The wolves watched in silence as the potentially deadly situation unfolded before them. The wolves were a threat on their own, but they decided to make their way down the hill after watching the struggle in the river.
The boy was terrified as they surrounded and howled at him. Were they going to attack him? But the boy was surprised by what they did next.
The Winter Months
The Neman River is a strong river that runs through Belarus and is iced over in the cold winter months. This was Viktar Aladau’s favorite time of year because it meant that he could play on the ice with his wooden sled.
He loved it more than anything else but never knew how swiftly things could change from good to bad.
Despite him being the tender age of 10, Viktar Aladau was more challenging to impress than the rest of his peers. Children of the same age enjoyed sitting at home in front of the TV, but he preferred outdoor adventures.
He enjoyed playing in the park and climbing trees but loved sledding the most. After he discovered sledding, winter became his paradise.
A Christmas Gift
What made his favorite season better was Christmas. The cold snow, hot chocolate, festivities, and gifts were the best combination to make him the happiest kid out there.
Viktar unwrapped his present to find a sled, something he started using immediately. Now he could play in the snow as much as he wanted to, but he should have been more careful.
His Parents’ Warning
His parents had warned him to stay close to the house when they gifted it to him. Although he had never seen one in person before, he knew about the wolves that roamed in the forest outside of Minsk.
Like any other 10-year-old, Vikter didn’t heed the warning. His primary focus was playing outside on his new sled, but the following week would have him wishing he’d listened.
A week had gone by, and Viktar was overly excited to be able to leave the house finally. He’d been waiting so long and counted the seconds he could sled down the snowy hills surrounding the river.
Beautiful snowy hills form in the winter, where the edge of the Neman River flows in the summer. Viktar had no idea how fragile the ice could be.
Viktar followed the river’s edge until he found a pleasant enough hill to slide down. He marched to the top before sitting down on his new sled and pushing off down the hill.
He went down the hill, again and again, feeling a joyful rush every time. It was his sixth time going down, but this time had him skidding further than he’d expected. That’s when he heard the ice of the frozen river cracking.
A Worsening Situation
Viktar had just now found himself in a frightening situation. He didn’t think the ice would have been so thin, and panicked when he heard it cracking. The 10-year-old felt unprepared to handle a situation like this.
But the situation only worsened in seconds when he heard one loud and final crack.
Praying For Help
Viktar was plunged into the water and kept his head above water. But this was no easy situation, and he prayed that someone would come by to help. But it wasn’t long before he realized he wasn’t alone – he was being watched.
He couldn’t help but remember his parents’ warning the week before. He knew that situation was not about to get any better.
Filled With Regret
Viktar realized that a pack of wolves was watching him, and he knew they wanted to take advantage of his predicament. He wished that he had never gone out and that he was cozied up in his warm bed at home instead of being surrounded by wolves.
He had no idea how to save himself and couldn’t help but wail. While he cried, the wolves had plans of their own.
Waiting For The Perfect Opportunity
The wolves watched in morbid curiosity; his situation was already potentially deadly, but the wolves posed their own complicating threat. After watching him struggle in the river for a minute, they finally decided to descend the hill.
They surrounded the terrified boy and howled at him. Were they just waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack? What they did next surprised the boy.
Grabbing His Collar
One of the wolves took the first step forward. It seemed as if she was the matriarch. She lunged for Viktar and managed to get a hold of his collar. The boy was understandably terrified and screamed.
With eyes shut, Viktar was pulled against the ice. He tried understanding what the wolf was doing, then it all made sense.
Trying To Help
He understood that the wolves were only trying to help him. They weren’t biting him but tugging at his clothes to try and pull him from the hole in the icy surface. Knowing this, he tried desperately to cling to the ice ledge, but it was too slippery.
Then another wolf stepped forward to help. Together, they tried desperately to pull him out. But Viktar had no idea how the situation would end.
Onto The Ice
After a lot of tugging, Viktar managed to pull himself onto the ice with the help of the wolves. They looked down at him with concern in their eyes. He was not convinced that they were trying to help above all else.
Still in shock, he lay on his back while he caught his breath. The wolves stood with him to ensure he stayed out of trouble.
Viktar still knew they could be dangerous and didn’t want to see the limits of their kindness. Instead, he smiled at the wolves that had saved him and slowly trudged back home.
The wolves stood by the river and watched him leave. He turned back to look at them before making it over the hill where he couldn’t see the Neman river anymore. At least he had a once-in-a-lifetime story that he could share.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.