The Life of a Mutt
“Out of the way, mutt!” Someone yelled just as I managed to jump out of the way of the group of warriors running by.
They were no doubt finishing up with their daily training. I sighed. I had always wanted the opportunity to train with the rest of the wolves but was never given the chance. I was allowed some mild training, some self-defense techniques mostly. But I had never been allowed to go through the more rigorous training that my other pack members were.
You see, I am what is commonly referred to as a mutt. In the world of wolves, that means that I am not purebred. My mother was a human and my father a wolf, even though they were mates, any offspring was looked down upon, much like a second-class citizen. Since it was considered shameful to mate with any creature other than another wolf, most wolves in our pack will reject their mates, if they did not fit within that standard.
When my father did not reject my mother, he became a disgrace, a pariah. It was not enough for him to be banished from the pack, but it was enough for them to treat our family like we were less than the rest. Our family was moved out to a little cabin near a pond on the pack’s property. We were not far from where the rest of the pack stayed, but far enough that it was made clear that we were different.
Sadly, my mother passed away giving birth to me. They were able to save me, but they could not save her. The pack doctor, at the time, stated it was likely due to her being a human. Though, I could not help but wonder, with their distaste for humans, how hard did they really try? They believe that my being part wolf, took too much out of her to deliver me to the world. My father never recovered from her loss. He did his best to take care of me. But a wolf who loses his mate is never the same again. He only grew more and more depressed as time went on. As his depression grew, so did his weakness, by the time I was twelve years old, he barely got out of bed anymore. When I was fifteen, he finally succumbed to his broken heart, passing away in his sleep.
If it had not been for my one and only friend, Alessa, I would have been completely alone in this world. If this had happened to any other young wolf in the pack, they would have been taken in by the Alpha and his family. However, I was not granted such liberties. As a mutt, they did not want me living in the pack house, so they left me alone in the cabin by the pond to finish raising myself.
Alessa made certain that I was taken care of though. She would often bring me dinner from the leftovers of what her family had eaten. She would find medicine for me whenever I had fallen ill. She also informed me of any of the information that I may have needed to know about what was happening in the pack. She even risked her life to see that I was safe, the one and only time that our pack had been attacked by rogues. I, honestly, did not know what I would do without her, and I hoped that I never had to find out.
I had finally made my way back to my small cabin and ducked inside. The whole pack seemed to be in an uproar. Everyone was busy and all the females were giddy with excitement. I hoped that Alessa would come and fill me on the reason for the activity soon.
“Where have you been?” A familiar voice questioned as soon as I had closed the door behind me.
“Guess I don’t have to wait long.” I mused to myself.
I looked over and saw Alessa sitting at my dining table, having made herself at home in one of the chairs.
“Sorry, I had to grab some things in town. Needed a few essentials.” I shrugged as I placed the bag I carried on the table. “Why were you looking for me?”
“Because I needed to tell you something really exciting!” Alessa announced as she jumped up from her chair.
I laughed at her as she began to clap her hands together with glee, a smile stretching from ear to ear.
“Wow, I don’t think that I have seen you this enthusiastic about anything. This must be some really big news!” I chuckled.
“It is! It is good news for both of us!”
“Alright. Well, don’t keep me in suspense. What is it?”
“The Flower Moon Festival is coming!” Alessa, practically, shrieked.
I cocked my head to the side, still not certain what that was meant to mean.
“Don’t tell me that you don’t know about the Flower Moon Festival?!”
“Okay…then I won’t tell you.” I joked.
“Ugh!” She exclaimed slapping her hand to her forehead. “I wish that they would just let you into the pack mindlink! You should not be this deprived as a wolf.” She huffed in annoyance.
The pack mindlink is a way for all pack members to communicate with one another. It was mostly used for talking to each other when we are in our wolf forms, for the Alpha or Beta to send us important messages, or for mates to communicate privately. However, I was deprived of this opportunity, when I was born, it was decreed by the current-Alpha’s father, Alpha Cosmo, that I would not be allowed to use the pack mindlink until I found my mate.
Just another way to make me feel like I was less than.
“Enough about that, because your problems will soon be over, my dear friend!” Alessa announced, very matter of fact.
“Oh yeah? How is that going to happen exactly?”
“Duh! The Flower Moon Festival!”
“I still don’t know what that is.” I reminded her.
“It is festival that they hold every year to help wolves in the pack find their mates! This year we are old enough to attend!”
Alessa was jumping around and clapping her hands, obviously very excited by this information. I gave her a weak smile in response. This clearly was not the reaction that she was hoping for as she immediately ceased her celebration and gave me a disappointed stare.
“Why aren’t you more excited about this?! When you find your mate, everything is going to change! You’ll be treated like a regular member of the pack. You will be allowed to use the mindlink and you can move closer to rest of us. They won’t treat you like a second-class citizen anymore!”
I sighed. Alessa always was one to dream big. She lived with her head in the clouds, whereas I was forced to see things a little closer to earth. I knew the grim reality of my situation.
“Alessa…I know that you wish all of these things for me. It is because you are so sweet and caring.” I took a slow breath, hesitating for a moment, before gaining the courage to say out loud what I have always refused to say before. “If I have a mate…he is going to reject me. So, it is probably better that I never find him.”
“What?! Why would you think that?” Alessa pressed, looking at me in horror.
“Come on, Alessa, you know that it’s true. If he is a member of this pack, then he already hates me. It will take him a split second to decide to reject me.”
Alessa grew quiet for a moment, considering my words.
I knew that she would never want to say it to my face, but she knew that I was right. Alessa had endured a lot of snarky comments thrown her way because she was merely friends with me. No male, in their right mind, would ever want me as his mate. I was certain that, whoever he was, he would be disgusted at the thought.
If there is a mate somewhere out there for me, then I feel terrible for him. Some poor young wolf, eagerly awaiting to find his soulmate only to discover that she is just some worthless mutt. That would have to be devastating. He would lose everything in that moment. His whole future would suddenly change. Instead of a mate and pups, he would have to do without.
Wolves can only have pups with their fated mates. So, if they reject their mate or lose them for any reason, they cannot have children with another. They can fall in love with another wolf and live a very fulfilling life, just not with their own biological pups. I would feel sorry for a wolf that had to discover that all in one, sudden, moment. I have had years to prepare myself for the fact that I would not be wanted. He would have no time to adjust to his loss.
“This is all crazy talk!” Alessa, suddenly, proclaimed, pulling me from my thoughts. “I refuse to believe that! The mate bond is too strong, he will be pulled to you, and he will love you!”
I smiled at her effort, but I knew that she was wrong.
“So, with that in mind…” She began again. “We need to get you a dress for the festival. I can bring over some makeup and do your hair beforehand.”
“Alessa…I’m not going.” I tell her, shaking my head.
“What?! What do you mean that you’re not going?! You have to go!”
“I really don’t want to. I don’t want to find my mate. I don’t think I will handle the rejection well. I’ve been through too much and I am afraid that my mate’s rejection will be the final straw.” I sighed in defeat.
“I get it. I really do. But I don’t think that it’s going to be like that. The mate bond is a powerful thing. It changes people.”
“People maybe. Wolves never.” I said with a sarcastic chuckle.
Alessa found my comment much less amusing, as she stood there, staring at me, with her hands on her hips.
“Well, I hate to break it to you, but you don’t have a choice. You have to go.”
“What? What do you mean? Why?”
“It’s mandatory. All unmated wolves of age must attend.”
I rolled my eyes and groaned.
“Yeah, Alpha announced it this morning.”
“Surely, he didn’t mean me.” I continued to argue.
Anything I could think of to get out of this stupid ceremony somehow.
“He said EVERYONE.” Alessa emphasized the last word to discourage me from debating it further.
“Fine. But I have nothing to wear, and I cannot afford to get anything.”
“I’ll buy something for you, and we’ll make sure that you look beautiful!”
I snort at that comment.
“Easier said than done.”
I did not think of myself as ugly, maybe average. But I never did think that I could be beautiful, definitely not. My mousy brown hair and dull grey eyes did not impress anyone. My slender figure did not have much to it as I did not possess the full curves of other wolves my age.
“I don’t want you spending your money on me, Alessa.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Alessa responded with a wave of her hand. “Besides, it’s not my money, it’s the pack’s money and you have just as much right to that money as anyone else.”
Our pack was rather wealthy, our Alphas having always seen to it that our pack would never be in need. They amassed a large amount of money over the centuries and this money is distributed to each household in the pack. Larger families get more money than small families. As well as higher ranking wolves got more money than lower ranking wolves. Each month the allowance was distributed.
The Alpha was not so cruel as to deny my access to the pack funds, but as a household of one, I was not privy to much of the funds. On top of that, I was a mutt, lower than even an Omega within the group hierarchy. This meant that I was given just enough money to barely survive. I had necessities and nothing more. The majority of my clothing was either fished out of donation bins or given to me by Alessa. I lived with the bare minimum, while most pack members never even thought about money because they had plenty of it.
“Alright…” I gave up, admitting defeat. “I guess I don’t have much of a choice.”
Alessa merely smiled in response.