One early morning, John was walking back to his cabin after a tiring few days of prospecting. Suddenly, he was stopped in his tracks by a piercing howl of agony that tore through the atmosphere.
He put his camping gear down and walked slowly closer to peek through the brush. There, in the clearing, was a massive Alaskan Timber Wolf, its legs seemingly caught in a trap. It was trying to get free, but then it seemed to give up and lay down again. The wolf looked tired, as if it had lost all hope.
Jon was shocked to discover the wolf. He wanted to help the animal, but when he got closer, it got spooked and tried to pull on the chains, growling with its hair standing up. However, it seemed to be more out of fear than real anger, so Jon backed off to avoid injury.
Before he did, he noticed something unexpected. The wolf was clearly a female, and what surprised him more was that her teeth were full of milk. Somewhere, there were babies that needed to eat. If they were still alive, nursing puppies couldn’t survive without their mother for very long. If Jon wanted to reunite the puppies with their mother, he’d have to act fast.
But there was no way John was going to risk being close enough to the wolf to free her, at least not without getting his arm chewed off in the process. The wolf seemed weak, almost dying. She had lost a lot of blood from the injury on her leg. If she was left to suffer like this, she would surely die.
But Jon wasn’t about to let it come to that. With everything he had been through, he had become the kind of person that never gave up, and he wasn’t about to give up on this dying mama wolf too.
He realized that every second he wasted could mean that either this mama wolf or one of her babies wouldn’t make it. He had to move now. Undecided about how to get the wolf’s leg out of the trap without getting injured himself, Jon realized the wolf just lay there without moving. She had fought so hard to get out of the trap, but now the pain and blood loss had caught up with her. Time had run out.
He had to get her out of the trap now and tend to her injuries. Carefully, he touched her paw, but she didn’t respond. She was completely out of it. It was now or never. Jon grabbed his sleeping bag, threw it over her head, and slowly pulled it over her entire body. Hopefully, it would at least keep her confined until he could get the trap off her leg and run for safety.
He then pushed the button on the trap to release it, but it wouldn’t budge. It was stuck; it looked like it had bent when the she-wolf had tried to escape. Jon needed to get her loose, or she would die. He grabbed a rock and smacked the trap’s release button. He kept hitting it until it sprung open. Then he wrapped up the wolf entirely in the sleeping bag and started running towards his cabin as fast as he could.
It wasn’t easy, but Jon was a strong man. Within 50 minutes, he was at his cabin. He laid the wolf down next to the fireplace; she was very cold. The fire was already built, and Jon could just light it when the house warmed up. Then he could check out the wolf’s injuries. He reached for his first aid kit, cleaned the wound, and stitched it up. John had some medical training and knew exactly what to do. Her leg was also broken, and he needed to straighten it by putting it in a splint to keep it still. If he had waited any longer, she would have lost the leg. Now he only hoped that he was in time to save her life too.
She slowly started to show signs of life, but then John gave her a sedative. The first time she growled at him again was the first time he knew that she was going to be okay. She needed him to help her, but she didn’t want him to get too close. Knowing she would eventually wake up, John decided to move her out of the cabin and into a shed where he kept her. She wouldn’t be able to move quickly with the splint on her leg.
After checking on the mama wolf, who was looking better, he set out to find the puppies. But where could Jon even start to find a den of wolf cubs? He grabbed a bag and a flashlight and went off to search. They couldn’t be super far since a wolf won’t wander too far from her babies.
He was only visiting Alaska before he had to join the second world war as a medic, but he had plenty of survival and tracking skills he was going to need to use all the skills he could muster to save those babies. Without his help, those babies were as good as dead.
He searched up and down the area, looking for prints, and finally got a break. The tracks led him in the direction she had come from. It was a place to start. He walked up the mountain as quickly as he possibly could, but he had to make sure that he didn’t miss signs of a den. It could spell disaster for the tiny wolves who were waiting for Jon to rescue them.
He walked quickly, but something caught his eye, and he came back. It was hidden, but there was an opening to a hole in the ground. Hopefully, this was the den he had been searching for. Now the only problem was getting the wolf puppies to come out. They were trained to stay inside until they heard their mother, even if staying inside could mean their death.
John was determined to give it his best shot. He tried his best wolf call, but nothing happened. He tried again, but still nothing. He was contemplating the dangers of trying to go into the den when suddenly a little tiny wolf came out. It was crying from hunger; it was probably one of the main reasons that it was willing to risk coming out without hearing its mother’s voice.
After the first baby came out, the others soon followed. They were small but still little wolves. Knowing that he could never carry all four, he placed them all carefully in the bag and closed it up. They were safe inside, but he had to check if any other cubs remained in the den. It’s never a good idea to stick your head into a Wolf Den with only a flashlight for protection, but thinking that he might have left one behind was unacceptable. He had to check.
The hair on the back of his neck stood up as he lay flat on his stomach and crawled inside. Thankfully, it wasn’t as deep as he had imagined, but it was still dark and smelled like fear. With his light, he could see inside, and no other wolves remained. He could leave the area with a clean conscience, knowing no puppies were left behind.
He grabbed the bag of pups and went back to their mother. It felt super surreal carrying a bag of wolf puppies. She must have heard their tiny whimpers as they were approaching because she started to howl. Carefully, he set the puppies down and let them into the shed one by one, hoping that his smell on the pups didn’t cause the mother to reject them. If she didn’t accept them, finding them would mean nothing.
The puppies recognized their mother, and they all ran straight towards her. She sniffed them, and for a moment, John held his breath. Would she accept them? The rugged outdoorsman got emotional when she started licking the pups. She laid down, and soon, all the puppies were happily drinking. Her whole body seemed to relax, but her leg was still badly injured.
John would have to figure out a way to get her out of the trap, or she might lose her leg, and a wild wolf without a leg was pretty much guaranteed to be a dead wolf. And along with her, her puppies wouldn’t survive either. However, there were more pressing matters to attend to. The wolf had been trapped for a while; she had to be hungry and thirsty. Now she was feeding her babies, and that would dehydrate her even more. For now, he had to bring what she needed to her.
He knew of a spot where some hunters would put meat in the ice; they called it Nature’s cold storage, and everyone was fine with someone else taking what they needed. Feeding a wolf might not have been what they had in mind, but this was an emergency. He sliced off a big chunk of meat and threw it piece by piece at the hungry Timber Wolf. She might not have trusted him, but she was happy to take the food that he was providing. She didn’t have much choice. He also put water in a food bowl and pushed it closer with a stick. At least she wasn’t growling with every move he made anymore, and John would take that as progress.
But as soon as he tried to get closer to check out her leg, she would try to bite. Still, John and the wolf both had a really full day and needed rest. To get her to trust him, he put his sleeping bag as close to the wolf as he could without her being able to reach him. He would prefer not to wake up to a wolf gnawing at his arm. It took a while to fall asleep, but perhaps the puppies had no such issues. Most of them curled up with their mom, but the one little girl that first came to him lay next to John and fell asleep there. At least someone fully trusted him.
The next morning, he woke up with a bunch of wolf puppies playing all over him. It wasn’t a bad way to wake up, but things would quickly take a shocking turn.
John had to go out to get fish to feed the wolves and firewood every day, and he left his door open for the wolf pups to come and go as they pleased. But he didn’t expect them to invite friends over to visit. That seemed to be what happened one day when John came back. His yard was filled with a whole pack of wolves. They had come to check up on the she-wolf. This must have been her family that had been searching for the wolf and her cubs. Walking into a pack of wolves in his backyard was not something he was prepared for, and it froze John in fear for a second.
The puppies came running to him, happy as can be to see their friend. But the big wolves all turned and started to growl, standing with the hair on the backs of their necks raised. It looked like they were ready to attack. Then suddenly, one of the wolves gave a loud bark. It was the she-wolf that John had helped. As soon as she barked, all the other wolves backed down. They seemed to relax completely.
But Jon wasn’t planning on hanging around and visiting with a pack of wolves. He got out of there fast, going into the cabin and closing the door. The she-wolf still couldn’t stand on her leg yet, and she still had the splint on, so he was glad to see that the wolf and her pups stuck around.
After just a few more days, Jon could see that she was feeling better. He didn’t know how he was going to remove the splint, but she fixed that by chewing through it herself. She could walk again, and in time, she would even be able to run again. In the morning, she barked at the puppies, and they all got up and followed her.
John understood that they were leaving for good. He wondered if he would ever see them again, but he would see them much sooner than expected. He was just sitting down to sulk when there was movement at his door. The she-wolf barked at him; she wanted him to follow her.
It didn’t seem real, but they had gotten close through her trauma. Even if he had no idea where she wanted him to go, Jon picked up his rifle and followed the wolf. The puppies played around his legs while they walked. They climbed the mountain that was close by. It wasn’t long before they reached a flat area, and the rest of the wolf pack suddenly approached them.
It freaked Jon out, but they showed no interest in him; they were too busy welcoming the she-wolf and her babies. He moved away quickly, and from a safer distance, he just watched. It was incredible to see them interacting in such a beautiful place. It was as if the mama wolf wanted to show Jon that her family was not going to hurt him. It was a peaceful moment, one of the last peaceful moments that he would remember for a very long time.
But now that they had reunited with their pack, it was time to leave them for good. He still started walking down the mountain, but then turned around. The she-wolf was watching him go. He didn’t know why, but he raised his hand to greet her, and she started howling as if to say goodbye. Her puppies came to stand next to her, and when he gave a final glance towards the wolves, they were gone. It was a bittersweet moment.
After that, Jon stayed in Alaska for a while, but nothing lived up to the experience he had with the wolves. Plus, he knew he had to go home. He had been cut off and in a happy bubble, but horror awaited him at home. It was time to face it.
He went home but wasn’t there long before he had to join the war and serve. What followed was some of the worst experiences of his life. Fighting in the war was as far from the tranquil beauty of Alaska as one could get. He lost many friends and had to do things that he would try to forget for years. Things he never believed he was capable of; it was a living nightmare.
Every day, it felt like death was at their door. One day, he got much closer than he ever expected. They were attacked from all sides, and all he could think about was how much more humane the wolves had been than these brutal men in war. A grenade was launched at the group. The last image he thought of before everything went black was of the blue skies over Alaska and a wolf howling, as if she was calling him. Then, he didn’t know anything else.
John woke up in the hospital; his body was on fire from the pain, but he was very lucky. Another group of soldiers was close enough to assist them; otherwise, they would have all perished in the fight. As it was, he had lost two friends and sustained serious injuries. His leg was hurt, and he was severely concussed. He would not be going back to war, but he wouldn’t be going home right away either. First, he would need to get treatment for his leg and get back to health.
It took him months, and then he was finally home, but everything felt too closed off. He was longing for something more. The sound of the wolf’s call stayed with him. As soon as he was strong enough, he was off to Alaska. It was a place where he could heal his heart or make a choice about his future. He had to choose if he still wanted one.
He rented the same cabin where he lived before. The first day, he went walking. He wasn’t sure what he was searching for, but it was like something was drawing him to the area. He went to the spot where he first met the she-wolf. There, he had saved her when she was dying, and with her, he had saved her cubs. Now he was back. What happened next will shock you.
He walked up the mountain to the place where he last stood, looking at them and saying goodbye. There he cried for the first time after all the horror he had seen in the war. He felt like the world was over; he didn’t want to live. He sat with a rifle in his hand, then suddenly all the air left his body.
A wolf came over the ridge and stood watching him. It was a she-wolf, just as she did before. She started howling; it looked like she also recognized him. Then suddenly, four younger wolves came and stood next to her. The puppies had all grown up.
Seeing what John had saved helped to heal the scars of the things that he went through during the war, at least a little bit. It gave him a reason for living through the darkness that had come over him. He had saved all of them, but now they had helped to save him too. He could hold on to that piece of goodness for the rest of his life when the darkness wanted to overwhelm him. The memory of one of the most special encounters that he could ever have, thanks for watching.