Wild Paws

Lonely Wolf Pup

Ages 7+

Can Max solve the mystery of the young wolf that is brought into the shelter?

Two disguised figures have dropped off a young wolf that was caught in a trap. Although the wolf pup isn't harmed, he's scared and alone and he needs to rejoin his pack before it moves on without him. But where did he come from? Only the people who dropped him off would know the answer to that question.

Scholastic Canada - Lonely Wolf Pup
ISBN 0-439-98985-X

An Excerpt

Max hadn’t taken her eyes off the frightened creature. Now his ears were pressed flat against his head. He looked up at the faces looking in at him and growled uncertainly.

“Is he hurt?” Max asked, with concern. “Do you think that’s why he was left here?”

Abbie took off her glasses, which had fogged up in the cold. Now Max could see the tall woman’s worried look. “He certainly looks like he hasn’t eaten in a while.” Then her face cleared. “But he doesn’t seem to be injured,” she continued. “That’s the one good thing about this type of trap. It catches the animal alive and unhurt.”

Max smiled in relief and clasped her hands together. “So we won’t need to find a vet.” The centre had been without a veterinarian since its long-time volunteer, Dr. Jacobs, had retired.

“But we do need to move him out of this trap and into a larger pen,” said Abbie, calmly. “Let’s put the canvas back over him as we prepare to do that. He’ll feel more secure that way.”

“Can we look at him one more time first?” Max asked.

Abbie smiled. Again, she shone the flashlight toward the trap. The wolf pup had curled up on the floor of the trap. When he saw the light, his ears pricked forward curiously. But then they lay flat against his head again. He whined. Max saw his tongue come out and lick at his nose.

Max felt her heart lurch. No wild animal belonged in a trap.

As Abbie and Max replaced the canvas and wrapped the rope around it, a cold wind began to blow. Leaves blew down from the trees. It was almost completely dark.

But even so, something pinned to the underside of the canvas caught Max’s eye. It was a piece of paper.

“Look,” she exclaimed. “I think it’s a note!”

Quickly Abbie and Max secured the rope, and the group moved closer to the office buildings, where an outdoor light shone.

“Read it aloud,” urged David.

“To the people at Wild Paws and Claws,” read Max. “We found this young wolf in a trap near our farm. Some people around here don’t like wolves. They say wolves kill their sheep. We were afraid the trappers might hurt this wolf. We didn’t know what to do. So we snuck it onto our truck and brought it to you. Please, please, take care of it.”

Grandma asked, “Who signed the note? It looked like a teenager and a child who brought it here.”

“The note isn’t signed,” Max said. She turned over the paper. Nothing. Her heart was thumping.

“I guess that’s why those young people didn’t want anyone to know who they were,” Grandma said thoughtfully. “It was someone else’s trap that they took.”

Abbie shook her head. “I guess they didn’t know who to trust. They didn’t want to get in trouble for taking the trap. They must have been too scared to even let us know who they were.”

Max looked at Abbie. “But what if they hadn’t taken the trap? What would the trappers have done?” she asked. “Might they really have hurt the wolf - or killed it?” She shuddered.