Humphrey (A&O's connection to the real world)
Chapter 16: A Legend is Born
It was a calm giorno in Jasper Park. The sun was shining and the morning was just beginning. Kate was sleeping in the tana, den with Runt, Stinky, and Claudette. A cool morning breeze blew through the cave entrance and woke her. She lifted her head and turned to wish her husband, Humphrey, a good morning. But all she saw was an empty spazio successivo to her, and then she remembered what had happened the giorno before. The battle, the General. And Humphrey. She would give anything just to spend one più giorno with him. All she wanted was to have Humphrey back. But no amount of hoping o wishing would ever do that. Humphrey was gone, for good. And he was never coming back.
She got up and left the pups inside the tana, den as she walked out onto the rock that jutted out from the den. Kate looked out across the valley as she remembered Humphrey's sacrifice that saved their home. He had to be honored, she thought. They had to do something to immortalize his memory, his story, to keep it alive through the generations. And she knew just what to do.
Kate turned and began to walk down the slope, into the valley so she could begin her plan to commemorate Humphrey's sacrifice the giorno before. Today was a new day, and would be remembered forever.
She called together Marcel and Paddy, as well as Lily and Garth to help with her plan. They all gathered in the center of the valley while Kate ran off towards the trees. She returned with an object and Garth and Lily dug out a small slot to fit the object into the ground. Marcel and Paddy grabbed the object, lifted it off the ground and fitted it into the slot. And then the others filled it in.
They all stayed in the center of they valley until nearly mid-day when Lupi began to gather to see what was going on. Winston approached Kate.
"Kate," he said. "What is this?"
"A memory," she replied. "A memorial erected in Humphrey's honor so we will never forget him."
"Kate," Winston detto again. "You always had a cuore of gold."
Kate smiled before addressing the crowd.
"Will everyone sit down for a moment?" she announced.
The talk died down and the crowd laid down on the ground surrounding the memorial.
"Thank you," Kate said. "Yesterday, this pack faced terrible chances at survival. But there was one who never gave up and made sure to preserve this pack."
Now, her face turned sorrowful again.
"But in doing so, he gave his life. Humphrey sacrificed himself so that our pups may have a future. And so I'd like to raise this simple object as a lasting memory. And I'd also like to begin a tradition. A tradition that is to be repeated every anno on the same day. Every year, on the giorno of Humphrey's sacrifice, we'll gather around this memorial and tell his story, as a lasting reminder to old of what he did for us, and a tale to the young, who need to know what happened. And we'll start today, to tell the story to the pups that we left in hiding to protect against the human onslaught."
And so, on that day, for the very first time, the pack, young and old, gathered around the logboard that Kate had raised in Humphrey's honor and she told his story with the help of his Friends and family, so that no detail was left out and the entire tale was complete.
"It was a simple story," she began. "About a pup that was lost, and a pack that was broken. He lived here among us. And times were good, until one day, everything changed. He led us into battle, against an evil so terrible, it tried to destroy us all. We fought for each other; we fought for those who could not; but I never imagined, it would end...like this."
For many years following Humphrey's death, there was peace. But peace, no matter how long it is maintained, never lasts forever. In time, war once again broke out between packs. Not the Rouges as they had long since joined the Western Pack again, but with other packs throughout the region.
For many years, Kate led the battles, alongside Adam, Kenya, and Garth. She also taught her pups how to fight, for they would one giorno need to take her place. And one giorno they did. When Kate became too old to fight, the responsibility was passed on to Stinky, Claudette, and Runt. Stinky and Claudette were gallant and fearless leaders, hardly ever shying away from danger, using their father's memory to prevail almost every time. And Runt was the scout. It was his job to climb up trees and go a thorough recon of the enemy, see how many they were and their estimated time of arrival.
And as Kate grew old and weak, and death quickly approached, she remembered Humphrey. Every giorno she thought about him. Every giorno and every night, she longed for him. Ever since his death, she woke up in the morning and went to sleep in the evening without him da her side, without feeling his soft pelliccia against her own, without seeing his warm smile first thing in the morning and last thing at night, without hearing his calming voice, and without having him to protect her when she needed him, giorno after day, anno after year.
And every year, on the exact giorno of Humphrey's death, which also happened to be the giorno of his birth and the start of his 27th year, the entire pack young and old, alpha and omega, gathered around the logboard to hear the story, whether it be for the first time for the young pups o the elder wolves, who had heard it many times more. No matter how many times the story was told, no matter how many generations it had been passed down, it always began the same way:
Even in the darkest of times, there always hope. But sometimes fear clouds our vision, sometimes our strength gives out. And yet sometimes, when all seems lost, a light shines in the darkness, and we are reminded that even the smallest amount of courage, can turn the tides of war.