Luka turned to look at his son for a moment. The pup was old enough to know andunderstand. Besides, Luka himself was becoming old. He would soon have to give up his position to a younger and more agile wolf who could lead the pack again with thestrength that he had when he was young. This pup could be it – the one who would be theone to take his place. He was strong, that was sure, and he had enough energy that could be put to better use taking care of the pack and other matters than running around theforest all day.“There was a rumor, from a crow that saw with his own eyes that man had changedsince the last time we have seen them,” he said hesitantly. Looking down into the pup’sattentive blue gaze, he pushed on. “The crow saw the Men taking animals, hunting for them on their own, and taking their fur for themselves. Some of these men made clothesout of the hides that they had stripped off of the animals.”“But the wolves are safe,” the pup insisted, his tail slowing down to a slow swingingmotion. “The Man visits us every year and helps the pups in return for us giving him thefur when we eat instead of the meat.”Luka gently shook his head, the pup in his mouth swinging a little. He set the pupdown as he slowed and then stopped and the pup joined the others in the center of thegroup. The rest of the pack flowed around them and soon, disappeared into the darknessand safety of the forest. Luka and his son were left alone. Even Red had followed the pack – knowing that this business was not hers to listen to.“Times are changing, little one,” his father said softly, looking up at the trees thatswayed gently with the wind. “Man wasn’t what he once was. It’s time that we realizethat Man cannot be our friend – he was only our ally for as long as it lasted.”The pup wasn’t sure he had heard his father right. It took him a moment to digestwhat his father had just said. “Father, what do you mean by that?” he asked him.Luka sighed. “Son, what the crow had seen was that Men were killing all types of animals, not just the grass-eaters but the hunters as well. Bears, wolves, fox, and theothers all were killed and slaughtered – all for their fur,” he said, his eyes closed with pain. Luka, in his old age, could feel more pain in his heart as he was able to see withexperienced eyes how everything was changing around them. This was one pain that hewished to end. “They have brought with them beasts of great power with the body of thedear, the strength of a bear, and hooves of deer. They ride these creatures across the land,hunting down every woodland creature they see. All the wolves have gone – we must bethe last to remain. Do you understand, Conell?”The pup blinked at the last word. “‘Conell’?” he asked.His father smiled. “It means strength. I name you this in hopes that you will be astrong leader for our pack,” he explained. The pup nodded his head once in reply to hisfather’s question. “Good, now we must catch up before –”There was a sound like rolling thunder and the two wolves looked back to see thecreatures that Luka had just described – the demon creatures with hooves like rocks. Witha yip of fear, Conell ran, followed closely by Luka. “It’s too late now,” Luka panted. “Wecan’t lead them to the pack. Come.”Luka led his son through the woods, followed by the demon animals and the Menriding them. They ran as fast as they could through the forest, zigzagging behind trees,even trying to lose them but the creatures kept up.