The Wolves Who Knew Where the Deer Were

Posted on October 27, 2013

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One day there was born a wolf who knew where all the deer were.  From the morning of his first hunt, he always knew which way to look to find the deer, and every time he hunted he brought one back.  This gift he was able to grant to his children, and after twenty generations only his progeny flourished in the forest.  They were fat while the other wolves failed and starved, for they always could find the deer, even if there was just one left, and if all the deer were gone from a place, they always knew where next to go to find some more.

These most clever of wolves flourished until, inexplicably, after an uninterrupted era of prosperity, the deer began to fail.  The nearest deer was no longer close by.  It was over there.  Beyond that hill.  Across there.  Their infallible senses could hear it, past the stumbling packs of other wolves whose emaciated muzzles were turned in the same direction as their own.  They followed their senses to the crest of a final rise and saw a final fat deer cowering below.  And saw also on all the crests and rises around, all the other wolves arriving.

So then one wolf turned away from the top of the rise where he had been pausing, and began walking back down the other side, away from the deer and its bloody death.

“Where are you going, brother?” another wolf cried out after him.  “Someone’s teeth will find the deer’s throat, and it could as likely be yours as any others.”

“I cannot bear to see the murder of all our kind,” said the retreating wolf, and continued on his way.