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Ponn

By: Tricia Klos

Chapter One

Once there was a wolf pack called "The Winsey Pack." Winsey (Win-see) was their leader, and he was a strong, smart wolf. He and his wife, Kassa, ruled their pack like a king and queen. They were the alpha wolves (alpha is the top rank.)

Under them were Sonoganda (Sanna-gonda) and Astera, the beta wolves (beta is second-best in ranking.) Sonoganda was Winsey's brother (which didn't matter in ranking anyhow.) Sonoganda and Astera have a son, Ponn (Pawn).

After these wolves came 9 or 10 omega wolves (the lowest rank in a wolf pack.)

Ponn was lucky to be born at all. Usually only the alpha wolves can have babies, but Ponn was lucky because he was born during a long period of lots of food. That means there can be more than one litter of pups born. Ponn had a brother and sister, but they died from starvation because all of a sudden all the food went away somehow and there was barely any left. So barely any of the pups survived.

Winsey and Kassa have two pups(one of them died from starvation.) These pups' names are Luna and Zand. Luna (the girl) and Zand (the boy) are both snobby and act stuck-up to Ponn. That's why Ponn is called a "lone wolf."

Ponn is only 4 weeks old. Luna and Zand are both five weeks old, and this makes them

act even more stuck up.

Luna and Zand aren't considered snobby or stuck-up by the adults because they always act like perfect angels around adults.

Chapter Two

Ponn was playing with a stick by himself one day when Luna and Zand showed up.

"Do you want to play?" Ponn asked.

"No way," Luna said, "Why would we play with you?!"

"Yeah," Zand agreed, then he asked, "Do you want to wrestle with me, Luna?"

"Sure, anything's better than playing with a beta wolf. Us alphas have to stick together," Luna agreed.

This really hurt Ponn's feelings. He dropped his stick and ran away. He hid in a bush about half a mile away. There he let out a loud, sorrowful howl (which was hard for a pup.)

Some wolves ran to him.

Koona (Kassa's sister) asked him "What's wrong, Ponn?"

Then his mom's cousin, Nadd, asked him, "What happened?"

Everyone was asking questions at once.

"It's Luna and Zand....." Ponn started to say, but then Nadd interrupted and said "Luna and Zand? Did something happen to them? Winsey would be so upset!"

"No," Ponn said, "Nothing happened to them."

Most of the wolves left then, including Nadd.

"What's the matter, then?" Koona asked.

"Luna and Zand were teasing me and saying they were better than me because they're alpha wolves!" Ponn explained.

"You know they wouldn't do that," Koona said, and then she asked, "Have you ever heard of the story 'The Wolf Who Cried Boy'?"

"Yes," Ponn said glumly, "but it really happened!"

"Ponn, stop this foolishness. You know, there is work to be done around here!"

"Yes Koona, I know," Ponn said sadly. By this time they were the only two wolves left in the bush.

"Well then, I have to be off," Koona said, "I'm disappointed in you, Ponn."

This made Ponn even more upset than before, and he let out another howl. Nobody came.

That night Ponn was in his den by Astera (whom he called Mom.)

"You know, Ponn. I heard about what happened today, and I'm disappointed in you. You know that was a very selfish thing to do," his mom said.

"But it really happened!" Ponn shouted, frustrated.

"Ponn!" Mom shouted surprised.

"Sorry," Ponn said apologizing.

"Even if it did really happen you shouldn't tattle on them. Besides, they're alphas and we're just betas. They can tease us, they outrank us," Mom explained.

This was it, Ponn was mad.

Chapter Three

The next morning Ponn decided to leave.

He had thought about it all night, and he had decided that he was not wanted by "The Winsey Pack." All 13 or 14 members treated Luna and Zand like royalty, and they just ignored him. That's what Ponn thought. He was wrong, everybody did care about him, but they were always too busy and got annoyed with him easily. Since he didn't know this he wanted to run away, even though he was only four and a half weeks old.

Ponn thought as he was waking up: "I should have a good meal before I leave." He also thought: "I wonder if Mom and Dad will miss me." Another thought was: "How will I survive with winter coming?" All these thoughts filled Ponn's head as he went outside to play.

Luna and Zand were out there playing a game like tag.

"Can I play?" Ponn asked still hoping to have them as friends.

"No," Zand said, "First of all, it's a two person game. Second, it's for alpha pups only. Our dad told us it's a tradition, and that for generations alpha pups have played it."

"Well, that's because there was never a beta pup until now," Ponn explained angrily.

"We don't want to break the tradition though," Luna said.

"Fine!" Ponn shouted, "I'll have a lot more fun by myself anyhow!"

"Okay," Zand said as he and Luna started playing their game again.

"Hi, Mom!" Ponn said a few minutes later to his mom.

"Hi, Ponn," Mom said.

"I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and how I'll always love you for the rest of my life," Ponn said nicely to his mother.

"I love you too, Ponn," Mom said sweetly, and they licked each other.

A few minutes later Ponn was talking to his dad.

"I love you, dad," Ponn said.

"I love you too, son," Dad said.

Ponn snuggled up by his dad.

"Well, I guess it's time for me to leave," Ponn said to himself as he walked away.

As he was walking away he looked back at his pack and whimpered sadly.

That night Ponn looked for a place to sleep. He found one in an empty animal burrow.

The next morning there was a light snow on the ground.

"I wonder if Mom and Dad miss me?" Ponn asked himself out loud. Then, in the distance, he heard a long, sorrowful howl that sounded like his mother's. Ponn knew what that howl meant; his mother and father thought he was dead. This made Ponn feel bad, but he kept going anyway.

A few hours later Ponn was really hungry and thirsty.

He stopped at a stream nearby. He lapped up the water thirstily. Down the stream he saw a deer.

"I wonder if I could catch that?" he asked himself silently, "It's worth a try."

So Ponn silently crept up behind the deer (which was a doe.)

He sprang, but he was too small. The doe shook him off and then ran into the forest.

By now Ponn was starving!

Chapter Four

One day later Ponn still didn't have any food, but he kept going anyhow.

"I won't stop, I won't stop, I won't stop......" Ponn kept repeating out loud to himself.

All of a sudden a rabbit jumped out in his path. Ponn sprang, and grabbed the rabbit's throat in his jaws. He shook the rabbit back and forth trying to kill it. After a few minutes it was finally dead. Ponn ate heartily.

Energetic again, Ponn set out.

After that Ponn became a good hunter (for his age.) Once he even caught a small doe!

Ponn kept moving for two weeks. He was getting to be a brave, strong wolf. Only one problem: it was late October by now, and snow was on the ground. The rivers and streams were freezing up, and food was starting to get scarce.

One week later, when Ponn was seven and a half weeks old, he found another pack.

He was just wandering through the woods when he saw a big, male wolf looking at him.

Ponn started to run, but the wolf caught up easily. He wrestled Ponn to the ground, and Ponn surrendered by rolling on his back and whimpering.

"Who are you, and what are you doing in our territory?" the wolf asked him.

"I'm Ponn from 'The Winsey Pack'," Ponn explained, "and I'm here because I ran away."

"You say you're from 'The Winsey Pack'," the wolf said, "Well, it just so happens that our leader, Troke, is Winsey and Sonoganda's brother."

"I'm Sonoganda's son!" Ponn said happily.

"You can come with me," the wolf said, "By the way, my name's Opas (O-paws.)"

Ponn followed Opas back to their pack, which was surprisingly big! Twenty-four wolves is what Ponn counted.

"Troke!" Opas shouted.

A tall, strong-looking wolf sat up.

"Yes?" the wolf said.

"This pup here is the son of your brother, Sonoganda," Opas explained.

"Is that true?" Troke asked Ponn.

"Yes, and my mom's name is Astera," Ponn said.

"Why aren't you with your parents?" Troke asked.

"I ran away," Ponn said, "They were treating me badly."

Troke thought that he meant they were abusing him and so he asked Ponn to say.

"I'd love to stay!" Ponn said happily.

Just then a pretty girl pup ran up to Troke.

"Hi, dad!" she said, "Guess what! I beat Grew and Opeera (Oh-peer-ah) at a race!"

"That's great, Jessa," Troke said, "But I'd like you to meet Ponn. He's your cousin."

"Hi," Jessa said, "How old are you?"

"7 weeks and a half. How about you?" Ponn asked.

"5 weeks," Jessa said, "Do you want to play with my brother, sister, and me?"

"Sure!" Ponn said excitedly.

Ponn stayed with Troke's pack over the winter. By the end of winter Ponn was a full grown wolf. Troke really respected him so one day he asked Ponn something.

"Ponn," Troke said, "How would like to marry Jessa?"

"M-m-marry Jessa?" Ponn asked.

"Yes, you two seem to get along so well, and I thought it might be nice." Troke said.

"But we're cousins!" Ponn said.

"Wolves can marry cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, just about any family member!" Troke said.

"Well, I guess I would like it," Ponn said.

"You could start your own pack, too" Troke said, "Our pack is a little too big for me to handle."

"What would Jessa say?" Ponn asked.

"She wants to. She even told me so," Troke said, "So will you do it?"

"I guess I will," Ponn said.

"Then it's settled," Troke said, "You can leave tomorrow."

Chapter Five

The next morning Jessa and Ponn were wed. It was a short, but sweet, ceremony.

Troke let Ponn and Jessa have five wolves for their pack, all omegas. Then Ponn and Jessa set out with their new pack.

Ponn appointed Jessa's sister, Opeera, and her husband, Rikk (Rick,) the beta wolves. The rest were Loola, Pollamandee (Paul-a-mon-dee,) and Kiijak (Kee-jack.) Loola, Jessa, and Opeera were the women. Ponn, Rikk, Pollamandee, and Kiijak were the men. This was every wolf in "The Ponn Pack."

The pack wandered around for a few months, until they settled in a forested place next to a stream and that was rich with game. It reminded Ponn of his home. He became homesick.

What Ponn didn't know was that he was at home. He didn't know it, but he had settled right next to his old pack.

Ponn never discovered this until a few months later. By this time he and Jessa had pups. They were: Ponna (named after Ponn,) Brutem (Brute-um,) and Decka.

Ponn was just out hunting when he thought he saw Winsey.

"Winsey! Is that you?!" Ponn asked.

"Who are you, and how do you know my name?" Winsey asked.

"I'm Ponn!" Ponn exclaimed, "Sonoganda and Astera's son!"

"Ponn?" Winsey said, "We thought you were dead!"

"I ran away," Ponn said, "I married Jessa, Troke's daughter. Now I have my own pack."

"Congratulations!" Winsey said, "How's Troke doing?"

"Fine," Ponn began, "He has a large pack, that's why Jessa and I got five wolves for our pack."

"That's great! If only I were still an alpha wolf," Winsey said sadly.

"What do you mean?" Ponn asked.

"Zand challenged me to a fight, and I lost. Now he's the leader, and he treats everyone terribly!" Winsey said, "I blame it all on myself for losing that fight."

"Don't worry," Ponn said, "You can live with me and my pack."

"I can't," Winsey began, "This is my homeland. Besides, running away from problems doesn't help."

This made Ponn feel bad because he had ran away from his problem.

"Do you think I could see my parents?" Ponn asked.

"Sure," Winsey said.

"Let me get the rest of my pack first," Ponn said hurrying off.

"Jessa!" Ponn shouted one minute later, "Hurry! Get the pack! I have a surprise for all of you!"

So Jessa rounded up the rowdy pups and the rest of the pack and led them over to Ponn.

"So what's the surprise?" Jessa asked.

"You'll see," Ponn said, "Just follow me."

So Ponn, Jessa, Decka, Ponna, Brutem, Opeera, Loola, Rikk, Kiijak, and Pollamandee walked in the woods to meet Ponn's parents.

A few minutes later Ponn caught sight of his pack. They were all laying down sullenly.

Then Ponn spotted his mom and dad. They looked the saddest of everyone.

"Mom! Dad!" he shouted happily.

His mom and dad looked up.

"Who are you?" Sonoganda, Ponn's dad, asked.

"I'm Ponn!" Ponn said excitedly.

"Ponn?" Astera, Ponn's mom, asked, "But you died more than a year ago!"

"I ran away," Ponn explained shamefully.

"Why?" Astera asked.

"I hated how Luna and Zand were teasing me," Ponn said, "And I didn't like it that nobody would believe me when I told them that Luna and Zand were teasing me."

"I'm sorry," Astera said.

"So am I," Sonoganda said and they all embraced.

"Wait one moment," Ponn said, and he hurried off to get the rest of his pack.

They all came, and Ponn introduced all of them to Astera and Sonoganda.

Astera and Sonoganda liked their grandchildren best of all, but they thought everybody was nice.

Chapter Six

Ponn has been living with his old pack now for two weeks. Everything has been fine so far. Only one problem: Zand found out Ponn was in the pack and now he's teasing him even more than before.

"Hey! Ponn!" Zand shouted that day, "Where's my lunch?! I'm starving!"

"Sorry Zand," Ponn began, "I couldn't find anything. The animals are starting to hibernate."

"What a lame excuse!" Zand yelled, "I want my lunch, NOW!"

"Yes, Zand," Ponn said gloomily as he went hunting again.

"I really should stop him," Ponn thought a while later, "But how?"

Then suddenly Ponn got an idea!

"I'll challenge him to a howling contest!" Ponn shouted happily, "I've always had a loud howl! Even when I was a little pup!"

Ponn knew that Zand would accept the offer. Zand was so full of pride that he thought he could beat anyone.

An hour later Ponn finally caught a rabbit. It was a skinny one, but it would have to do.

Ponn brought the rabbit to Zand.

"Here's your lunch," Ponn said.

"You call this lunch?!" Zand said angrily.

"Can I ask you a question?" Ponn asked ignoring Zand's remark.

"Go ahead, but this better be important," Zand said.

"It is," Ponn began, "I was wondering if I could challenge you to a howling contest. Can I?"

This made Zand laugh, laugh, and laugh again.

Between his laughs Zand managed to say, "Y-you ch-challenge me to a-a how-howling contest?"

"That was what my idea was," Ponn said calmly, "Whoever howls the loudest wins."

After a few more laughs Zand calmed down and said, "I guess it'd be fun to beat you."

"Good," Ponn said, "I'll see you tomorrow at noon."

"By the way," Ponn began, "If I win I will get to be the leader of your pack."

"Wait!" Zand shouted as Ponn was leaving, "What do I get if I win?"

"My respect," Ponn said.

"More," Zand said.

"I will be your personal slave for a week," Ponn said.

"Until I die," Zand argued.

"Until you die?!" Ponn asked shocked.

"Yes, until I die," Zand answered, "Otherwise I'm not doing it."

Ponn wasn't to sure about his idea now, but he couldn't back off.

"Okay, until you die," Ponn agreed reluctantly.

So it was settled. There was going to be a howling contest the next day at noon.

Chapter Seven

As soon as Ponn had left Zand he went into the forest and practiced howling. He practiced all evening till his voice was sore, and then he practiced all morning until noon.

By this time word had spread throughout the pack. Everybody was talking about the big howling contest at noon. Most wolves wanted Ponn to win. In fact, every wolf wanted Ponn to win (except for Zand, of course.)

So the big moment came. The sun was high in the sky and there was an inch of snow on the ground. Every wolf in Zand's pack was there, including every wolf in Ponn's pack.

"I'll go first," Zand said as he took in a deep breath.

Then he let his breath out, and out came, "Owwwooooooooo!" All the wolves had to cover their ears, the howl was so loud.

Ponn was worried. He didn't know if he could beat Zand's howl. He was going to try no matter what, though.

So Ponn took in a deep breath and then he let out, "Owwwooooooooooo!"

His howl was so loud that the wolves had to cover their ears again, except Ponn's howl was so loud that the wolves had trouble hearing afterwards.

That didn't keep the wolves from cheering. Everybody knew Ponn won, except for one wolf.

"You call that a howl?" Zand asked, "My grandma can howl louder than that!"

"Face it, Zand," Ponn began, "Everybody knows my howl was louder than yours. Don't you hear them cheering?"

There was silence between the two wolves for a moment and then Zand said, "You're right, you were louder. I just couldn't face the truth."

"It's okay," Ponn said.

"I guess you'll be taking my pack now, and then you'll probably banish me from the pack," Zand said sadly, "I deserve it for the way I've been treating you lately and how I treated you when we were pups."

"You don't have to go," Ponn said kindly, "I wouldn't banish you from the pack. That wouldn't be right."

"You wouldn't?" Zand asked hopefully.

"No, I wouldn't," Ponn said, "In fact you can be the beta wolf."

So Ponn ruled Zand's old pack and his pack with Jessa for the rest of his life, with his new friend Zand at his side.

The End