In a preface to this powerful story, Heinz (The Alley Cat, 1993, etc.) provides historical information on wolves in North America as well as their present situation. The mountains are characterized in language that is poetic without being heavy-handed, when out of the fog comes a pack of wolves. A dozen animals are described: their place in the pack, their approximate ages. Driving them and driving the story is their hunger, their crucial need to find food. They close in on a sick and aging elk after testing the strength of the others in the herd. The wolves ""become strange allies to the remaining elk,"" because the sick elk has slowed down the herd and eaten food that could have nourished healthy animals. After the kill, the wolves are shown playing, sleeping, and finally howling at the moon in an ""eerie symphony from the mountains to the heavens."" In fervent harmony with the text, and in tones of lavender and taupe, Fuchs's oil paintings are authoritative and exciting. The compositions and perspectives portray danger, fear, and violence without showing the kill; in his artistry, Fuchs convinces onlookers of the impact of the event without subjecting them to the gore. An exquisite story of the wild.