Tuesday, June 20

The Boy who was a Wolf

Once there was a boy. An ordinary boy. Like you, perhaps, if you are one. Or like that one you know. That strange one, who keeps to himself.

This boy lived like all normal boys in the day. He went to school, he read books, he drew pictures and went for walks in the woods and across the hills.

But every night he climbed out of his window and he became a wolf.

Wolves are different from the wolves in fairytales. He never ate anyone’s grandma. He never ate little pigs, either, nor did he try to blow their houses down.

What this wolf liked most was to run across the grassy hills with the stars above his head.

He would run until he didn’t know where he was anymore and just keep running until he found himself back in bed, a boy again, at the start of another day.

One night the boy climbed out of his window but he didn’t become a wolf. Instead the wolf he usually became was standing next to him.

He wasn’t very afraid. He knew this wolf very well. After all, he was this wolf half the time. “Hello”, he said.

This was a little silly, because wolves don’t understand words. But the wolf cocked its head slightly, which sort of meant the same thing as saying “hello” back.

The wolf began to trot off a little distance, and stopped and looked back at the boy as if to say “are you coming?”.

The boy looked up at his open window, down at his pyjamas, and decided to follow.

Rather than go out onto the hills, the wolf led the boy a different way, because this night was different from the others. He took him into a dark wood.

A little afraid, the boy followed, trying to tread exactly where the wolf tread. The wolf turned back every once in a while, to make sure he did not get too far ahead.

Eventually they came out into a clearing. Here the wolf sat down and waited for the boy to catch up.

The moon was high above them, and the sky was full of stars – more than the boy had ever seen, except with his wolf eyes.

He looked down at the wolf, and the wolf looked sad. It’s a little hard to say how it looked sad, but the boy could see in its eyes that it was.

“Don’t be sad, wolf” he said, gently stroking its muzzle. But the wolf couldn’t help it.

“Just look at all those stars” said the boy, pointing out all the hundreds his eyes had never seen before.

But when the boy looked down again, he was alone in the woods. The wolf was gone.

The boy was scared. “Wolf!” he called out, quietly. But the wolf did not return.

Taking a few deep breaths, the boy decided to make his own way home. The wolf could find its way here, and he was the wolf, so he could find his way home. It would be easy.

He turned around and set out into the woods. He couldn’t find a path, but he made his way through the trees. Every now and then a twig scratched his face, or his arms, but he kept going.

Eventually he came out onto the hills where he had run as a wolf, but he was exhausted, and he could not run tonight.

He turned towards home, and walked with his head down all the way back.

Eventually he climbed back into his own window, into his own room and lay down in his own bed. “I did it”, he thought to himself. “I hope the wolf is alright”.

The next night he was too tired to climb out of his window, still exhausted from his long night in the woods.

The night after that he felt angry at the wolf for leaving him there alone in the woods, and decided not to climb out of his window to teach the wolf a lesson.

But the night after that he remembered that the wolf had looked sad before it left him. The boy realised the wolf had not wanted to go.

He climbed out of his window and went to look for the wolf. He went to the dark woods first, although they frightened him a little, but he could not find the wolf there.

Next he went out onto the grassy hills where he knew the wolf loved to run. But he could not see the wolf in the bright moonlight.

“Where can he have gone?” thought the boy. Just then he heard a strange sound come across the hills, a faint echoing cry.

It was the wolf. He heard the wolf howl, and the howl was the saddest sound he had ever heard.

He felt sorry for his wolf, but he realised that the wolf could not come back. “Goodbye Wolf” he shouted, and the sound echoed across the hills into silence.

And, sadly, he made his way home.

Over the next months he forgot the wolf, and carried on with his life as boys tend to.

But the wolf never forgot the boy.



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