Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a
recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean toward each other, black
and ominous, in the fading light. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement,
so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of
laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness- a laughter that was mirthless as the
smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility.
It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and
the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.
Jack London, from White Fang
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