One day, Hermes, messenger of the gods, was flying over a dense wood when he saw the lovely Artimis, goddess of the hunt, stealthily tracking a wild boar. He fell in love and knew instantly that he must father her son. Swooping down through the trees he grabbed her and flew away to a nearby cave. Less than an hour later a dark-haired girl was born. Hermes was so furious that Artemis had not bore him a boy that he banished the young Vivian, daughter of Artemis, to live forever with the wild beasts and animals of the forest.

Raised by a grizzly bear, she learned from all the woodland creatures, and the great hunters were her teachers. Vivian came to be the goddess of the moon. Soon she learned that not only did she have a great talent for the hunt but also that she could become a creature of it, able to shape shift at will from one form to another. The first of her forms was her human self; eyes as yellow as a cats and long rippling hair, blacker than night, that flowed smoothly over her strong but slim figure of about 16years. She was already far more poised and beautiful than Aphrodite, the goddess of love, herself. Vivian's latter shape, an animal larger than a fox but smaller then a bear, was a deep ebony in summer and silvery white in winter. A creature with tawny eyes that could penetrate even the blackest night. Moving without a sound, she was a true hunter that loved a clear, cool night and always yearned for the moon.

As time wore on Vivian became lonely and started to search for another of her kind, another wolf, the name granted her by the other creatures of the wood. Now as Athena, goddess of warfare and wisdom, was traveling through the forest where Vivian was searching for other wolves. She saw the girl, took pity on her, and as Athena approached, Vivian, turned into wolf shape to protect herself from this warlike goddess. When Athena saw this she knew immediately that this was the daughter of great Artimis and rash Hermes. As Athena explained herself to the girl, she began to sense the great loneliness that was broiling up inside the young goddess. Therefore, when Vivian asked her for help, she directed the girl to the one man who might know how to help, Zeus, king of the gods. Without hesitation, Athena took Vivian to see Zeus. When he first heard of what Hermes did he thundered and roared, and threw his great lightning bolts as the two goddesses cowered in the corner, waiting for him to calm himself and once again become reasonable. Then Vivian, with help from Athena, told him her request. Zeus said that he would ponder what he could do and that they should return in a fortnight's time to receive his answer.

Two weeks later, when Athena and Vivian returned, Zeus spoke, his voice filling the very chasm of time, "Fair Vivian, daughter of Artimis and Hermes, I hear your plea and wish greatly to aid you, for you are more beautiful and poised than the goddess of love herself, a feat never before accomplished. However I cannot help you directly, only give advice. I happen to know that, on a small island in the north, there lives an old and wise man who can tell you where to find another wolf." So with that and well wishes from Athena, Vivian made for this man who was said to have the answer to her problem.

Since she was a swift runner and never ran out of food for she could hunt anywhere she liked, the trip took but a few days time. Soon she was at the house of the wise man that Zeus had spoken of. As she changed back into her upright form she knocked on the door and a cracked voice came from inside, "Come in Vivian. Yellow-eyed wolf goddess. Black-haired creature of the moon. Come in and I will tell you what you want to know, in time. After all, I am told that you are more beautiful than the goddess of love and that, of course, is hard to do." Vivian froze, but then remembered Zeus saying something about the old man being a fortuneteller so the surprise was short lived and she quickly entered the house.

In an open hearth a green fire was burning and in the flame she saw shapes and figures flickering along with the fire in which it appeared. Sitting near the hearth was a man with three faces, one, that looked as old as the very mountains themselves, was puffing on a small handcrafted pipe. The second face, which was that of a middle-aged man, about in his thirties was reading a book and paying her no mind. The third was that of a young man, no older than her, who was staring at her as if he were in a powerful trance. In the youngest face she saw something that wasn't in the other two faces, something that moved her deeply, something called love.

The oldest one spoke in the same voice she had heard coming from the door, "To get what you seek you must grant each of us our hearts desire. My desire is that you bring me the oldest crow alive so that I may learn his secrets." She nodded but suddenly stopped when a voice came from the face that was hiding behind a thick and crinkled book "Bring me the longest book in the world,The History of the Gods." She asked if they knew where she could find such things but instead of answering the youngest one chirped, "My only wish is that I may have your fair hand in marriage and that you love me as much as I love you." Thinking about this Vivian thought of Eros, son of Aphrodite, and said that she would do this but that if she would marry him she must at least learn his name. Their only response was to look at fire and disappear.

With that she captured the oldest crow, found and stole the longest book and borrowed one of Eros's arrows so that she could prick herself and fall in love with the young man. They were wed and the day after the wedding night she once again spoke with the eldest man. He said that with the crow's knowledge he could tell her where to find the only other wolf, "Reaching it may not be possible and certainly beyond mortal means." However, Vivian paid no mind to this small inconvenience, determined to reach her goal.

Vivian learned that at the heart of the moon was a wolf that never has had a name and merely runs through the sky on pure white paws. The stars move away as he soars by, always alone and always yearning for company, before crashing into the sea. And so with her husband at her side, she turned into a wolf and leaped up after the moon. That's why the wolf is always right behind the moon and sometimes she catches up with the white wolf. To this day there is a small group of great hunters who always run in pack and just can't help howling at the moon.

By: ©Vivian Wolf Gandion

«story index