"How Gulo Bested the Others"
When Father Dark froze the land, many animals perished because of it. But some animals were cleverer than others and devised plans to best feed their families. One of these animals, of course, was Gulo.
In those days, carrion was plentiful but buried deep under the snow. The other animals found it difficult to reach the food and became discouraged. But Gulo’s large feet and claws were very good for digging, so that is what he did. Gulo dug for many days until one morning he uncovered a fine piece of meat to feed his family.
He had just grasped the meat in his strong jaws when he noticed he was no longer alone. “Hello Gulo,” said Lynx, “How cold a day it is! Aren’t your paws numb from all that digging? ”
Lynx may be small like Gulo, but she is canny as well. Gulo began to open his mouth to reply, but saw the eager glint in Lynx’s eye. “Ah!” thought Gulo to himself, “Lynx is trying to trick me into opening my mouth to speak! Then she will take my meat from me.”
So Gulo growled deep in his throat. He growled so loudly that Lynx became frightened and ran away.
Gulo continued to walk back to his den. Some hours had past when suddenly a large shape leapt from the high branches of a pine. “Give me that meat, Gulo,” said Lion, “and I will let you pass through my land.” Lion stretched herself in the snow, and showed off her sharp claws and teeth.
Through a mouthful of carrion Gulo replied “First, you must take it from me.” Lion was annoyed at this, and came forward to grab the meat. As she did, Gulo gave her a great swipe from his heavy paw upon her nose. Lion was startled and cuffed Gulo with her own claws. But Gulo has a heavy hide and thick skin, and he hardly felt the blow. As Lion retreated back into her tree with a bloody nose, Gulo went on his way once more.
He had walked well into dusk when he began to hear noises from before and behind him. Soon he could smell Wolf and his large family circling around him, eager to try their luck. “Hello Gulo!” cried the pack from every side. “Thank you for bringing our dinner to us!”
But as always, Gulo was prepared. As one of Wolf’s sons came close to take a bite of food, Gulo sprayed his scent into the air. What a smell! Wolf and his family, with their sensitive noses, ran yelling in every direction! His teeth still firmly latched into the meat, Gulo walked the short distance back to the den.
Gulo was nearly to the opening when a giant shape rose up in front of him. That sleepy giant, Bear, had been waiting lazily for Gulo to come home. “Go to your family, Gulo,” said Bear. “I will attend to this meal.”
For the first time since he had won his food, Gulo released it from his mouth. “Bear,” he said, “I dug this very meat myself, in the morning. Lynx tried to take it from me, but I bested her. In the afternoon, Lion tried to take it from me, but I bested her. And this evening Wolf and his family tried to take it from me, but I bested them. I am very tired, and would like to feed my family. I ask you to leave me be.”
But Bear was hungry and bad-tempered from waiting for Gulo to come back, for he had been sitting outside the den since Gulo had left. He stood on his two legs and gave a mighty bellow.
So Gulo ran between Bear’s paws and used his greatest weapon of all. Bear roared with pain as he felt the powerful teeth sink into his leg! He turned to crush Gulo with his own gigantic paw, but could not reach him!
“Please let me go!” Bear begged. “You may take your meat! But please release my leg!”
“Do you promise to leave me be?” asked Gulo.
“Yes! I promise!” said Bear.
So Gulo let Bear go, and Bear kept his promise. Word spread to all of the animals that Gulo had bested Lynx, Lion, Wolf and Bear, and none dared to challenge him again. To this day all of the animals fear Gulo, and will not try to take his food.