THE LAST by ProQuest


[...] on its back in the posture that every canine, from the smallest dog on up, takes to show submissiveness, neck exposed to the teeth of its pack leader, the wolf looked back over its shoulder at him. Looked over at him, then lifted its paw to lick it, seemingly unconcerned about the fact that the human who'd been trailing him so doggedly was right across the fire. [...] you're the last of your sort in these parts, so beggars can't be choosers, the third of the men concluded in a bluff, hearty voice. No bounties paid for wolves or men.

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									THE LAST                     Ash had tracked the killer wolf for a week,
                             and the trail hadn’t been easy. Now that the
                             moment of truth had finally arrived, what
                             was he going to do?
                             Fiction by Joseph Bruchac
                             Illustrations by Sam Weber

                                                          AUGUST 2009 F BOYS’ LIFE   33

Fiction_TheLast_vH.indd 33                                                     6/1/09 2:12:11 PM
                                                                                           toward his pack. “You don’t                        his
                                                                                           want to end up like that, eh?”                     wa
                                                                                              The wolf swung itself back up to                liv
                                               that every canine, from the smallest        its feet in one motion, as smooth as               pa
                                               dog on up, takes to show submis-            water flowing. It limped, favoring                  yo
                                               siveness, neck exposed to the teeth         that front foot, over to Ash’s pack and            an
                                               of its pack leader, the wolf looked         sniffed at the wolf skin robe slung                As
                                               back over its shoulder at him.              over it. Then it looked back over                  ag
                                                 Ash narrowed his eyes.                    its shoulder at Ash. Accusingly?                   ge
                                                 “What’re you doing? Trying                   Ash held up both hands. “No,                       T
                                               to get me to let my guard down,             not my doing. That was my Uncle                       “
                                               jump on me and rip my throat                Piel. Eighteen years and about                     are
                                               out? You a lugaroo?”                        3,000 miles from here. He said it                  pic

                                                 A lugaroo was no laughing mat-            was the last wolf in the gold fields.               rin
                      e might have shot it     ter. Uncle Piel up at St. Francis had       So unless you been to California,                  the
                   when it stepped out of      told him plenty such tales. The loup        I doubt it was any friend or rela-                 He
                   the forest darkness.        garoo. A man who dealt with dark            tive of yours. Some other pack.”                   br
                     It stood for a moment,    spirits to get shape-changing power.           The wolf sat back on its haunches               of
                   clearly illuminated by      By giving up his soul, he could tran
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