Rong, Jiang, Wolf Totem, pages 391-406
Chen’s attempt to raise the wolf cub is not a good idea because of the wolf’s animal instincts and the way people feel about it. The wolf should not have been taken from its mother. When the cub smells the prairie dog’s blood, it tries to attack it like the wild wolves do even though it is already dead. The cub sees the prairie dog’s blood, and its eyes turn red. Chen believes that “after seeing the dead animal, the cub had changed; he was now more like a fierce wild wolf, fangs bared, claws pawing in the air” ( 395). It opens its mouth really wide, which shows its fangs. Chen is scared of the look the cub has. The cub would run, jump on the prairie dog, take a bite, jump back, and stare at it many times. The wolf is acting so unusual because it is the first time that Chen has given it a dead animal that looks the way it did when it was first killed. Chen notices that the cub eats the prairie dog like a wild wolf by eating all of it. The cub tries to return to its mother and calls out to her by howling. Chen flips is backwards which causes the wolf to attack him. Chen sees the wolf “exploding forward and leaping at Chen like a true wild animal” (402). The cub bites him and will not let go of his leg. It does not let go until Erlang barks at him. Erlang and Yellow have to restrain the wolf until Chin can grab him by the neck. He has to cover his wound, because “the sight of blood would give the cub the wrong idea” (403). Chen waits to give the wolf water until after it gets back from its walk in order to make sure that it returns home voluntarily.
Chen has to go to extra trouble to keep his wolf. If the wrong person learns about his wolf bite, the wolf will surely be killed Chen takes rabies shots as a precaution to make sure that he does not get sick. In order to keep Doctor Peng quiet, Chen has to let him have one book and borrow two more. Gao wants to kill the wolf, because it could attack again. Yang Ke feels worried about keeping the wolf cub, because the brigade will not give out rabies vaccines to anybody unless a wolf or dog bites him at work. When Yang, Gao, and Chen move to a new pasture, they made be too far away to get a rabies shot. Since the wolf cub is dangerous, Chen has a hard time deciding what to do with it. If he keeps it, it could attack again, and if he releases it back into the wild, the other wolves will not except it since it is a foreigner. He comes up with the solution of cutting off the tips of the wolf’s fangs to keep it from biting people hard enough to make them bleed.