“There is a legend in these woods about a white wolf. A wolf who has lived here for hundreds of years; a wolf that most men cannot see. Who will wait on high ground and observe all that happens in the forest. The story says that he can divine the courage of all those who pass through the forest.
“This wolf will attack only the bravest of the brave to impart a vicious bite, then retreat, like smoke, back into the trees.
“Those bitten will suffer with a fever for three days, or they will die. Most die. If they survive; they will carry the courage, the strength, the endurance, the power, and the wisdom of the wolf. They will rise to be leaders of their people. All others will treat them with deference and respect.”
“That’s a lovely story, John, but it’s just a story. I’m certain you don’t…”
Pulling back his sleeve and uncoiling the makeshift bandage he showed her the wound on his arm.
“Will you cool my brow and fetch me water for the next few days, Sarah. I’d be most grateful. I have nowhere else to go.”