Many moons ago, in the coldest winter that the trees could remember, the last surviving wolf in the woods was struggling to survive.
Food was so scarce and the weather so cold that animals that would not normally hunt one another were desperately added to the menu.
For three bitter days and nights the wolf had been tracking her prey. In any normal winter, an enormous moose would be too large and too dangerous an enemy. But in such dire times and with the tell-tale trail of the Elk’s fresh blood dripping from an open wound, the wolf had little option.
Finally, the wolf’s long hunt was at its end. The moose had limped into a cave and stared out defiantly at his pursuer. She stood there, panting, waiting, hoping that the moose would expire before her hunger took its toll.
Just then, a terrifying roar exploded through the trees. A giant bear, woken from its hibernation by the smell of fresh meat came thundering towards them.
The wolf, without thinking, raced past the startled moose and in through the narrow entrance to the cave.
Once the bear approached however, he suddenly discovered that his breakfast would not be so easily come by.
Stood together, their hearts beating fast, the moose and the wolf looked on as the giant bear struggled and swiped and missed again and again. His massive frame was just too big to get inside the cave. Yet he wasn’t about to give up; not on a two-for-one meal deal that could line his stomach for weeks.
The wolf and the moose looked at each other. Suddenly it became clear that the rules of the game had changed. If they were to survive, then their only hope was to work together.
“I am small and quick,” whispered the wolf, “so I will draw the attacks of his giant paws.”
“And I am strong,” the moose whispered back, “with antlers so sharp that I can blind him.”
And with their plan set, the two unlikely allies nodded at one another in agreement.
The wolf leapt forwards, and though the bear swung his mighty paws and sharpened claws in all directions, he could not keep up with her agility.
As the bear began to tire, the moose then spotted his chance. Charging from the dark, the bull lowered its head and with brutal force threw all its weight through the gap in the bear’s defences.
The Bear howled out in pain. It fell to the ground, writhing and swinging its massive claws into the darkened spaces that it could not see, from which it thought the pain had come.
The two triumphant comrades stood there a moment marvelling at their victory. The moose’s giant antlers sat proudly on their owner’s head like a banner of war, washed in the enemy’s blood that dripped into the pure white snow.
The wolf, wasting not a moment, then sank her piercing jaws into the moose’s neck. His legs buckled, and he dropped to the ground with a thud.
“Is this,” said the moose with his dying breath, “how a friend treats a friend who helps to save her life?”
The wolf looked down at its prey.
“The bear may have made us friends,” she replied, “but it did not stop us being enemies.”