Kate nuzzled Humphrey early the following morning. She apologized to him the گزشتہ night for her snappy reaction to them mating and all was good once more. Now they could enjoy one another's company at last. She got up and looked down upon her mate, sleeping soundly. He did not know it but he was quite interesting when he slept. She left the confines of the cave to go out and do her business.
Outside the world had changed; not only was the sun hidden but a cold wind blew from the north. She looked around; most of the trees had been stripped of their colorful autumn leaves overnight and stood like skeletons. The sky was no longer blue but a ugly hue of gray. Something about this made her insides cringe and her Alpha instincts told her it was bad.
She ran down from the dens to the valley and saw that the massive caribou herd was preparing to leave. The big bulls were bugling at one another and the cows and yearling bulls were following suit. They were all facing the south where the valley eventually ended and was replaced سے طرف کی mountains. Slowly the herd began to move.
"Oh no!" Kate could not watch any longer and ran back to the dens where most of the pack lazily slept, lost in dreams. Humphrey was out of the cave the wind blowing his hair; when he saw his mate coming and ran to meet her.
"Kate what on earth is going on?" She knew he was talking about the weather, but had no time to explain. "Humphrey we must wake the others! Our caribou herd is preparing to leave and we must do something before our main ذریعہ of food is gone!" "We can't howl یا that would scare the caribou away, Humphrey I want آپ to go wake Garth and Lilly, and I'll concentrate on getting the rest of the Alphas and hunters ready okay?" she demanded. "Yes!" He exclaimed and turned and left.
Humphrey ran to Garth and Lilly's ماند, خلوت خانہ and found them fast asleep. Mustering up a deep voice he bellowed so the sound echoed in the small den, "wake up آپ guys!" It worked he got a pair of startled eyes looking at him, Garth growled but realized it was Humphrey.
"What the devil are آپ doing here!?" "No time to explain Garth, wake your father and get your butt outside, the caribou herd is about to leave the valley!"
"Wha...?" Humphrey cut him off, "there is no time I said! Wake Tony and get outside! I'll go wake the others!"
Humphrey turned and darted from the den; Garth and Lilly hot on his heals heading for Tony's den.
When the entire pack was outside and standing around Kate, Humphrey, Garth and Lilly; they told them everything. "So what do آپ expect us to do about it?" Tony raged.
"I thought we were supposed to be 'enjoying our retirement', not chasing around your problems! I warned آپ that this might be a rough winter and obviously آپ did not listen son!"
"Dad just please listen to me! Do آپ want to eat at all this winter یا starve?" Garth asked. Tony's angry expression dropped and he lowered his head, "sorry son I'm just not what I used to be okay? آپ know my injury holds me back sometimes" "Don't آپ dare lie to me Dad! I've seen آپ do incredible things even with your bad back!"
While Tony and Garth worked out the argument; Winston was already planning a hunting strategy with Kate and Humphrey. The plan was simple, send one Alpha from each ماند, خلوت خانہ to go after the caribou. The beasts were moving slow so if they worked quietly they would each take down a animal for the winter's meat supply to their den. Kate would start first, Garth second, and so forth. If needed they could be accompanied سے طرف کی a mate یا companion to help drag the kills back.
To satisfy the Omega families the plan was to rotate shifts among the Alphas to bring plenty of food back for everyone. There was about a 24 Alphas and 22 Omegas in the pack so it would work if it went smooth. 12 Caribou for the Alphas and 11 for the Omegas.
"Winston!" Tony's voice called, "we need to talk!" "Yes Tony...? Oh Kate آپ go ahead and start with your hunt, Garth will follow after آپ return." Kate left and headed straight for the valley where the caribou herd moved slowly to the south.
"Winston I've been in Jasper most of my life and I know when I see a famine winter coming!"
"This is absurd never seen such a thing happen in my lifetime and I've been an Alpha leader since my adolescent years ended; آپ don't mean to say that our pack is in danger of starvation?"
Tony nodded at him. "Yes," he کہا quietly. "When I was a pup our pack struggled with a winter famine, all of my siblings died; my father died trying to provide food for us. My mother went crazy after getting into a fight with a rabid wolverine, I was left to fend for myself Winston!"
"I'm so sorry to hear that..." "I shouldn't have told you." Tony کہا and he turned away from Winston.
He faced the north where the wind was coming from and a vast white, low hanging بادل was descending slowly. A white دیوار beneath its surface, where the cold surely was coming from.
"If this isn't a famine winter Winston, it will sure be a rough one," and the two Alpha leaders of old sat side سے طرف کی side and watched the storm as it began to engulf the hills of the Howling Rock far in the distance.