White Fang
Jack London
Contributed by Elene Blackwelder
Part 5 - Chapter 3

White Fang has traveled much and is very adaptable. In Sierra Vista, Judge Scott's home, he begins to make a place for himself. He has no more trouble with the dogs, as Weedon Scott protects him. Dick soon accepts him as part of the household. White Fang does not let Dick get close to him. Collie is a different story. She accepts him because her master insists that she does, but she is a sheep dog, and the wolf is her arch-enemy. She always tries to make his life as miserable as possible.

White Fang also has to learn about the family of his master. It is very complicated for him, and he can't really understand all the relations. There is Judge Scott, Judge Scott's wife, and Weedon's two sisters, Beth and Mary. Then there is Weedon's wife, Alice, and his two children, Weedon Jr. and Maud, who are four and six years old. He begins to understand that all of them belong to Weedon Scott, and begins to realize how each of them relates to his master.

White Fang understands that the two children are valued very highly by his master, and that they are to be guarded and protected. They must be allowed to pet him, even though he doesn't like it. Eventually, he begins to like the children's attention, but does not ever seek them out. White Fang allows all members of the family to pet and caress him, but he never growls for them in the way he does for his master. They can never get him to snuggle against them as he does Weedon Scott. "This expression of abandon and surrender, of absolute trust, he reserved for the master alone." Part 5, Chapter 3, pg. 176

Outside the house, White Fang learns even more lessons. He finds that he is not allowed to go beyond the boundaries of the fences. He runs into trouble, however, with the farm animals. He has never encountered any tame animals besides dogs. All other animals are food. When he encounters a chicken, he eats it. 

When Weedon is told of the occurrence, he says he will teach White Fang to leave the chickens alone, but he cannot until he catches him in the act of killing. This comes soon, as one morning Scott wakes to find that White Fang has invaded the chicken coop. Scott takes White Fang and cuffs him, rubbing his nose in the dead chickens. Then he takes White Fang to the living chickens, and forces him not to attack them. White Fang learns his lesson.

Judge Scott is skeptical, and makes a bet with Weedon. White Fang will be locked in the chicken coop, and for every chicken he kills Weedon will pay his father a gold coin. However, for every ten minutes that he does not kill a chicken, Judge Scott will say to White Fang, "White Fang, you are smarter than I thought." White Fang is locked in the chicken coop and the bet is played out. Weedon Scott wins hands down, as White Fang ignores all the chickens and eventually just jumps the fence of the coop.

White Fang sometimes follows his master into San Jose, the nearby town, and here are even more rules. He cannot eat the meat hanging from butcher shops, and he must put up with the attentions of other humans in town. Especially unfair is the problem of small boys, who throw stones at him. 

He has a similar problem when crossing in front of a certain saloon, where three dogs often attack him. He knows he cannot fight, but feels that it is very unfair. One day, his master sees the men in the saloon encouraging their dogs to attack, and tells White Fang to go fight them. Knowing that it is against the rules, White Fang hesitates, but Weedon Scott tells him again. Soon the dogs are dead, and the men of San Jose learn that they should not encourage their dogs to attack White Fang.

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