Chapter 1:

The Wolf-Children (I)

The Wolf-Children

Six men sat on a wooden hunting platform. The platform had been hastily built during the heat of the day. Now, in the gathering twilight, the men knew that their long wait would soon be over.Bookmark here

Below them, some thirty meters away stood a giant ant hill. It was on this that the men’s attention was focused. One of the men licked his lips nervously. The ant hill he knew has long ago been abandoned by ants. Now it was simply a hollow, shell-like cave. Inside it lived jungle demon.Bookmark here

Sunset was time for demons to appear. It was October 9th, 1920. Everyone in the village knew about the jungle demons. They had heard their howls and their yelping cries. Several people had actually seen the demons. They were, in appearance half human, half animal. The superstitious would no longer venture into the forest for fear of them. Bookmark here

The forest was bath in a deep red glow from the setting sun. The first of the large fruit bats flapped past at the waiting men.Bookmark here

Suddenly, there was a movement in the narrow entrance of the anthill. The men on the platform stiffed one of them drew in his breath sharply while another tightened his grip on the stock of his rifle.Bookmark here

Something was coming out of the anthill. It was a fully grown wolf. Behind it came a second wolf and then two small cubs. Then something else emerged. It was demon, just as the villagers had said, half human and half animal.Bookmark here

The ‘demon’ was followed by the second monster much smaller than the first. Both of the creatures had matted hair which covered their faces, and both walked on all four. They looked around cautiously before bounding after the wolves.Bookmark here

The six men reacted in different ways. Two aimed their rifles at the strange creatures. One quickly signaled them not to shoot. Then he began to write in his notebook. One man, very frightened to look, buried his face in his hands. The rest stared in disbelief. So the stories were true. They had seen the monsters for themselves.Bookmark here

The man with the notebook was Mr. Singh. He had listened to the tales and chatters about the demons and had been determined to prove that the stories were nonsense.Bookmark here

Even so, it has taken the good deal of persuasion to find men who would take him to the ‘demon’s lair’ and wait with him while he observed them for himself.Bookmark here

Back at the village, Mr. Singh ignored the excited talk of his five companions and read through the notes he had scribbled at the time.Bookmark here

The creatures were ‘hideous being’ he had written. ‘Both of them ran on all fours’. Of one he had put, ‘hand, foot, body look like a human being, but the head was a big ball of something covering the shoulders’.Bookmark here

He was convinced, however, that the creatures were not demons. What he felt sure he had seen were two children about four or five years old.Bookmark here

From the way children had moved, Mr. Singh believed that they had been living with the wolves for a long time. He had no doubt about what he should do next. He must rescue them. He didn’t even consider leaving them to go on living as wild animals.Bookmark here

The next day, he tried to form a rescue party from among the men in village. None of him would help him capture the wolf-children. They still believed that the creatures were evil spirits.Bookmark here

Mr. Singh was forced to seek help from another village, seven miles away. A week later the hunting party advanced on the lair. As they near the anthill they spread out in a circle. They moved cautiously, beating the ground nervously. Mr. Singh assured them there were no demons, but this was little comfort. They knew well enough that there were wolves inside. At any moment they expected an angry wolf to emerge.Bookmark here

Then a wolf did spring out of a lair. The digger jumped as it ran off in to the thick undergrowth. Nobody tried to stop its escape. In fact, some of the men, frightened at the sudden appearance of the animal, began to run away. Mr. Singh began t shout at the fleeing men but stopped as another wolf emerged.Bookmark here

This was the she-wolf, courageously trying to defend her young. She arched her back and bared her teeth, but before Mr. Singh could give any order, some of the men shot several arrows on her. Mr. Singh watched the animal roll over in agony. He felt bitter and angry with himself. He had not intend to kill any of the wolves. Now he snatched up a spade dug furiously into the anthill.Bookmark here

His digging revealed a pathetic sight. Four trembling creatures lay in a ball of fur and hair.Bookmark here

The ball was made up of two wolf-cubs and two little girls. Mr. Singh had never seen children like these before. They were almost unrecognizable as human beings. They snarled and bit his hand as he tried to separate them from cubs.Bookmark here

The Wolf-Children

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