Now this is the Law of the City — as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the wire that runs through the city, the Law runneth forward and back,
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.
The lesser may follow the stronger, but, Cub, when your whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and Strike on your own.
Keep peace with the Lords of the City — the Fixer, the Fence, and the Law.
And trouble not Bookie or Gambler, lest your fate be the luck of the draw.
When Pack meets with Pack in the City, and neither will go from the trail,
Keep still till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.
When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.
If ye Strike before midnight, be silent, and wake not the streets with your play,
Lest ye frighten the Marks from the street, and your Brothers go empty away.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!
If ye plunder his Prize from a weaker, be sure that he takes it in stride;
Pack-Right is the right of the weakest; so leave him his song and his pride.
The Strike of the Pack is the Prize of the Pack. Ye must leave it where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that Prize to his lair, or he dies.
The Strike of the Wolf is the Prize of the Wolf. He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.
Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when his Brother has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.
Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim
One Share of each Prize for her litter, and none may deny her the same.
Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.
Now these are the Laws of the City, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is – Obey!