Status: Finished. Written when I was in sixth grade, I think? It’s the story that really sparked my love of writing.
Jenn sat on her bed, staring sadly into her folded hands. Her father had died a week ago. Her mother had already passed away several years ago. She loved no one anymore. Love was dangerous. Love gave you what you most desired, and then took it away again. Her aunt and uncle had taken her in. They tried to make her feel better, but it was no use. Deep in her thoughts, Jenn didn’t even notice when her aunt came in and set her dinner on the bedside table, then hurriedly left the room. A little later, her uncle entered the room. The rusty springs in the bed creaked as he sat down next to Jenn.
Quietly, he said “Jenn, I am very sorry. Truly, I am.” After a moment of silence, he said “There is a legend about the woods around our house that I think you would like to hear. Do you want me to tell it to you?” Jenn nodded silently, for even though she did not especially want to listen to silly, childish tales right now, she did not wish to hurt her uncle’s feelings. Her uncle started slowly, warming up to his story as he went along. Jenn listened, fascinated, as the tale unwound.
“One night, a hunter heard two wolves howling. He realized that wolves were thought of as evil demons in his village, and their pelts would bring in enormous amounts of money. He lifted his rifle and set off into the woods. Eventually, he entered a clearing and saw the wolves. These wolves, they were special, for they were in love. They were beautiful; one, white as snow, the other, black as pitch. They twisted and turned in a wolf dance of love in the dappled moonlight.
But the hunter, he was greedy. He saw those beautiful wolves as money. They were wonderful, but he only saw those gorgeous pelts; the ones that would sell for hundreds of dollars at the market. He lifted his rifle and shot.” Jenn gasped. Who would do such a thing? Her uncle continued. “Some say that the man died the next day. Others, that he had a darker end. That he wanders the forest at night, hunting the spirits of the wolves. The only thing folks seem to agree on is that the wolves’ spirits still haunt that forest, that their spirits are not truly
free until a girl, pure of heart, and with bravery as strong as the sea, finds and frees them. Jenn’s uncle stood up and left, leaving Jenn to her thoughts.
That night, Jenn slipped out of bed and left the house. She stepped on a creaky floorboard and paused warily, making sure her aunt and uncle didn’t hear her. She left the house and walked into the woods. The forest was eerily beautiful, crickets chirping and nightingales singing their sweet song in the dark, frosty woods. As she wandered, searching for the clearing, she heard crunching of leaves. Some say that he had a darker end…that he wanders the forest at night… Jenn gasped. What if it was the hunter? She bolted like a frightened deer, scattering leaves behind her in her panicked escape. Finally, she slowed, trying to get her bearings. One thought rushed through her mind… I’m lost!
Then, she saw them. Two glittering, misty wolves, loping through the wilderness alongside each other. They were truly lovely, one white and one black. They seemed to be waiting for her, dancing around her in their spectral beauty. She followed them, their coats gleaming in the moonlight. As she followed them, they led her out of the forest. Her aunt and uncle stood outside her house. They were sitting on the doorstep, her aunt crying into her hands and her uncle staring sadly into the forest. As she strode out of the forest, her uncle saw her and immediately brightened and shook her aunt’s shoulder. Jenn ran into their arms. As they headed into the house, Jenn twisted around to see the wolves, to say goodbye to them. They stood at the edge of the woods, the white wolf’s head resting on the black one’s shoulder. Jenn blinked, and they were gone.
When Jenn woke the next morning, she returned to her normal life. She would never forget her mother and father, but she loved her aunt and uncle also.