Brother and Sister Part 1- In pursuit of wolf's milk

“I am seriously ill, brother. I am dying. Only you save me, my dear brother. I saw it clearly in my dream. I need to drink wolf’s milk. Get me some wolf’s milk at once or I will die.”

His sister’s words rang clearly in his ears as he rode into the forest on his steed, his two trusted dogs by his side. The wolf was a dangerous animal. And a she-wolf with cubs was doubly dangerous. And his powerful sword would be of no use against her. For dead wolves give no milk.

But however difficult, he had to do it for she was all he had. And he was all she had. They had never seen another human in the last ten years since they had fled to this island. He had vague memories of his mother and even lesser ones of his father. His father! He grimaced at the very thought of him. Than man who had been away for most of their childhood, had brought trouble as his companion the day he had finally arrived. The foolish old man had sold out his children to a dangerous creature of the faerie. To his credit, he had not even known he had children. Their mother had come to know she was pregnant only after he had left on his journey. The journey had lasted five whole years in which he had made his fortune and he was returning home to his family a man of means. Nothing would have delighted him more than to find the two new additions to his family – a pair of twins – his son and his daughter.

But as luck would have it he had managed to fall into the hands of a magical being – a malicious shape changer. The creature had kept him imprisoned for days. He had tried to tempt it by promising it all his wealth, his home and even his wife. Such was the man. Willing even to sacrifice his devoted wife to save his own skin. Ivanko thought little of this father of his. The shape changer had not agreed. Finally, the demon had made his demands, “You shall give to me that which has newly arrived at your home during your absence.” He had readily agreed, little guessing what the new additions could be.

He had been devastated when he had discovered that the new additions were the two children his wife had given birth to during his absence. He had beat his breast and wept and lamented that he would rather have let his own life be taken rather than make such a deal with the vile creature. But now looking back, Ivanko did not really believe that. After all he was one who had been willing to trade his own wife to save his life. Anyways they had made a weak attempt to save the children by digging behind their house and hiding them inside a hole.

He had acquired a pair of lambs and tried pass them away as the new additions to their home. But the demon was no fool. He had known all too well what the new additions were and had gone about looking for them while Ivanko's father and mother had watched helplessly, hoping he wouldn’t discover the children’s hiding place.

But the demon was a being of strong magic. He had brought all the things around the house to life and questioned them. The broom, the spade, the axe and the chisel. They all had staunchly stood by the couple and refused to reveal the location of their children. But the demon was an extremely cunning creature. “My dear chisel,” he had said, “Your loyalty is misplaced. The people of this house have not taken good care of you. If they had, would they have let that paint come off around that corner. They do not care for you as much as they do for the spade or the broom or the axe. “

The chisel’s head had turned, and it had revealed the location of the children. The demon had dug out the children from their hiding place, seized them and ridden away on his powerful horse. The parents had just watched helplessly. That was the last he had seen of his parents.

The dogs’ barking broke his reverie. They were outside a wolf’s den. They had hardly taken two steps inside when a ferocious howl was heard. Soon the wolf herself was before them. He leaped out of her way just in time as she sprung straight for his throat. As soon as she landed on the ground, the two large dogs were upon her. Ivanko went inside and brought out the cubs. The moment she saw Ivanko standing over her cubs, his powerful sword over them, all the fight in her was gone. The two dogs pinned her down and he milked her. Once he was done, they let her go. She rushed to her cubs and the family of wolves pawed each other and howled in pleasure.

“Come on, Protius. Come, Nejvada. Let’s go,” said Ivanko and they set out to leave. As they were leaving, one of the wolf cubs left the family and began to follow them. Somehow it seemed to have developed an affinity for Ivanko. He tried to shoo it away. But it kept following. He realized the cub was intent on being with him. He too felt fondness for the little creature -he bent down and picked up the cub and placed it on the top of his horse in front of him and rode away with him.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Kind words of appreciation/feedback

For whom the bell tolls

A book of faces