Buck also soon learns that the dominant primordial bestial instinct is very strong in him, and he learns just as quickly that when he is attacked, he must take the offensive immediately in order to survive; as a result of this type of living adjustment, Buck also learns that he has to live a life of almost continual alertness, as well as in almost continual pain and discomfort. Yet Buck has one advantage: his size makes him fearful to the other dogs. Still, however, all is far from pleasant, for even though Buck can defend himself quite well and is ever-ready to scrap with another dog, he has a secret that he must keep to himself: Because Buck has arrived so recently from civilization, the craggy ice and snow of the North tear at his paws and make his work extremely painful.
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