The Wolf Princess
By Georgia Horesh
Copyright 1996

There was once a tribe of werewolves who lived in a village on the edge of a forest. These people existed in peace with the land around them. It should be noted however, that they did not run around on all fours. For who would it do to try and sew a vest or dress with paws? No, they walked on two legs and went about their lives as the men and women of other villages did. It was only those who went to hunt game for food and at times, defend the land, which took on the lupine form.

Now, this tribe had a leader, a Wolf Lord, who ruled wisely and with a strong fair hand. He had a wife, who was as gentle as the breeze and as lovely as the summer wind. It was whispered and known among the tribe’s people that it was her calming voice that had eased the raging river of her husband’s anger many a time. And as is normal, this Wolf Lord and Lady had many pups that were all strong and healthy, as young children should be. The runt of this litter was a little girl named Aunrae Faeryl.

Aunrae was a beautiful creature. She had eyes that were intensely blue like winter ice, cheeks of pink roses, lips of mulled wine and hair colored the rich brown of the deep woods. She was bright and inquisitive and always ready to smile. For all intent, she was a normal happy child who loved her family and was loved in turn.

Now, being the runt of her siblings, Aunrae was not as strong or as fast as they. And though she grew and was healthy and agile, she could not win in competitions with her brothers and sisters. It was a fact she grew to accept, try as she might. And soon, it ceased to be a bother for her, for there was much more in life around her to attract her attentions.

It was only when her littermates reached the age and time when they could take on the wolf form and she could not, that Aunrae felt sadness. First, eldest brother was able to become a creature with fur colored gray like a stormy sky. He left home soon after to run with the pack in the woods and find a mate. Then eldest sister, a lovely girl, became able to transform into a golden-coated wolf. She too left home to find a mate and join the pack. And so it went, until only Aunrae remained at home with her mother and father. It was not too long after that, that her brothers and sisters began families of their own.

As time passed and Aunrae was a young woman who had still not gone through the change, she begged to be allowed to run with the wolves. The answer was always no. Aunrae persisted, tears of frustration in her eyes, but her mother would only say, “It is not proper for two legs to run with four. You must wait till the time is right.”

Of course, Aunrae wondered why she hadn’t become able to become a wolf like her siblings had. She wondered when her time would come. And soon, so did her parents and her brothers and sisters. Then more time passed and the rest of the tribe wondered as well. It seemed that the Wolf Princess on two legs was doomed to stay that way. And doomed to stay alone, for who would ever want to marry the runt of the litter anyway? Especially one who couldn’t be a wolf?
Then one night, in the cold of winter, a huge snowstorm came. The snow fell for days and looked like it would never end. Ice froze the land as harsh winds chilled the heart. The wolves could find no game to hunt; the prey had either fled the lands or perished, to be buried under a thick white blanket. As the snow continued to fall, the food stores grew more and more empty: Far faster than the tribe expected. As the days grew to months of snowstorms, the food stores were used till they were almost barren. It became apparent that there would soon only be enough supplies to last for a few more weeks. There was little hope for the future as day after day passed and the hunters returned with empty hand and claw. And day after day, the snow fell silently upon the lands.

Aunrae saw her people suffering and felt helpless. Her heart ached to do something. “So be it,” she said late one frozen night, “I must do what I can for my tribe… Two legs or not.” She packed up her bow, a quiver of arrows and some supplies. After dressing as warmly as she could, she snuck out from her home and ran into the winter ever under the eye of the crescent moon.

She traveled long and hard, pushing her way through snow and ice. She saw no deer, nor hares nor any other game to hunt. Her spirits faltered and sank each day she found no food. But still, she kept on.

It was on one of her many fruitless searches through a dense part of the woods, that a hungry bear, lean and viscous, attacked her. Aunrae tried to defend herself as best she could, but she was weak from an empty belly and the bear was fiercer than she. The bear knocked Aunrae to the ground then poised a huge paw to strike her. Aunrae awaited her fate with closed eyes.
But instead of feeling the claws of the bear, she heard a harsh cry. Looking up in surprise, Aunrae watched as a young man brandishing a sword, chased off the bear. The cry had startled the creature enough to spook it and frighten it away. Once satisfied that the bear was gone, not to return, the young man walked back to Aunrae.

He appeared to Aunrae to be about the same age as her. He was taller than she, with hair the color of a raven’s wind and eyes of golden brown. His face showed concern as he helped her up to her feet, “Are you hurt?”

“No,” She answered, “I’m fine good sir… Thank you.”

“I am Erev Anguin,” He said, sheathing his sword at his side, “What are you doing out here alone?”

Aunrae introduced herself and explained that she was hunting food for her tribe. “They are hungry and this winter has been so harsh… I can only hope they are still alright.”

“I too hunt for game, but have found none so far. I am usually a loner, but some company in this barren and dangerous wood may do me some good. What say we travel together?”

Aunrae agreed and so they traveled and the time passed as they searched. They made shelter when they were able and shared whatever food they scavenged from the forest. They told riddles and tales to keep each other in high spirits and the woods would be filled with their laughter in the quiet cold. The two became good friends and grew increasingly fond of each other.

After a long time of trudging through the frozen world, Erev and Aunrae saw something that filled them both with hope: It was a beautiful stag chewing on a few tiny leaves clinging to a winter-dead shrub. “Surely the good spirits do smile upon us Aunrae,” Erev whispered to her as they crouched low to the ground out of sight.

They moved in, carefully and quietly… Then together, they attacked the stag. Before it knew what was happening, the two were able to leap upon it and wound it. But nothing is more dangerous than a wounded animal.

The stag, in a burst of self-preserving strength, flung mighty antlered head, throwing Erev off into a tree. Aunrae was then bucked off into the snow, but she was unhurt and quickly got her feet. Dazed, Erev didn’t get up as the stag ran to charge and impale him upon its sharp horns. Aunrae was horrified. The stag was going to kill him! Her heart cried out in a pain she had never known.

Now was the time.

Before Aunrae knew what she was doing, she was running at the stag. Her senses sharpened, her mind raced with her feet and her heart pounded within her chest as if trying to break free. She fell forward onto her arms that were no longer arms, but legs: The legs and claws of a wolf. She was a creature of the darkest fur, with eyes sparkling like stars in the night sky.
Using all of her might, she leapt and dove at the stag’s muscled neck. She sunk her sharp teeth into its flesh and knocked it off its course. Erev was safe. The stag fell to the ground, with Aunrae’s jaws still holding onto it. She ripped at its throat, till it gave a wheezy moan and finally died. Blood flowed from its neck, staining the white snow to pool under the body. Aunrae backed away from the kill, letting herself become human once more.

Tired, sore, and weak, she shivered in the cold, naked and afraid. It was as soon as the stag died, that she realized Erev had seen her change. He saw what she had become and what she really was. “He will think I am a monster and hate me,” She thought miserably.

She fell to her knees in the snow, wrapping her arms about herself, fearful of what he would do. Then she felt a soft warm cloak wrap around her as Erev knelt by her side. Aunrae gazed up at him, love burning in her heart. His soft golden eyes met her own crystal blue ones. Erev smiled and she saw no hate in him.

“You do not fear me?” She asked, confused.

“Why? Because you are a werewolf? Silly girl, I could never be afraid of you. I love you my Wolf Princess. Besides,” He smiled warmly to reveal his own sharp canines, “To fear you would be to fear myself. Do you think you are the only one with the moon in your blood?”

Aunrae nearly cried in joy as she wrapped her arms about him. He returned her embrace with a kiss. “Come my love,” Erev said, helping her to her feet, “We must get you clothed and warm again.”

Aunrae dressed in spare clothes from her pack and they cooked the stag over a roaring fire. After eating what they could, they packed the rest of the meat up and slept soundly in each other’s arms.

As they traveled on, they came upon a small clutch of dear trapped in the woods. Aunrae and Erev took the forms of wolves and together, they herded the creatures back to her village. There was enough meat to last the tribe through the rest of the winter. There was much to celebrate that night in the village.

Soon time passed in its continuing cycle so that the snow soaked into the earth and the ice wept away to welcome the new life. And in the spring, under the new moon, deep in the woods where the ivy and white roses grow and the celandine is wild, Erev Anguin and Aunrae Faeryl were wed.
The End