The Hunger Cry

Thedaybeganauspiciously. Theyhadlostnodogsduringthenight,andtheyswungoutuponthetrailandintothesilence,thedarkness,andthecoldwithspiritsthatwerefairlylight. Billseemedtohaveforgottenhisforebodingsofthepreviousnight, andevenwaxedfacetiouswiththedogswhen,atmidday,theyoverturnedthesledonabadpieceoftrail. 

Itwasanawkwardmix-up. Thesledwasupsidedownandjammedbetweenatree-trunkandahugerock, andtheywereforcedtounharnessthedogsinordertostraightenoutthetangle. Thetwomenwerebentoverthesledandtryingtorightit,whenHenryobservedOneEarsidlingaway. 

"Here,you,OneEar!"hecried,straighteningupandturningaroundonthedog. 

ButOneEarbrokeintoarunacrossthesnow,histracestrailingbehindhim. Andthere,outinthesnowoftheirbacktrack,wastheshe-wolfwaitingforhim. Ashenearedher,hebecamesuddenlycautious. Hesloweddowntoanalertandmincingwalkandthenstopped. Heregardedhercarefullyanddubiously,yetdesirefully. Sheseemedtosmileathim,showingherteethinaningratiatingratherthanamenacingway. Shemovedtowardhimafewsteps,playfully,andthenhalted. OneEardrewneartoher,stillalertandcautious,histailandearsintheair,hisheadheldhigh. 

Hetriedtosniffnoseswithher,butsheretreatedplayfullyandcoyly. Everyadvanceonhispartwasaccompaniedbyacorrespondingretreatonherpart. Stepbystepshewasluringhimawayfromthesecurityofhishumancompanionship. Once,asthoughawarninghadinvaguewaysflittedthroughhisintelligence, heturnedhisheadandlookedbackattheoverturnedsled, athisteam-mates,andatthetwomenwhowerecallingtohim. 

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