One of the pups is stronger than the others, a little gray cub. He yearns for the light, and learns to find his mother's nose and paw and tongue. He drinks lots of milk and bits of half-digested food that his mother regurgitates for him. He is the fiercest of the litter, with a little rasping growl.
The pup looks throughout the cave and decides that in the front of the cave there is a wall of light. He notices that his father can pass in and out of the wall (which he has discovered he cannot do with the other walls of the cave after quite a bump on the nose), but doesn't wonder why his father can, and he cannot, he is simply content with what happens.
There are famines, and One Eye has trouble finding food. One by one, his brothers and sisters die, until only he is left. Soon, only he and his mother are left, for One Eye gets in a fight with the lynx and is killed.
When his mother starts to leave the cub in the cave while she goes and hunts, he at first does not approach the entrance because he is afraid. He knows he must be obedient to his mother, and also fears the unknown. However, as he grows older, the urge to explore becomes stronger and stronger, and he finally leaves the cave and tumbles down a little slope, scared. He kills a ptarmigan chick and is attacked by the mother, nearly misses being swooped up by a hawk, and falls in a stream. Finally he climbs out, only to be attacked by a weasel and just barely in time, is rescued by his mother. She kills the weasel, and they eat it.
The cub ventures out again after two days, determined to learn more about the world, perhaps to get a squirrel or have another go at the ptarmigan. He learns to slink, he learns to stalk. When a famine comes again, he hunts alongside his mother. He even stands out in the open, daring the hawk to come down so he can attack it. The famine is broken when his mother brings home a lynx kitten. The cub feasts.
The lynx, after discovering that her kits have been eaten, comes to the lair to attack the wolves. The cub watches while his mother and the lynx fight, and he leaps up and digs his teeth into the lynx a few times. Finally, the two wolves bring the lynx down. They are quite torn by the cat's claws, and stay in the lair and eat the lynx as they heal. The cub realizes the law of nature: EAT OR BE EATEN.
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