Part 2, Chapter 2: The Lair Notes from White Fang

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White Fang Part 2, Chapter 2: The Lair

The wolves hang around the Indian camp for two days, until rifle fire chases them off. The she-wolf takes One Ear on another short journey, searching for a cave. Traveling up a frozen stream, she finds it. Inspecting it, she collapses inside.

One Ear is hungry, but its clear the she-wolf has no desire to go hunting. He returns after eight hours, unable to catch any game. When he returns, he hears strange sounds, and is warned away by the she-wolf. After sleeping at the cave entrance, he can see inside when the sun rises. His mate has had puppies. The she-wolf is very wary of One Ear, and growls at him when he comes too close. "Of her own experience she had no memory of the thing happening; but in her instinct, which was the experience of all mothers of wolves, there lurked a memory of fathers that had eaten their new-born and helpless progeny." Part 2, Chapter 2, pg. 40

Topic Tracking: Instinct 1

Soon he leaves, realizing he must get food for his newly born young. Meeting a porcupine, he knows its tricks; he was a victim of its quills before. At the sight of the wolf, the porcupine rolls up into a ball of quills. One Ear lays down a foot away, waiting for it to unroll. Eventually he just gives up and moves on.

The urge to find food for his young still drives him. Capturing a small bird, a ptarmigan, he begins to bring it back to the cave. On the way back, he sees a large female lynx crouching next to the porcupine he left behind. Neither of them moves for half an hour as One Eye watches. Finally, the porcupine decides that the predator has gone away. It begins to unroll. Soon the lynx is on it, but is hurt by the quills. In anger, she attacks the porcupine, and her nose is filled with quills.

In pain and agony, she finally leaves the porcupine, crying out as she makes her way on the trail. One Eye, seeing the injured porcupine, approached the animal. Cautious of the quills, he watches as the porcupine dies, and drags the animal with him to feed his babies. When he arrives at the cave, the she-wolf is grateful for the food. However, she still won't let him get too close to the wolf cubs.

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