She became orphaned on the same night she turned four years old. That very night, she and Momma had journeyed many days and many miles. Momma had carried Anka on her back at least half way. Unbelievably exhausted, they stopped and rested under a large tree, a short distance from an unknown village.
As night fell, Momma drew the flask from the rucksack. Removing the flask mother and daughter supped on water because not one food crumb remained in their rucksack.
After drinking, Momma drew a bundle from the rucksack. Then she removed her own white dress from her body and slipped into her black cloak and tied it tightly around herself. She held up the dress and pursed her lips. Momma drew Anka close and dressed her in the oversized white dress. Folding the extra width and length around Anka’s middle, Momma tied a black sash around her waist to prevent the dress from falling off Anka’s small body. Next, she slipped Anka’s tiny feet into Momma’s own red boots. Momma laughed an oddly sweet laugh at the tiny Anka dressed in such a fashion.
Anka snuggled into Momma’s lap. Momma wrapped her arms around the small Anka and spoke soft words to her. “I must now travel to another place where you cannot go. You must go to that close-by village to live, learn and grow.” Anka trembled but sleepiness hindered any further reaction.
Momma sighed. “If you keep your head bowed and follow the villager’s rules, maybe your life will be safe, but if not, I leave you this magic wolf.” Momma then pulled a small-carved wolf the size of Anka’s hand from the rucksack.
The tiny wolf shone blacker than night. Its shiny white fangs seemed somewhat menacing but oddly comforting as its red eyes glittered knowingly. Sleepily, Anka nuzzled closely to Momma. Momma slid the tiny magic wolf into Anka’s pocket.
“Care for the wolf daily and the magic will work for you when needed.”
With those last words, Anka slept. She did not feel Momma’s kiss upon her lips. She did not see Momma rise barefooted from the ground clasping her black cloak tightly around herself. She did not hear Momma slip away into the deep dark forest.
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