One day, I decided I was hungry, and no adult was in sight to beg some food from, so I started sniffing around the den area for any sign of food.

My nose soon led me to a pile of dirt a little way into the forest by the den area. I looked around to make sure I hadn't been followed, since I didn't want to share my find with anyone, at least until I knew how much food was there. I started digging at the dirt, and soon I found a caribou bone with a lot of meat still left on it. It was almost as big as I was! I struggled with it, and finally got it out of the hole, then sat down to catch my breath. This was a LOT work! But this was a LOT of food, too!

As I sat, I kept watch to make sure no one came along to challenge me for my find. If an Alpha pup came along and decided they wanted it, I'd have to give it up, since they outranked me. There was no way I was going to fight an Alpha, not even for something like this.

Now, if another Omega pup happened along, depending on who it was, I might willingly share, since there was plenty of meat and bone there for two. Especially if it happened to be Humphrey. If it were him, maybe he'd really notice me if I shared some of this with him. Just as long as Kate didn't happen to walk by again, like she usually did when I was trying to talk with him.

As I was sitting and thinking about all this, I was suddenly aware that someone else was sneaking up towards the bone. It was a full-grown fox! I laid my ears back, raised my hackles, and growled at him. "This is mine!" I didn't sound very convincing, though, since I knew I'd rather turn and run, rather than fight.

He knew it, too. He laughed at me and snarled "I'm twice your size, pup! Just give it up, and I won't have to hurt you. Don't think I won't either. You and I are natural enemies, you know. Now step away from the bone, and you won't get hurt."

Just then, I heard a voice growl behind us. A familiar voice. "Oooohhh . . . You stay away from her! No one threatens a member of my pack!" It was Kate, her lips and hackles raised, her fur bristling, ready to fight this intruder. She stepped toward me.

Kate was larger than me, plus she had confidence, being an Alpha, even though she was still a pup like me. She'd have no problem tackling the fox.

And he knew it. His eyes got wide in fear and he started backing away from the bone and us. "I . . . I . . . I don't want any trouble."

"Then leave! NOW!" Kate snapped at the fox.

He turned and ran back into the forest, only looking back over his shoulder long enough to make sure Kate wasn't chasing him.

I turned to her, my ears back, head and tail down, showing submission. "I suppose you'll be taking the bone, now, Kate. You are an Alpha, after all, and I'm only an Omega . . . " I started to say as I backed away from the bone.

She wagged her tail, smiled at me, and shook her head slightly. "No, Sweets. But it'd be great if you'd share some of it with me. There's enough here for both of us, right?"

I was amazed. I never thought I'd hear an Alpha say anything like that to me, let alone the Alpha daughter of the lead Alphas of our pack. I couldn't speak for a few moments, but then finally managed to say "Uhh . . . Right, Kate. You're an Alpha, so you take your share first." I motioned to the bone with a paw. "I'll take whatever's left, like I should. I know my place." I finished backing away from the bone.

"Sure, Sweets. I'll take my share first." She smiled at me, wagged her tail and said "And thank you."

I kept my head, ears, and tail down, but smiled at her and slowly wagged my tail. "No, Kate. Thank you for chasing that awful fox away. I thought for sure he was going to take the bone away from me."

She looked at me and tilted her head to the side, and chuckled, still smiling. "Well, you're lucky I was hungry and followed my nose here, then, aren't you, Sweets? I'll tell you one thing, though - foxes aren't nearly so bold if you stand up to 'em. That's one of the first things Mom and Dad taught me as soon as I was old enough to be out on my own on Alpha pup business."

I shook my head. "I tried, Kate, but you know I'm an Omega. I guess I just can't convince anyone I'd really fight them. And I wouldn't, really. I'm not a fighter."

It was Kate's turn to shake her head. "Pssshhh! You don't have to fight 'em. Just make 'em think you would. Besides, you'll have to learn that there's some things that are worth fighting for, even for an Omega." She sighed and shrugged her shoulders. "Oh, well - you are what you are right now, I guess. Anyway, I'll eat my share so you can have yours."

She went over to the bone and started pulling bits of meat off it. I noticed that she was careful not to take more than half the meat before she started gnawing on the bone. Soon, almost exactly half of the meat and bone was left. She stopped, licking her lips. She sighed contentedly. "That was good, Sweets. Thanks for sharing with me. I'm done." She motioned to it with a paw. "The rest is all yours. Enjoy it. I'll stay here, if you want, just to make sure that fox doesn't try to come back and bother you again."

I stood and looked at her with my mouth open in surprise. "You'd do that for me, Kate? But . . . I'm an Omega."

She shook her head, rolled her eyes, and snorted in disgust "Well, duh! But you're also a member of my pack. And it's my job as an Alpha to protect members of my pack. Now eat. Please."

I smiled and nodded to her. "All right, Kate. And thank you." I went to what was left and started eating.

She stood a respectful distance away, looking in the direction the fox had gone, keeping watch while I ate the rest of the meat and bone. When I'd finished, there weren't even any bone chips left for the fox to come back to. He wasn't getting any of it!

As soon as I'd finished, Kate said "Now let's get you back to the den area, where you'll be safe, all right? If you can't fight, or at least bluff, you don't belong out here alone. At least not until you're bigger and won't make such an easy target for bullies. Let's go." She trotted off, back toward the den area. I followed a respectful distance behind.