Book Notes Part 1, Chapter 3: The Hungry Cry Notes from White Fang

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White Fang Part 1, Chapter 3: The Hungry Cry

The next day begins well as none of the dogs have escaped. They set out, and soon get into trouble as the sled overturns on a bad part of the trail. The sled is jammed between a tree and a rock, and the dogs are taken out of their harness in order to untangle the sled. As they are let out, One Ear runs away and meets the she-wolf. She lures him away, and he is attacked by the circling wolf pack. One Ear runs with great energy to escape, but his case is obviously hopeless. Bill goes to help him with the rifle. From the distance, Henry can hear the last of Bill's ammunition, as well as One Ear's cry as he dies. He knows that Bill has been eaten also.

Henry sits for a while, and then rouses himself. He attaches the two remaining dogs to the sled and, putting himself into a harness, starts off again. Soon he makes camp, making sure there is plenty of firewood. As he begins to go to bed, the wolves are already too close. They circle the fire, waiting. Through the night, the wolves approach closer, and sometimes he has to take burning wood from the fire and warn them back with it.

In the morning, Henry takes the coffin off the sled and ties it up in a tree, to save the body from being eaten. Then he sets off again, and camps long before dark, using the last hours of day to chop firewood.

"As he piled wood on the fire he discovered an appreciation of his own body which he had never felt before...It fascinated him, and he grew suddenly fond of this subtle flesh of his that worked so beautifully and smoothly and delicately. Then he would cast a glance of fear at the wolf-circle drawn expectantly about him, and like a blow the realization would strike him that this wonderful body of his, this living flesh, was no more than so much meat, a quest of ravenous animals, to be torn and slashed by their hungry fangs, to be sustenance to them as the moose and the rabbit had often been sustenance to him." Part 1, Chapter 3, pg. 23

Topic Tracking: The Wild 2

As the morning comes, the wolves do not leave like they normally do. Henry tries to get the sled on the trail again, but when he leaves the fire the wolves attack, and he has to stay with the fire. Day passes again, and as night comes, Henry can no longer stay awake. After dozing once, he wakes up to find the she-wolf a yard away. He thrusts a burning stick into her mouth, forcing her to retreat.

To keep awake, he ties a burning pine knot to his hand, and it wakes him up every few minutes. However, he doesn't fasten it well, and so falls asleep. He wakes to find a wolf is chewing at his arm. Henry scoops up hot coals and flings them around himself, scorching the wolves. He sees that the two remaining dogs are gone. He has a new idea - extending the fire into a larger circle around him. He quickly does this, and it keeps the wolves at bay. The next morning, the fire is burning low. Henry attempts to step outside it to fetch wood, but the wolves are ready to attack. He drifts in and out of sleep.

Six men crouching around him prod him and force him to wake up. The wolves are gone! They ask him about Lord Alfred, and Henry tells them that he is hanging in a tree, in his coffin. As Henry collapses back to sleep, he can hear the faint cries of the wolf pack chasing new game.

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