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Part 3, Chapter 5: The Covenant Notes from White Fang

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White Fang Part 3, Chapter 5: The Covenant

In December, Gray Beaver goes on a journey up the Mackenzie River with Mit-sah and Kloo-kooch. Besides the sled, which Gray Beaver drives, Mit-sah also has a sled with puppies in the harnesses. White Fang is harnessed to Mit-sah's sled. The ropes are set up so that the dogs cannot attack those in front of them, and would have to attack those behind them face to face. Mit-sah had seen White Fang's injuries from Lip-lip, and so he puts Lip-lip at the head of the pack. This is not really a position of honor, for he is always running away from the pack, and the pack is always chasing his tail. Mit-sah uses his whip heavily on Lip-lip in punishment for his abuse of White Fang.

White Fang is a natural sled dog, and works hard. Lip-lip, however, is hated by all the dogs, and they attack him as they once attacked White Fang. White Fang could become leader, but he is too much of a loner. He just continues to keep other dogs in terror of him, attacking them when alone and stealing their food. "White Fang knew the law well: to oppress the weak and obey the strong." Part 3, Chapter 5, pg. 98 The journey continues for months, and White Fang passes through many camps of strange men. He finds that he does not love Gray Beaver, although he respects him greatly.

"White Fang was glad to acknowledge his lordship, but it was lordship based upon superior intelligence and brute strength....There were deeps in his nature which had never been sounded. A kind word, a caressing touch of the hand, on the part of Gray Beaver, might have sounded these deeps; but Gray Beaver did not caress nor speak kind words. It was not his way." Part 3, Chapter 5, pg. 99

However, in a village at the Great Slave Lake, White Fang learns that not all laws are absolute. He learns that there are times when it is right to bite a man. In he village, White Fang is foraging for food and comes upon a boy cutting frozen moose-meat. Small pieces are flying to the ground, and White Fang begins to eat some of the chips. The boy tries to beat White Fang with a club, but misses. White Fang runs away, but the boy runs after him and corners him. He prepares to strike White Fang, even though White Fang knows that he has done nothing wrong. He knows that any wasted meat belong to the dogs. In a moment of rage and fear, he bites the hand of the boy.

He runs quickly to Gray Beaver for his protection, and when the boy's relatives come, Gray Beaver defends White Fang's actions. The boy that was bitten, and friends of his, encounter Mit-sah alone, and begin to beat him. White Fang, in anger, rushes in and begins to attack the boys causing harm to his master's son. The boys run away, and when White Fang returns to Gray Beaver he is treated as a hero.

In this way, White Fang fulfills the covenant between him and his master. "Food and fire, protection and companionship, were some of the things he received from the god. In return, he guarded the god's property, defended his body, worked for him, and obeyed him." Part 3, Chapter 5, pg. 102 But White Fang knows nothing of love, and does not remember Kiche.

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