Story by Sparrow Wolfess on SoFurry

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On a cold night in November, as snow was fluttering from the dark skies, a miracle was being born. After years of trying, the Alpha of Pack Yukon and his wife had finally given birth to a pup. As happy as the Alpha would have been to have either a son or a daughter, the Alpha and his wife, with eyes full of happy tears, were excited to receive news of a baby boy, whom they would name Starshy.

Shy, being that he was many years in the making and shy to the world, and Star, being that he was born under a full sky of stars. Starshy was immediately welcomed into the pack, given full recognition as the Alphas' son. If everyone's excitement for the pack's heir, they passed around the baby boy, kissing his forehead and greeting him into the pack and into the world, having bundled him up nicely in a thick, wool blanket. Since he's been wrapped up in a blanket for a while, it wasn't until the next day that Starshy's mother noticed something off about their new son.

The white wolfess looked to her mate with worry as he brown eyes glistened, glassy with tears, "Is something wrong with our baby?" she asked. "He isn't like the rest of us at all."

"What do you mean?" the Alpha asks, sounding worried as he steps closer to the baby boy. "He looks perfectly fine to me, he's just... oh... oh my gods..."

Turning away, the Alpha's mate sobs in agony, cursing the powers that be. The Alpha simply stares on, lifting the blanket even more to see if the tragedy was true. It was certainly true; there was no way this could be a hoax.

Starshy had been born a wolftaur.

"This can't be possible," the Alpha groans, "My son is a... mutant. You bore me a mutant son!" the Alpha shouts, turning to his already broken mate, who kneels on the floor, clinging to her tail and howling in despair, a howl of mourning and of death.

The Alpha could immediately see that his mate was just as destroyed as he was. Quickly regaining composure, the Alpha carries his son to her, kneeling at her side.

"This is our son... and no matter what... he's ours. It would not be Wolf of us to abandon him," he sighs, "We... simply must make due."

"I'm hurting so badly... I... I never meant for..."

The Alpha interrupts, "I know. Starshy is just... special."

The three remain huddled together, but Starshy, being an innocent pup can only smile up at his father's silver fur, looking into his deep, green eyes, knowing that this is his family and that all is well. He smiles and coos, growling playfully as he reaches up with his black paws that fade into his silver fur, like that of his father's, and touching his father's nose.

Starshy's mother looks to him with disappointment in herself, nervousness, and pain, but there is much compassion and love behind this gaze. She scoops the child into her arms and rests him on her lap as she cradles him to her breast, leaning down and licking a kiss onto his wet little nose.

Growing up, Starshy was mainly confined to his den where nobody could see him. Though their love for Starshy was undying and unconditional, the Alpha still had a reputation to uphold. To have seen a mutation in the pack would mean his head, or worse, his entire pack and family. His mate became scarcely seen as she remained inside to care for her pup, teaching him and giving him the kind of love that only a mother could.

Teaching Starshy to walk was difficult. With two pairs of legs to work with, Starshy's mother could barely contain her patience. Learning to walk took a tremendous amount of effort and patience, but also lots of understanding. Finally, the day came at five years old when Starshy could walk flawlessly.

"There, that's wonderful! Oh, come to Mama!" Starshy's mother squealed, sitting on her knees and opening her arms to receive her pup. Starshy wobbled and walked, two feet at a time - his front left leg and back right leg, then front right with his back left. In time, he would learn to walk properly and casually, but for now, this was a lovely development.

Starshy crashes into his mother's bosom and giggles, "I did it! I walked!"

"That's my good boy, Starshy! Your daddy will be so excited! He'll be home soon, why don't we go outside and greet him?" his mother says.

"Outside? Daddy says I..."

"You'll be next to Mama the whole time," she says softly, nuzzling her pup's soft, silver fur and nibbling on his black-tipped ears. "Let Mama take care of it. You should see the snow."

"Snow?" Starshy asks, "What's that?"

Starshy's mother smiled faintly after hearing her son ask such a strange question. It was no surprise, however. After being locked away in the den for so long, it's only natural for him to not know what snow really is.

"Come on. I'll show you what snow is," said his mother, standing and taking Starshy by the paw, leading him to the mouth of the den. "Be careful... it gets really cold."

Starshy steps onto the snow for the first time, feeling a freezing sensation on his footpads. "Oo-ow!" Starshy says, retracting his front, left foot, "Well... not ow... but um..."

"That's_cold_. Our den's ground is warm, but the snow is cold. It's safe to touch. See?" Starshy's mother lowers her paw into the snow, scooping up a snowball and handing it to Starshy.

"Ooh..." Starshy holds onto the ball of snow and immediately starts to lick it. Every time he giggles, a puff of steam exits his mouth. Upon noticing it, Starshy laughs even more. Mid-lick, Starshy points out onto the horizon, "Look! Daddy's home!" He begins to feel a sudden urge - one he'd never felt before. The pit of his stomach and a twitch in his throat cause him to dash forward into the snow and lift his head to the sky, releasing a warm, musical, unique and special howl for the welcome of his father.

The Alpha comes closer to home and notices Starshy outside the den. In a fit of panic, he storms toward the house, quickly grabbing his son and his mate's arm, dragging them both into the den.

The Alpha growls in anger and fear, "What are you doing letting him outside!? Wolves will see him and think that we..."

"He howled for you... and he's walking!" his mate interrupts. "Hadn't you noticed at all?"

"I... well..." the Alpha stops, calming down, "Of... of course I did! I just... he was outside... and..."

"I like it outside! It's cold and tasty!" Starshy says, licking a snowball and trotting close to his father, who sighs, calming down even more.

"Okay..." the Alpha says, turning to face his son, kneeling and placing a paw on the pup's shoulder, "Do you know... that... you're very different from the rest of us?"

"Honey!" Starshy's mother scolds.

"Hush... let me do this," the Alpha says, "Starshy... do you know that you're different?"

"How am I different? What's different?" Starshy asks.

"Different is... when you're not normal," says his father, "Don't you know that you're not normal?"

"Okay, but... what does 'normal' mean?" Starshy asks, tilting his head to the side in curiosity.

"Normal... it's uh... well, like everyone else, I think. Normal is uh... being yourself but... the way..." the Alpha stammers, shaking his head and closing his eyes, "Y-your legs, son... your legs. They're very... abnormal. That means they aren't like everyone else's legs."

"Oh. Yeah, you and Mama don't have this many."

"That's right. So you do know that you're not normal?"

Starshy's mother approaches her son, "But, Baby... it's okay to not be normal. Isn't it, honey?" she says, looking to her Alpha. "Tell him... tell him it's okay to be a little different."

"Your mother's... right. It's okay to be a little different. But... others might not think it is," the Alpha puts both paws on the pup's shoulders, "No matter what... you are the Alpha's son. You are strong and brave... one day, this whole entire pack will be yours and you'll make the rules. No matter what anyone ever says to you... you're going to amount to something honorable."

As his father predicted, Starshy's life was indeed full of bullies and heckling about his extra limbs, but what Starshy discovered about himself that made it worthwhile was how fast he could run. Having two extra legs made him a speed-machine, allowing him to swiftly and silently run and even turn on a dime. Because of his newfound skill, Starshy made a habit of hunting for the pack, always providing delicious meats that were more difficult to obtain since the creatures could always outrun the hunting team.

Starshy had been made the hunting team leader, making the kills himself and only needing the team to carry off the kill. One wolf alone couldn't carry away such a large amount of meat at one time, so Starshy made sure everyone had an equal part and received equal credit where it was due. Cooking the meat was normally left up to the women, but Starshy liked to lend a hand when possible.

At eighteen years old, Starshy had already become more active in the pack than the team leads, helping everyone with a bit of everything. As harmonious as Starshy would try and make the pack, he would always run into the few that still didn't accept his appearance.

"I can't believe that is going to be our Alpha someday. I could take him!" says a brown wolf with a scar over his chest to his two friends, "So he runs fast, big deal... I can bite harder and rule more efficiently. Lookit'im! He's so... goody-goody. Ah man..."

Starshy approaches the brown wolf and glares with his silver eyes deeply into the wolf's soul. "That's not the case, now... is it? If I weren't going to be an Alpha someday... I would tear you open right here. The moment I'm Alpha... you're out of this pack. You're on your own."

The brown wolf rolls his eyes and walks away with his group. Starshy turns around, smirking to himself as he runs into his father.

"I could hear that, Son."

"Didja? Well... that jackass had it coming. When I'm..."

The Alpha interrupts, "An Alpha does not make threats he can't keep, Starshy."

"I know that... that's why I said when I'm Alpha..." Starshy scoffs.

"No... son, I mean... you say you'll kick him out... but I know you. You have compassion for others like I've never seen, despite all you've been through. You won't kick him out." The Alpha smiles, crossing his arms, "Will you?"

"I... well!" Starshy scoffs again, lowering his ears and kicking his backmost legs into the snow, "I guess not."

"Then never make a promise you cannot keep," his father nods, walking past his son and into the pack.

Starshy turns back around and sees the brown wolf still making his way with his friends. Sighing and seeing inside himself, he catches up to his rival, walking in front of him. "Hey..."

"What do you want?" the brown wolf says, crossing his arms over his scar.

"Look... a real Alpha doesn't make promises he can't keep," Starshy sighs, "I'm sorry. And... I'm sorry if I offend you in some way, but we're a pack. So I've got some extra legs, hah... I never asked for 'em."

"Yeah well... I guess... you do run pretty fast..."

"Not that I'd like to!" Starshy smiles, rubbing the back of his head, "Point is... ah... I didn't mean to threaten you. I've just... well, I've got enough going on, you know?" Starshy points back at his rear, signaling to his legs.

"Well... yeah... I guess," says the brown wolf, "I'm... yeah. I'm sorry... too."

"Great." Starshy smiles, "So uh, I'll see ya 'round then. And uh... hey... don't bully anyone anymore, huh? Some people can't help certain things, you know?""

The brown wolf nods, looking clearly annoyed. Starshy nods back, walking away from the small group and back to his den. Inside, his mother is resting in her bedding, smiling, wrapped up in her snowy white tail.

Starshy looks down at his mother, smiling. One day he'd have a mate of his own, and hopefully she'll be someone like his mother - kind, sweet, loving, and protective. Most of all, he'd hope for someone as smart as her and someone just as accepting if not more.

Starshy lowers himself to the ground and nuzzles against his mother as he did when he was a pup, only to feel his mother wrap her tail and arm around him, cuddling him close. He smiles to himself as he drifts off to sleep.

I remember it being this warm. I remember my first steps - I was five... I developed pretty late, but in no time I was running. I ran so fast! Now I'm the hunting team's leader, and thanks to me... the pack doesn't go hungry. Soon... I'll be the leader of the entire pack. Thanks to me... the pack won't go hungry, the pack won't go unloved, and the pack won't go unprotected.

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At nineteen, Starshy's moment of honor had fallen upon him, and it was ever welcomed by him. Today is the day he would be officially called the Alpha of Pack Yukon. Starshy appeared nervous, but overall, excited and honored to be following in his father's footsteps.

Starshy's mate, Heyla, a beautiful blonde wolf with golden eyes stood at his side, cuddling his arm, "You look amazing, Honey."

"As do you. Man... I'm nervous!"

"Don't be! You're the Alpha! Well, you will be, soon." Heyla smiles, giggling.

"You will be too, you know," Starshy smiles, looking into his mate's honey-golden eyes, "My Alpha Female and my mate. I'm so... proud... to be doing this with you! And to think... one day we'll be parents, too."

"I can't wait for that day! I just can't wait!" Heyla squeals, smiling. The two are startled when Starshy's mother and father enter their den, smiling and dragging in a large, fat elk.

"There's my boy!" the Alpha smiles, "Here's a little gift for the occasion!" he says. The Alpha and his mate have grown a bit old, old enough to lose any special charm they'd once had. Wolven people tend to age quickly - being as old as humans, they can still look older once reaching their thirties. Nineteen, the age of adulthood to the wolven people, would be the peak of one's physique. Starshy would have a nice few years of being the Alpha of Pack Yukon before having to pass it down to his own son - or to another wolf of his choosing.

"It looks delicious, Dad. Mom! Looking pretty as ever," Starshy smiles, reaching out and hugging his mother.

"Oh, stop it. This bag of bones? Oh, and look at you!" Starshy's mother squeals, looking at Starshy's mate, reaching out and hugging her, "Starshy made a lovely choice. Ugh, I remember being your age, looking as pretty as you do now."

"Oh, stop that - look at your tail, it's fluffier than mine!" Heyla smiles.

As the wolfess' talk and gossip, the Alpha pulls his son aside. "Are you ready for this? There's no shame in delaying the ceremony a bit..."

"Dad, I've prepared myself for this since I was, like, ten. The moment I learned that I would be just like you? I was excited!" Starshy whispers, "Dad, I learned so much from you and Mom, and even more on my own. I think I know what this pack needs and I'm ready to deliver it the best I can."

"You make me so proud, Starshy. Remember what I said to you when you were just a pup?"

"Normal is being like everyone else?" Starshy asks.

"The other thing."

"You know you're not normal."

"Yes. You're not normal, Starshy... and that's one of the things that this pack needs," the Alpha smiles, whispering, "And I have a wonderful feeling, Son. Your pup will grow up in a pack of love and no matter what they look like... they will be your pride and joy. I promise."

"Mom said you were so paranoid about me because of my extra legs," Starshy laughs.

"Well, you're the first wolftaur this pack's ever had!" the Alpha laughs, "but that's a good thing. We need diversity. Come on now... let's run through your speech."

"Speech? Oh... oh, speech!" Starshy stammers, "Yeah, I... totally prepared one. I just uh..."

"You don't have a speech..."

"I... n-no. I didn't think I needed one."

The Alpha smiles and shakes his head, pressing his ears to his skull, "Okay... that's fine," he says, keeping his cool, "You've always been forgetful, Starshy... it's time to leave old habits like that behind, you know."

"Yeah, I know... hey... how about... I just say what's on my mind. There's no way even I could mess that up," Starshy smiles, swishing his tail while his four legs start to lightly step in place.

"You're nervous?" the Alpha asks.

"A little... okay, a lot. I'll be fine, though."

"I know you will be. You get prepared. Your mother and I will be waiting for you," the Alpha says, leading his wife out of Starshy's den, waving back at Heyla and Starshy.

"Are you ready?" Heyla asks.

Starshy sighs, flattening his ears to his skull and twitching his tail, "More than I'll ever be. Let's go."

The entire pack, hundreds of wolves, stand outside in the cold under a soft flurry of snow. As the full moon shines down to the earth, the wolves occupy themselves by howling in joy for the reign of their new Alpha, Starshy. Though many have been unsure of this change in the past, Starshy himself was confident that he could maintain the pack's glory and even improve it tenfold.

Starshy emerges from his den, looking upon the mass before him. The wolves all howl to greet their new Alpha, soon growing silent to wait to hear his words.

"Uh... h-hi! Pack Yukon... what a pack, huh?" Starshy blushes, rubbing the back of his head, "I'm... I've never been good at public speaking, but... let's see."

"Just be yourself," Heyla smiles, whispering.

Starshy nods to his mate, smiling back up to the crowd, "We're all different. Every one of us. Some of us are thick, some of us are thin... some of us run fast, or slow... some of us have long tails... some short. Hell, some of us have a million legs..."

The crowd smiles and chuckles, approving of Starshy's opening of his speech. The crowd listens intently to their Alpha-to-be, and Starshy's parents listen as their son, their different, wolftaur son, speaks of equality and kindness, and most of all, love and honor among wolves.

"... and that's what I want to bring to Pack Yukon. Love and acceptance. We're not just a pack anymore, guys. We're not just a bunch of dogs. We're a team - we're a family. So let's work together... as a gigantic family!"

The wolves wait in anticipation for the rest of Starshy's speech. Starshy's father, in the crowd, making a motion with his paw near his throat to signal to Starshy that he must lead the howl.

"Oh, right! Haha," Starshy whispers to himself. He closes his eyes and exhales, remembering the feeling he had when he learned to walk. He remembered the feeling of his mother's warm fur and his first touch of snow. He remembered the howl he did for the very first time. Starshy remembered his first taste of meat and the first time he'd ever had his feelings hurt.

Starshy lifts his head to the sky and remembers his first time standing up for himself, his first kill, his first friend and now lover he's ever had... he remembers his first kiss. Opening his jaws and releasing a powerful, heart-warming, and musical, fulfilling howl, Starshy remembers his first speech, his first promise, and his first major responsibility.

Most of all, Starshy discovers who he truly is, a leader, a lover, and most of all, a strong, original soul.

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