How the Wolves teach their Whelps

By Leo Tolstoy

I was walking along the road, and heard a shout behind me. It was the shepherd boy who was shouting. He was running through the field, and pointing to something.

I looked, and saw two wolves running through the field: one was full-grown, and the other a whelp. The whelp was carrying a dead lamb on his shoulders, and holding on to one of its legs with its teeth. The old wolf was running behind. When I saw the wolves, I ran after them with the shepherd, and we began to shout. In response to our cries came peasants with dogs.

The moment the old wolf saw the dogs and the people, he ran up to the whelp, took the lamb away from him, threw it over his back, and both wolves ran as fast as they could, and disappeared from view.

Then the boy told what had happened: the large wolf had leaped out from the ravine, had seized the lamb, killed it, and carried it off.

The whelp ran up to him and grasped the lamb. The old wolf let the whelp carry the lamb, while he himself ran slowly beside him.

Only when there was danger, did the old wolf stop his teaching and himself take the lamb.

From The Complete Works of Count Tolstóy, by Count Lev N. Tolstóy
Boston: Dana Estes & Company, 1904.

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