Hunger and Predation
Read Mani Rao's introduction to Hunger and Predation.
As written by the author, age 12.
The wolf came to visit her one night, just as she was going to sleep. He crawled in beside her in the shallow neck of their cave, and the night was a thin black sheet she pulled over them both.
He was close and warm and smelled of blood. She lit a match he did not flinch away from, and in the faint light she saw his jaws part and saw that they were dotted with red. A soft tuft of feathers was ridiculous between his teeth.
‘Another sparrow?’ she asked, but the wolf only tilted his head. His teeth gleamed, gently, and she reached into the wolf’s wet mouth to pluck the feathers out. One by one.
His long, strange tongue came out to lap at her wrist.
‘How was the bird?’ she murmured afterwards, when his jaws were clean and he rested his heavy head on her shoulder, huffing in satisfaction.
‘Light,’ he said. ‘Such a light thing.’
‘Best get you something heavier, then.’
The wolf glanced up at her, for an instant, as though startled. His belly was warm and furred against hers, moving with each breath. His paws were quiet.
‘Yes,’ he said eventually, and her fingers stroked his coat until he sighed. ‘Yes.’
–Pooja Mittal Biswas