A lone wolf emerges from the forest darkness. Hungry. A scavenger. He paws at the soft beach then creeps to the lake to drink. His agile tongue laps up water for a minute, maybe more. It will hold back the hunger until he can hunt once again. He looks up and licks his lips while mosquitoes swarm his face. He drinks again and trots back within the deep forest of spruce.
He paces a trail that winds and bends, moving with a rhythm, as if ancient music dances in his head. A heavy stream runs alongside, gushing and pounding against its rocky banks. The noble wolf, coat black as a moonless night, rips headlong into full sprint. He hits the slope of the mountain at top speed. Running along the woodland trail, bounding over fallen logs, he continues to race the stream.
His coat is coarse and gleaming. His legs are strong and burning. His heart is primed and pumping.
The hawk shrieks from its perch as the black wolf passes below. The red fox, glancing from his hindquarters, yips at the sight of the great black beast. The skillful brown bear is there, too involved with fishing to notice, her big paws in the rapids as she snatches salmon. But her cubs glimpse the bolting flash of fur and stand on their back legs for a better view.
The wolf departs the forest as a gust shakes the spruce boughs. He runs onto a rocky outcrop covered in moss. High above the great valley it extends, the mountainside cut away by eons of brutal weather. He slows and walks out to the edge. Bald eagles soar above on outstretched wings with stately views of the entire countryside. He licks a bit of snow to cool down and sniffs the air; the scent of danger is there. Toward the smell he looks and sees fire, and humans, the strangest of all breeds. One has a gun aimed at his restless heart. He drives his legs into the earth and launches as the human fires the shot. He lands on another ledge, the bullet whistling by, and pushes up the mountain, cold snow flying around his feet.
Through the clouds the brilliant sun shines, a steep snowy ridge his last obstacle. He slows down and balances along the narrow ridge. His padded paws start to slip, and he picks up the pace. With few strides to go, he leaps and lands safely on the alpine apex. The summit is spacious and the wolf seems to grin, for he roams freely on top of the world.
A she-wolf of fine stock glares lovingly at him but approaches with caution. He meets her gaze and finds her beautiful. She nuzzles into his brilliant black mane. They arch their necks in unison and howl at the scattered sky.