one of her eyes, and I thought she would have grabbed her by the throat and ended her. But instead Nurse walked over to one of the pups and picked it up in her mouth and stuck her tail in the air and walked away. Then I got it. I also walked over to the remaining pup and followed Nurse's actions. Tank was the last to follow, I looked back and watched him raise his nose and tail in the air and strut off behind us.
We headed straight back to the den as the rogue female was left to die alone.