Ivan was a veteran forester. He loved his job, and how not to love the forest, the nature, the animals he took care of and it did not matter what kind of animal it was. Whether it was a moose, a wolf or even a small squirrel, he tried to help everybody.
He loved his rounds of the taiga, to spend the night in his forest hut, far from people and all civilization, where it was quiet and warm, and only small birds were chirping and the quiet noise of the taiga inhabitants was heard.
One day, an old forester went on a round of his territory and accidentally stumbled upon a ruined wolf’s den.
There were no wolves in the den, apparently poachers had taken them. Poachers often took small wolf cubs to sell.
“What robbers. They’ll do anything for money. People have become worse than the beast.” muttered John and was about to go on, when suddenly he heard a faint whimper in the bushes, not far from the ravaged wolf’s lair.
The old forester climbed into the bushes and saw the wolf there. She was lying on her side, whimpering softly. Like a human being begging for help. The old man leaned toward the wounded wolf and wept bitterly
“Who did this to you? You must have defended your children to the end, you didn’t leave them when the poachers came. And what should I do with you now? How can I help you?”
The old forester had seen a lot of wolf cubs and did not believe that the she-wolf would make it, but he picked her up and carried her to his hunting hut, which was at least seven or even eight kilometers away.
When John reached the hut, he spread an old bast mat on the bunks, put the wounded wolf there, and went to the village to fetch a vet. The she-wolf was so bad that a veterinarian was needed.
More than two weeks passed and the wolf was on her feet and felt well, she could even go out and hunt mice near the winter hut, and after a while, she accompanied the forester on his rounds.
So, the summer flew, and then the autumn passed by unnoticed. Winter with its frosts and deep snow came. The old forester still walked around his property and the she-wolf he had saved did not lag behind of John.
One day, on another round, the forester stumbled and severely injured his leg. It was impossible to move independently in the taiga with an injured leg, and it was also impossible to stay in the taiga in winter.
The she-wolf hovered around the man and did not know how to help him. The old man hardly took the skis off his boots, put them on the snow and lay down on them on his stomach. Pushing off with his hands, John crawled backwards along his track.
It was very difficult to crawl this way and it turned out very badly. For an hour the forester crawled no more than five hundred meters, and it had already begun to get dark outside.
But John did not give up and with his last breath pushed his hands from the cold snow. Suddenly he felt that his wolf grasped the strong collar of his coat with her teeth and began to drag him as hard as she could, thrusting with her paws into the snow.
Things became more fun and by joint efforts, at night, far after midnight, they managed to get to the forest ranger’s hut. When they reached the woodsman’s hut, the forester climbed up on his bunk and fell into a restless sleep.
The next day, his colleague, a forester from a neighboring area, came to the hut and knowing what had happened, helped John get to the village, where he was taken to the district hospital.
On leaving the hospital, the forester hurried to his hut, where his wolf chick had stayed, but on arriving there, he could not find the wolf, and no matter how many times he called her, she never showed up “She must have gone. She paid me back in kind, and then she left.”