A young wolf, White Fang, is born near the Mackenzie River, in north-west Canada, in about 1893. One day he meets some Indians and they take him and his mother to their camp. They know his mother because she is half-dog. White Fang begins to learn the ways of men—and of other dogs. The dogs hate him, so he hates them. He learns to fight and to kill. It is a hard life, but will it change? Can White Fang learn to love?
When Jack London wrote White Fang in 1906, he was a famous writer. In 1903 his book The Call of the Wild (also a Penguin Reader) told the story of a dog, Buck. Buck has an easy life in sunny California, but then he goes to the Klondike in the cold north. Here he has to work, and to fight. American readers loved the story.
Wolves were very important to London. They were strong and wild, and they fought hard. He liked this in animals—and people.
Jack London was born in 1876 in San Francisco. His family had little money and he left school at fourteen. In the summer of 1897 he went to the Klondike. The trip was difficult and dangerous, and he had to stay there for the winter. He enjoyed the hard life and the strong people. Later, he wrote about the place in many of his books and stories.
After White Fang, London wrote thirty-two other books. He visited Australia, and had a farm in California. He died in 1916.
Chapter 1 The Gray Cub
The two wolves moved slowly down the Mackenzie River. Often they left it and looked for food by the smaller rivers. But they always went back to the large river.
The she-wolf looked everywhere for a home, and then one day she found it. It was a cave near a small river. She looked inside it very carefully. It was warm and dry so she lay down.
The he-wolf was hungry. He lay down inside the cave but he did not sleep well. He could hear the sound of water and he could see the April sun on the snow. Under the snow, and in the trees, there was new life.
The he-wolf left the cave and followed the ice bed of the small river. He wanted food. But eight hours later he came back, hungrier than before. In the wet snow he was slow and could not catch anything.
Strange sounds came from inside the cave. When he looked inside, the she-wolf snarled at him. He moved away and slept at the mouth of the cave.
The next morning he saw five strange little animals next to the she-wolf. They made weak little noises but their eyes were not open. He left the cave quickly. He had to find food for the she-wolf. This time, when he took meat back to her, she did not snarl at him.
Four of the cubs were red, but one was gray. This gray cub was a fighter. He fought his brothers -and sisters more than they fought him. He always wanted to leave the cave and his mother had to stop him.
Then, after a time, there was no food. His father did not bring them any meat, and his mother had no milk. The cubs cried, but then they slept.
When the gray cub felt strorig again, he only had one sister. The other cubs were dead. His sister slept all the time. Then the fire of life in her died too.
Later, the cub's father died. The she-wolf knew this because she found his body in the woods. Near his dead body lived a large wildcat. The she-wolf found the wildcat's cave, but she did not go inside it. The wildcat was in there, with her babies, and she was dangerous.
One day, the cub left the cave and began to walk. He hurt his feet and he ran into things. He often fell, but he learned quickly.
In the woods he found a very young, thin, yellow animal. He turned it over with his foot and it made a strange noise. Suddenly, its mother jumped on him and bit his neck. Then she took her baby into the trees.
The cub sat down and made weak little noises. He was there when the mother animal came back. He saw her long thin body and long thin head. She came nearer and nearer and then she bit his neck again. He snarled and tried to fight. But the mother animal fought hard. She wanted to kill him.
Suddenly, the she-wolf ran through the trees and caught the mother animal between her teeth. Her mouth closed on the long yellow body. Then she and the cub ate the animal.
After that, the cub went out every day and killed for food. Then one day the she-wolf brought home a baby wildcat. The cub ate it and fell asleep in the cave next to his mother.
He woke when she snarled loudly. The mother wildcat was at the mouth of the cave. She snarled angrily and the hair on the cub's back stood up. Because the mouth of the cave was small, the wildcat had to come in on her stomach. She and the she-wolf fought hard. The cub fought too and bit the wildcat's leg. She hit him hard but he did not stop fighting.
In the end, he and his mother killed the wildcat. But after the she did not move. For a week she only left the cave for water. But at the end of the week she could look for meat again.
For some time the cub could not walk very well, but then he began to look for meat with his mother. He was not afraid of small animals now. He could fight with his mother and kill a large animal.
He liked killing other animals. He also liked eating, running, fighting, and sleeping. He liked the life in his body. He was happy in his world.
Chapter 2 White Fang
The cub ran to the small river. He was heavy with sleep and he wanted to drink. He did not look around him carefully.
Suddenly, he saw them under the trees. Five big animals sat in front of him. They did not snarl or show their teeth. They looked at him and did not move. They were dangerous, but the gray cub could not move. He felt very weak and small next to them.
One of them got up and came to him. When he put his hand near the cub, the cub's hair stood up. He showed his little fangs. The man laughed and said: "Wabam wabisca ip pit tah" ("Look! The white fangs!")
The other men laughed loudly. The first man put his hand near the cub again. This time the cub bit it. The man hit him on the head. The cub fell and then cried. The men laughed again.
Then the cub heard something. The Indians heard it too.
The cub's mother ran to him and snarled loudly at the men.
"Kiche!"said one of the men."Kiche!"
The cub's mother stopped snarling and lay down on the ground. Why? The cub did not understand. His mother fought everything!
The man came to her. He put his hand on her head, but she did not bite him! The other men put their hands on her head and she did not bite them. The men made noises with their mouths.
"It is not strange," one man said. "Her father was a wolf and her mother was a dog."
"She ran away last year, Gray Beaver. Do you remember?" said a second man.
"Yes. She ran to the wolves because we could find no meat for the dogs."
He put his hand on the cub. The cub snarled and the hand quickly hit him. The cub closed his mouth. Then the man stroked the cub's back and behind his ears.
"His father is a wolf," said the man. "His fangs are white, so his name will be White Fang. He is my dog because Kiche was my dead brother's dog."
The men made more mouth noises. Then Gray Beaver cut some wood from a tree. He tied Kiche to it with some leather. Then he tied the stick to a small tree.
After a time, about forty men, women, and children and many dogs came through the trees. The people and dogs carried heavy bags. A small boy took Kiche's stick and walked away with her. White Fang followed her.
They walked by the small river for a time. Then they came to the large Mackenzie Paver and the Indians made their camp next to it.
White Fang walked around the camp and looked at everything. A young dog walked slowly to him. This dog, Lip-lip, did not like other dogs, and he bit White Fang badly. White Fang
Fang again and again, so White Fang ran back to his niother.This was the first of many fights with Lip-lip.
Five minutes later, White Fang left Kiche and looked around the camp again. He saw Gray Beaver and went to him. Gray Beaver sat on the ground near a lot of sticks. Women and children brought Gray Beaver more sticks. Then a strange thing came up from the sticks on the ground. It was the color of the sun. White Fang went near it, and suddenly his nose hurt. He jumped away fast and cried. Gray Beaver and the others laughed loudly.
White Fang ran back to his mother and lay down next to her. His nose hurt and he wanted to go back to the woods. He watched the men in the camp. They were large and strong, and they made fire! They were gods to him.
One of the Indians, Three Eagles, planned a trip up the Mackenzie River. Before he left, Gray Beaver gave him Kiche. So one morning, Three Eagles took Kiche onto his boat. The boat started to move up the river. White Fang jumped into the water and swam after it. He did not listen to the angry shouts of Gray Beaver. He wanted his mother.
Gray Beaver followed him in his boat. He caught White Fang's neck and pulled him angrily out of the water. He hit him hard, again and again. White Fang snarled at him angrily. Gray Beaver hit him faster and harder. Then White Fang felt very afraid. He topped snarling.
Gray Beaver stopped hitting him. He threw him into the bottom of the boat and kicked him hard. White Fang suddenly kit angry again and bit Gray Beaver's foot.
This time Gray Beaver was really angry. He hit White Fang very hard for a long time. Again, he threw him to the bottom of boat and again he kicked him angrily. This time White Fang did not bite him.
Later, in the night, White Fang remembered his mother and felt sad. He cried loudly, and Gray Beaver hit him again. After that he only cried quietly when the gods were near. But sometimes in the woods he cried loudly again. He stayed in the camp and waited for his mother.
He was not too sad. Life in the camp was interesting because the gods did many strange things. But the young dog Lip-lip hated him and often started fights with him. The other young dogs followed Lip-lip and started fights with White Fang too.
These fights taught him some important lessons. He learned to stay on his feet in a fight. He also learned to hurt a dog very badly in a very short time. He learned to push the dog off his feet and to bite his neck. He learned these lessons because he wanted to live. He had to be faster, more intelligent, and more dangerous than the other dogs.
One day, he killed a dog in a fight. The Indians saw him and were angry with him. After that, they did not want him near them. They shouted at him angrily when they saw him.
This life turned White Fang into a very angry, dangerous animal. He learned only about hate. Nobody gave him any love, so he did not learn about that.
Chapter A Trip up the Mackenzie,
In the fall the Indians put everything from the camp into bags. Then they put the bags into their, boats. Some of the boats left and White Fang understood.
He ran out of the camp and through a small river. Then he tound a place in the woods and went to sleep. He woke when he feard Gray Beaver. Gray Beaver called his name again and again, hen he stopped calling and went back to the camp.
White Fang played in the woods for a time, but then he suddenly felt afraid. The woods were dark and cold, and the trees made loud noises. He ran back to the camp, but there was nobody there. He sat down and looked up at the sky. He cried j sadly to the large night sky.
In the morning he began to run by the river. All day he ran. Sometimes he had to climb high mountains behind the river. Sometimes he had to swim across other, smaller rivers. He always followed the large river on its way. AH the time he looked for the gods.
He ran all night and the next day. He felt weak and hungry and his feet hurt badly. Snow began to fall and he could not find j his way easily. Then night fell and the snow came down more j heavily.
Then he smelled the gods through the snow on the ground. He left the river and went into the trees. He heard the sounds of the gods and saw Gray Beaver near a fire.
He felt afraid but he walked slowly into the firelight. Gra} Beaver saw him and looked at him.White Fang went to him anc waited. But Gray Beaver did not hit him. He gave him some meat! White Fang carefully smelled it and then ate it. He sat at Gray Beaver's feet and looked at the fire. He felt warm and happy| This was his place.
Some months later, in the middle of December, Gray Beavef went up the Macken/ie River. His son Mit-sah and his wife! Kloo-klooch went with him. They took two sleds. Mit-sah's sledj was smaller and lighter than Gray Beaver's, but it carried a lot of food.
Gray Beaver and Mit-sah tied White Fang and six other dogs j to Mit-sah's sled. Lip-lip ran at the front. All day the other dogs I ran behind him. They wanted to catch him, but they could not. Because of this they hated him. In the camp Lip-lip had to stay near the gods because the other dogs hated him. He was not the most important dog now.
At one village, White Fang learned something new. One day a boy cut some meat and some of it fell on the ground. White Fang ate it. The boy ran after him and tried to hit him with a heavy stick.White Fang was very angry. He bit the boy's hand hard. The boy's family came to Gray Beaver but he spoke angrily to them. He did not hit White Fang.
Later that day, some boys from the village began to hit Mit-sah in the woods. White Fang ran angrily to them and they ran away. When Mit-sah told this story in the camp, Gray Beaver gave White Fang a lot of meat. White Fang understood. There were! different gods. There were his gods, and there were other gods. His gods were the most important.
They arrived in Gray Beaver's village in April. White Fang was now a year old. He was tall and thin, and his coat was wolf-gray. He walked through the village and saw the gods and dogs from the summer. He was not afraid of the older dogs. He could fight them and win.
In the summer, he saw Kiche outside the village. He stopped and looked at her. He remembered her, but she did not remember him. He ran to her happily, but she bit him in the face. He ran away from her. He did not understand.
Kiche now had new cubs, so she could not remember her older ones. One of her new cubs came to White Fang. White Fang smelled him and Kiche jumped on him angrily. She bit his face a second time. Then White Fang left.This was a she-wolf and he could not fight her.
In the third year of White Fang's life, there was no food on the Mackenzie for a long time. In the summer, the Indians could not find any fish and in the winter they could not find any wild animals. They ate their leather shoes, and the dogs. The old and weak gods died and the other gods cried all the time. Some of the most intelligent dogs understood, and they went into the woods for food. There, the wolves ate them.
White Fang also went into the woods. For months he was very hungry, but he always killed something. Other animals wanted to kill him, but he could run faster than them.
Early in the summer, he met Lip-lip in the woods. He was not hungry, but he snarled at Lip-lip. He pushed him to the ground and bit his neck hard. That was the end of Lip-lip.
One day, White Fang came to the end of the woods. In front of him he saw the Mackenzie and a village. It was the old vfflage, but it was now in a new place.
He left the woods and went to the village. Gray Beaver was not there, but Kloo-kooh gave him a fish. He felt happy because he was with the gods again.
Chapter 4 The Killer of Dogs
When White Fang was almost five years old, Gray Beaver took him on a second trip. This time they went down the Mackenzie, across the mountains and down the Porcupine River to the Yukon River. They stopped in many villages, and in each village White Fang fought the dogs. The dogs often died because they fought in a different way from White Fang.
White Fang liked fighting very quickly. He hated being very near another animal because it felt dangerous. He had to feel free, 50 he finished his fights very fast. Usually, he won his fights
cause the village dogs were slower. Sometimes a dog hurt him
У' but these times were accidents. Usually, he was too fast for them.
In the summer, Gray Beaver and White Fang arrived at Fort Yukon. It was 1898, and there were thousands of people in th town. These people planned to go up the Yukon to the Klondik because they wanted to find gold.
In Fort Yukon, White Fang saw white gods for the first time. У small number of them lived in the town, and other men cam from the boats. These boats stopped in the town two or thre times a week.
He was very afraid of the white gods because they wer stronger than the Indians. But he was not afraid of their dog: They did not fight well. When they ran at him, he jumped awa1 Then he pushed them to the ground and bit them in the neck.' was easy.
Sometimes a dog did not get up after a fight with White Fang Then White Fang left him to the Indian dogs. They jumped о him and killed him. White Fang never killed a white god's do\ He was too intelligent. The white gods were always angry whe their dogs died in a fight. They hit the Indian dogs hard wit sticks.
White Fang started these fights easily. When the strange doi left the boat, he went to them. They were afraid of him becau: he was wild. He was dangerous to them and to their gods so th< wanted to fight him.
After two or three of these fights, the white gods always toe their dogs back to their boat. That was the end of the game wi the dogs from that boat.
After a time, these fights were the only thing in White Fan] life. Gray Beaver had no work for him because he was too bui He sold leather shoes to the white gods and he was now rich.
White Fang liked the fights, but he was not happy. He did n love an animal or a god, because no animal or god loved hii Everybody hated him.
The white men in Fort Yukon did not like the white men from the boats. These men were from the south, and were weak. The men from Fort Yukon liked the dog fights because the weak men's dogs died.
One man liked the fights more than the other men. He watched each fight. Sometimes when a Southland dog died, he j shouted happily. He wanted very much to buy White Fang.
This man's name was Beauty Smith. His name was "Beauty" I because he was very ugly and small. He had large yellow teeth and dirty yellow eyes. The thin hair on his head and face was also j dirty yellow.
He tried to make friends with White Fang but White Fangl hated him. He always showed his teeth to him and moved away. I
Then Beauty Smith visited Gray Beaver in his camp. Beauty! Smith and Gray Beaver talked for along time. Gray Beaver did! not want to sell White Fang. White Fang was his strongest dog. J But Beauty Smith knew Gray Beaver. He visited him often. Each! time he took a black bottle with him, under his coat. Gray BeaverJ began to want more and more bottles. In a short time all hisj money went on them. Then Beauty Smith talked to him again about White Fang. He wanted to pay for White Fang in bottles. J not dollars. This time Gray Beaver listened.
"You catch him, you take him," he said.
After two days, Beauty Smith told Gray Beaver," You catch him.'
That evening, White Fang came quietly into the camp. The bad white god was not there. Gray Beaver came over to him ancj tied some leather round his neck. He sat down next to Whit Fang and drank from his bottle.
After an hour, Beauty Smith walked into the camp. He stood! over White Fang. White Fang snarled up at him. A hand moved down to his head. Suddenly, White Fang tried to bite it. The^ hand jumped back. Gray Beaver hit White Fang on the head.
Beauty Smith went away and came back with a large stick. Gray Beaver gave him the leather and Beauty Smith walked away I from White Fang. The leather pulled at White Fang's neck but he ' did not move. Then he suddenly jumped at the bad god. Beauty Smith did not move away. He hit White Fang hard with his stick. White Fang fell to the ground. Beauty Smith pulled the leather again, and this time White Fang followed him.
In the town, Beauty Smith tied him with the leather and went to bed. White Fang waited an hour. Then he began to bite the leather. When he was free he went back to Gray Beaver.
In the morning, Gray Beaver gave him to Beauty Smith again. Beauty Smith hit him very hard with the stick. He enjoyed hurting him.
Then he took White Fang to the town again.This time he tied him with a stick. In the night, White Fang began to bite the stick. I After many hours, he bit through it and was free. He went back! to Gray Beaver. He could not leave him.
Beauty Smith came for him again the next morning. He hitl him harder than before. When he finished,White Fang was very! sick. He could not see and he could not walk easily. He followed] Beauty Smith back to the town.
Gray Beaver said nothing to Beauty Smith because White 1 Fang was not his dog now. After a short time, he left Fort Yukon for the Mackenzie.