140 THE BOY AND THE WOLVES
when she, too, was sought by a young brave, then she also forgot the boy alone in the forest, and thought only of her husband.
Now as soon as the little boy had eaten all the food which his sister had left him, he went out into the woods, and gathered berries and dug up roots, and while the sun shone he was contented and had his fill. But when the snows began and the wind howled, then his stomach felt empty and his limbs cold, and he hid in trees all the night, and only crept out to eat what the wolves had left behind. And by-and-by, having no other friends, he sought their company, and sat by while they devoured their prey, and they grew to know him, and gave him food. And without them he would have died in the snow.
But at last the snows melted, and the ice upon the great lake, and as the wolves went down to the shore, the boy went after them. And it happened one day that his big brother was fishing in his canoe near the shore, and he heard the voice of a child singing in the Indian tone —
' My brother, my brother !
I am becoming a wolf,
I am becoming a wolf!'
And when he had so sung he howled as wolves howl. Then the heart of the elder sunk, and he hastened towards him, crying, ' Brother, little brother, come to me ;' but he, being half a wolf, only continued his song. And the louder the elder called him, •Brother, little brother, come to me,' the swifter he fled after his brothers the wolves, and the heavier grew his skin, till, with a long howl, he vanished into the depths of the forest.
So, with shame and anguish in his soul, the elder brother went back to his village, and, with his sister, mourned the little boy and the broken promise till the end of his life.