The Orange Runner flew across the Arctic plains, a conspicuous speck of color sailing across the ocean of greys. To reach the Shaman of the North, the one so swift he runs alongside his sled of caribou, he needed the feet of the Polar Bear, capable of crossing land, sea and sky.
Upon leaving town, he followed the Great Bear in the stars, the constellation Nanuk, which the Greeks called Taurus, hoping it would lead him to one of its brethren. It did.
The bear lumbered away across the landscape, its white coat shimmering in the distance. The runner, watching it lumber away, shed his pack in pursuit.
The bear increased its speed, its white coat gleaming brighter than the ice. The runner, watching the gap widen, shed his own coat and continued his pursuit.
The bear sprinted towards a mountain, its coat rising up the mountain like the moon. The runner, watching the bear shrink in the distance, followed it.
The bear flew up the slope and over the snow, its coat now a speck of starlight against the inky sky. The runner, wheezing and despondent, drove his legs after it.
The bear disappeared over the peak, its sparkling coat vanishing into the stars. The runner, heaving with the last of his effort, hurled himself towards the summit.
But the bear had gone. The runner saw only ice, only mountains, only sky, illuminated only by twinkling stars. He put his hands on his head, huffing, wheezing, pondering.
He heard a low growl at his back. With hands on his knees for support, the runner turned and saw a great, white wolf bristling behind him.
With the last of his breath, the runner let out a sigh, then fled across the Arctic plains, a conspicuous speck of prey in the endless night.