I am writing this story for one of my nephews. Enjoy.
Mavek paused to sniff the wind, his ears cocked and listening as the wind howled down the crevasse. He moved slowly, each paw placed with care, eyes always moving, watching the walls and the ground ahead.
The last of his pack had perished in the snow avalanche three moons ago. Ayak, oldest of the females had abandoned him , he was sure, to die. She hadn't eaten for days...and this winter had come onto the Plains faster than anyone had anticipated.
The hunting grounds, usually plentiful this time of year, had been buried under the first snow flurries, and there would not have been a problem until that damned blizzard had torn down the coast. None could remember the last time a storm had been this intense, and this fast, catching them unprepared.
Prey had scattered, then fled west, the smaller animals taking refuge from the storm's fury..and in less than a few days, the planned for food supply had vanished under what the pack leader had called the White Death.
The Council had ordered an early migration..a fatal mistake in the end. Vreloth had always been a fool.
Mavek's pack leader had fallen with a broken leg, the second wolf taking over..but old Rijab's eyesight was not what it was..and their frenzied screams as they fell into a snow covered ravine haunted his fitful sleep.
Six had survived..the avalanche near the Old Mountain taking them by surprise, only Mavek's panicked burst of speed into an almost invisible bolt hole saved his hide. Tunnelling out after the last of the snowfall had taken all his energy, the air sweet as he escaped..his howls anguished when he learned he was alone.
Wolves are not solitary creatures by nature. Caught in adverse and hazardous conditions, almost no food supply and water frozen solid everywhere he looked, he was living on borrowed time. And now night was falling, maybe three hours of light left.
Twice he bolted in pursuit, once after a small hare that had finally outdistanced him..the other with a little more success, a field mouse that wasn't paying attention. Two mouthfuls and gone, barely enough to assuage his hunger. The rodent's blood at least had slaked his thirst, for now anyway. It would have to do.
Exposed to the elements, tired, hungry and bone weary, Mavek felt the chill wind..and knew that if he didn't find shelter soon, that wind would be singing his eulogy. If the storm didn't get him, the cold would.
A wolf in this weather, unprotected, was a dead wolf.
Casting about, his nose picked up a faint scent of earth, and felt a tiny twinge of warmer air. Loping through soft snowdrifts, wincing now and then as his paws hit hidden objects and rocks,. thirty minutes of searching was rewarded. A small cave, no more than a small cleft in the mountain wall, not that deep , maybe five feet, but it offered protection from the elements, and was good as any a place to hole up for the night. With solid rock at his back and sides, it was secure enough,.though one good fall of snow would bury him alive.
Exhaustion warred with caution..fatigue won.
Just a few hours rest, and press on at dawn. This snow had to end sometime.