The Call Of Kind
The months came and went. There was plenty of food and no work in the Southland, and
White Fang lived fat and prosperous and happy. Not alone was he in the geographical
Southland, for he was in the Southland of life. Human kindness was like a sun shining
upon him, and he flourished like a flower planted in good soil.
And yet he remained somehow different from other dogs. He knew the law even better
than did the dogs that had known no other life, and he observed the law more
punctiliously; but still there was about him a suggestion of lurking ferocity, as though the
Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept.
He never chummed with other dogs. Lonely he had lived, so far as his kind was
concerned, and lonely he would continue to live. In his puppyhood, under the persecution
of Lip-lip and the puppy-pack, and in his fighting days with Beauty Smith, he had
acquired a fixed aversion for dogs. The natural course of his life had been diverted, and,
recoiling from his kind, he had clung to the human.
Besides, all Southland dogs looked upon him with suspicion. He aroused in them their
instinctive fear of the Wild, and they greeted him always with snarl and growl and
belligerent hatred. He, on the other hand, learned that it was not necessary to use his teeth
upon them. His naked fangs and writhing lips were uniformly efficacious, rarely failing
to send a bellowing on-rushing dog back on its haunches.
But there was one trial in White Fang's life - Collie. She never gave him a moment's
peace. She was not so amenable to the law as he. She defied all efforts of the master to
make her become friends with White Fang. Ever in his ears was sounding her sharp and
nervous snarl. She had never forgiven him the chicken-killing episode, and persistently
held to the belief that his intentions were bad. She found him guilty before the act, and
treated him accordingly. She became a pest to him, like a policeman following him
around the stable and the hounds, and, if he even so much as glanced curiously at a
pigeon or chicken, bursting into an outcry of indignation and wrath. His favourite way of
ignoring her was to lie down, with his head on his fore-paws, and pretend sleep. This
always dumfounded and silenced her.
With the exception of Collie, all things went well with White Fang. He had learned
control and poise, and he knew the law. He achieved a staidness, and calmness, and
philosophic tolerance. He no longer lived in a hostile environment. Danger and hurt and
death did not lurk everywhere about him. In time, the unknown, as a thing of terror and
menace ever impending, faded away. Life was soft and easy. It flowed along smoothly,
and neither fear nor foe lurked by the way.
He missed the snow without being aware of it. "An unduly long summer," would have
been his thought had he thought about it; as it was, he merely missed the snow in a vague,
subconscious way. In the same fashion, especially in the heat of summer when he