Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Location: Sidney, British Columbia, Canada
[ Character Info ]
|Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:07 pm Post subject:
|Brother from Brother
Pace was lying down in the mid-autumn sunshine, something he noticed was becoming a rarity. He was feasting on a mouse he had caught a few minutes previously. Suddenly he felt something touch him from behind. He looked up, sniffing for a scent as to a clue of who it could be.
“It's only me” Said his brother, Friendly Junior, who was standing above him. Pace immediately recognized the scent as soon as his brother had finished his short introduction.
“Oh, well we must be alert during these times you know” Pace answered
“What's that you've got?” Asked his brother
“A tasty mouse, want a piece?” Pace asked
“Well, don't mind if I do, thank you” Friendly Junior smiled
“You know, we should be getting more independent, we've got to move out and make our own earths soon” Pace said while his brother nibbled on the mouse.
“I've grown rather attached to all of our family and friends being nearby, I wouldn't leave the park without any of them” Friendly junior answered
“Even Aunt Dreamer?” Pace teased
“Especially Aunt Dreamer” Friendly junior grinned, he couldn't help himself.
“I feel rather ravenous, fancy a raid on the rats?” Pace asked
“I'm not very hungry, but I do feel like doing the park a service” Friendly junior answered
“Well I'm starving” Said a familiar voice from behind them, there was their uncle, Bold.
So the three foxes set off to attack the rats, they were soon joined by Ranger and Charmer, and their cubs Rusty, Diamond and Cherry. Then Lucky and Mystery joined in.
“This is quite the raiding-party isn't it?” Pace asked
“Don't get too carried away, we don't want to scare the rats away” Bold said
“Funny, I thought that's what this was all about!” Friendly junior replied
“Not quite, we want to feed on them first” Bold answered
“Well I'm not very hungry actually, so I'll just kill them”
“You do what you like, you are your father's son all right” Said Bold
When they arrived, they saw rats littered all over the place, seeming to enjoy the sunshine that wouldn't last much longer.
“On my bark, attack!” Bold said
Everybody prepared themselves for the slaughtering of the rats. Then when the signal came, they all charged out into the clearing, attacking any rats that blocked their path.
Bully was sleeping at the nose of the rat-headquarters, when he heard the din below him he nearly fell off the top of the rock. His rats were being slaughtered one-by-one.
“Attack! Bite their tails off!” Bully ordered “What's the matter with you?”
Suddenly, Adder, Sinuous, Lithe and all eight of their young showed up, hissing furiously at Bully.
The warden, who was inspecting the park heard the din that was occurring by the broken fence. Rollo was at his side, and also his cat.
“What's going on do you think?” Rollo asked the cat
“Possibly another of the rat attacks, there's been plenty of them lately”
“We must help them!” Rollo barked
“I myself do not fight so many rats like that, we fight one or two, but not an army!” The warden's cat exclaimed
“Fine, be a scaredy-cat, I'm going to help my friends” Rollo said loyally.
“I am not a scaredy-cat!”
“Well accompany me then, prove it” Rollo grinned
“Alright, but don't blame me if I die in the attempt” The warden's cat gave-in.
All of the foxes were doing extremely well in the rat attacks. Even the snakes were bringing the numbers down dramatically. Suddenly a bark filled the air like a thunderclap. Rollo jumped on top of Brat and killed him by his great weight.
“I think we've killed enough rats now” Pace said “At least they've settled my hunger”
“I'm still not very hungry, but I could eat one rat I suppose” Answered his brother
“Rollo!” Bold barked happily, wagging his tail in greeting
“Is that you Bold?” Asked Rollo, also wagging his tail happily.
“Yes, you couldn't have arrived at a better moment!” Bold smiled
The warden's cat then arrived on the scene, followed closely by the warden.
“My! What a battle!” He exclaimed
The cat then started hissing at Bully, threatening to pounce upon him.
“Don't you dare!” Shrieked Adder “I want to kill him myself!”
The warden's cat was shocked.
“So I finally decide to help you lot out, and you force it right back at me?” He said
“Not at all, she's a bit irate about our young's deaths” Lithe answered. Sinuous blinked. Was he referring to the snakelings as Lithe and Adder’s rather than his and Adder’s?
During this time, Bully called his troops off. Adder watched in shock.
Lithe turned to the young snakelings and came over to them. “Are you alright?” He asked them. Criss nodded. “We’re just fine.” Sinuous lurched back. He did not approve of Lithe being so paternal towards his snakelings. Lithe looked over at Sinuous and noticed his sour expression. “What?” He asked. “It’s not your job to ask them if they’re alright after a fight,” Sinuous hissed. Lithe was taken aback. “What do you mean?” He asked.
“You're not their father Lithe, so stop trying to take my role!” Sinuous snapped
“You weren't there when they were born, you don't seem much like their father to me, I'm the one who had to look after them, for this!” Lithe hissed angrily at his brother
“Look, how could I have been there? I was attacked by that scoundrel sitting up there!” Sinuous frowned
“Should have been keeping an eye open for them troublemakers” Lithe muttered irritably. Sinuous’ eyes looked stone cold with anger. “Can you blame me for getting tired after fighting rats for weeks on end!? Can you blame me for realizing that ‘dying’ was better for the safety of MY young!?” He shouted. The snakelings looks shocked and confused at the same time. What had caused their father to get that upset with their uncle?
“Look, you shouldn't be arguing like this! Sibling rivalry can result in utter disaster” Bold intervened “I still feel some pity for my brother” He sighed.
“Come along Sinuous” Adder yawned to her mate “It's nearly time for hibernation”
Adder, Sinuous and all eight of the offspring had eaten their fill to last the winter months and so left to sleep for the winter. Lithe left in another direction, still fuming at Sinuous.
Adder and Sinuous had finally settled down in their burrow, watching their little ones fall asleep. Adder noticed that Sinuous still looked unhappy with Lithe. “Don’t be too angry with him,” She whispered. “Why shouldn’t I? He keeps acting like he’s the father and I’m not; Just because I wasn’t there when they were born, it doesn’t mean I’m not their father! I’m the reason why they were conceived, that’s why I’m their father! Then Lithe meets you and usurps my responsibilities,” Adder leaned forward and nuzzled him. That seemed to calm him down some. “And…they’ll be leaving us soon. They’ll have mates around the time they’re two or five years old…and by then we would have had our second or third litter; I still can’t believe I missed out on the birth of my first litter!” Adder nuzzled him again. “Try to get some sleep, Sinuous,” She said. Sinuous nodded and curled back down to sleep.
Every single amphibian and reptile were asleep by the time the first snow came down, and the fox cubs were rearing to leave to make their own homes. Friendly and Russet's cubs were the first to depart.
“They grow up so fast don't they!” Friendly said to Russet
“Too fast I think, I grew rather used to all of them being around here” Russet sighed
“We can't possibly remain here you know, we've got to become independent, that's the law of the wild. You know that” Pace grinned
“I do, and it's a shame”
“We'll all be around somewhere nearby, don't you worry yourself” Said Friendly junior
“Look after yourself, son” Friendly smiled
“You too, I'll be looking near the pond first” His son answered
“I'll come with you, we could live right next to each other!” Pace chuckled
All of the cubs gave one last look at their old home, and set off in different directions to dig their own dens. Pace and Friendly junior went together.
When Friendly Junior and Pace reached the pond, they started to dig an earth; little did they realize that they were digging into a snake's hibernation chamber. Lithe hissed angrily at the intruders, but then he turned as still as a statue, and then he fell onto his back and moved no more.
Pace and Friendly Junior realized their mistake, but their father, mother and/or their grandparents were bound to be angry with them, even Sinuous would turn horribly against them. Pace couldn't help but feel uneasy about the whole thing. Friendly Junior's distress was even more noticeable than his brother's. All he had wanted to do was to help his brother to build his own earth, a gesture of rapport, but it had gone terribly wrong. Needless to say, he was extremely close to tears.
“Well, we've done it now” Pace sighed
“What I'd like to know, is what are we going to do?” Friendly junior whimpered
“We've done it, so we might as well live in it.” Pace answered grimly
“What about Lithe?” Friendly junior asked
“Put him outside, he's dead now, we can't do anything about it” Pace sighed “I wish we could do something about it, but how were we supposed to know where Lithe was hibernating?”
Friendly junior nodded, he knew that they could do nothing about it, however much they wished to, but Pace's defensive sentence had a very good point, neither of them had known Lithe was asleep there”
“Come on, it's freezing out here” Pace shivered, and he went into the newly dug earth. Friendly junior followed half-heartedly.
Lucky had already dug his earth, and not disturbed any creature whatsoever. But now he felt extremely hungry. He decided to have a raid on the rat headquarters, but to do that he had to pass the pond and he saw a dead adder that looked strangely familiar outside a hole. He looked inside, and there lay his brothers, Friendly junior and Pace asleep. He was shocked. Pace might have the instinct to make a hole anywhere, but Friendly wouldn't have it in his nature to disturb another living creature. He decided to find out what the main cause was first before reporting anything. Just then, Friendly junior awoke and spotted his brother outside.
“Who is this adder? It looks strangely familiar” Lucky said
“The reason why it's familiar is because it's Sinuous's brother” Friendly junior replied
“Lithe? Why is he dead?” Asked Lucky
Tears welled up in his brother's eyes
“Please don't tell on us! It was an accident!” Friendly junior sobbed
“Well, what happened?” Lucky asked, he didn't really like seeing his brother in a state of sadness.
“Well, me and Pace were digging a burrow, but we didn't realize that the exact spot we were digging at was Lithe's hibernation hole, until we heard a hiss, that's what happened. I think he froze from the cold!” Friendly junior explained, sobbing at intervals of the sentence.
“It's a good job that I didn't go straight to report it to someone then” Lucky said
“I mean, how were we supposed to know Lithe was hibernating here?” Friendly junior bawled
“Oh Friendly, calm down! I understand, It was an accident!” Lucky sympathized
Friendly junior was the normal sibling to comfort others, but now his brother Lucky was comforting him! This worried Lucky a little bit; and to really put the cherry on the cake their father Friendly arrived alongside.
“Is that, Lithe?” Asked Friendly
Pace had awoken by now and heard his father's voice echoing through the den. He shot outside at the speed of Concorde to explain.
Friendly didn't approve of the killing of a fellow oath member, but he realized that it was indeed an accident.
“It will probably be up to me to try to calm Sinuous down then” Friendly sighed “I don't think Bold would”
Friendly junior sat next to his father, it was extremely strange how alike they looked. They could have been twins.
“Why don't you think Bold would do it?” Asked Friendly junior
“Well, he is a little lazy, nothing too rash on him but I would probably have to do it, anyway he's probably busy with other things, he is the main leader after all.
Not only was heavy snow falling, but food was becoming scarce. Most Mice and Voles of the non-Farthing Wood line were tucked away in their burrows by night. Of course, the rats still roamed free, so there was no need to re-establish the emergency food raids of the winter two years previously just yet.
About a week later, a blizzard had sprung out of nowhere.
“Jiminy Crickets! It's sure turned cold!” Bully exclaimed
“I don't like the cold” Said one of Bully's sons.
“Where's mother?” Asked his daughter
Suddenly, the rat in question screamed, outside she was surrounded by four young foxes.
“Mag!” Bully screamed “Get after them, kill them!” He shouted to his rat army
The four foxes fled, but not before one of them had killed Bully's mate. Bully collapsed over his mate and held her tightly. Then he broke down in tears.
When they were out of harm's way, they paused to catch their breath.
“We did it! We did it!” Pace crowed
But Friendly was too happy to reprimand his son again, so he decided to celebrate with him instead.
Friendly Junior and Lucky were also part of the attack, Friendly junior looked like he wanted to say something important.
“Yes son?” Asked Friendly, noticing his excitement
“You don't happen to know where some flowers are growing?” He asked
“Why do you want to know that?” Said Friendly
“I want to pick a couple for a friend of mine, her name's Duchess”
“Why's that?” Friendly asked
“Because she's my... girlfriend” Friendly Junior blushed
“Oh ho ho! We know a secret!” Pace chortled
“Oh look at him! He's all embarrassed now!” Lucky teased
Friendly Junior had turned a bashful shade of scarlet, Friendly was proud of him for finding a possible mate so soon.
“I don't think flowers do appear in the snow, you'll have to wait until the spring for that, but you could find something else for her” Friendly answered “You could ask old Owl”
Friendly junior recovered, but he still grinned happily.
“You know Father, I think I will ask 'Old Owl'” Friendly Junior chuckled, and so off he went on his business.
“You know, I think he is strangely like me, it's like he's a younger clone of me!” Friendly thought
“Who ate that fat rat again?” Lucky asked
“It was me, silly” Pace answered
Bully was furious with his mate's death, he vowed revenge upon all the animals.
“Ummm, excuse me?” Said a rat
“I blames you for this my boy!” Bully yelled at the rat “How dare you let her leave the nest unattended!”
“My deepest apologies, sir” He saluted and left
Bully was deeply upset
“I will avenge you, Mag, my love!” He snarled
Lady Blue had decided to get at the rats too because of lack of food. She viciously attacked any that came towards her, and gulped them down.
Friendly was also chasing a rat, straight down a snowy hill. He didn't realize he was nearing the pond until he slipped and slid right along it.
“Oh, Scarface!” Friendly growled
Suddenly, the ice made a creaking sound
“Double Scarface” He muttered, knowing what was coming next. The ice began to split. Friendly’s eyes began to dart around in terror, trying to find a place to run. Then he saw Lady Blue on the bank of the frozen pond. His ears perked up and he looked around. Ice continued to break under his feet. He began to panic! What was he to do now?
The ice finally broke, Friendly fell straight into the icy water. He struggled to keep his head above the water line, after what seemed an eternity he managed to struggle out of the hole in the ice. He collapsed in the snow as soon as he reached the edge of the pond.
Lady Blue had seen what had happened, and though she knew she could do little about it, she decided to fetch Friendly's family and tell them what happened.
Russet was extremely suspicious of her aunt, but she realized she was serious as she told her of her mate's downfall into the pond.
“Is he alive!?” She gasped
“I think he is, however he is extremely exhausted”
Friendly awoke to find all of his family standing over him. His sons Friendly junior, Lucky, Pace, and his daughters Trixy and Mystery, and even Russet. He smiled at them all, he couldn't help himself. He struggled to get up. He succeeded, but he was weak, he needed something to eat.
“I wish I could regurgitate that fat rat for you now father” Pace chuckled “Like Kestrel did for her young”
The foxes had a jolly good laugh at this.
“You're so funny, Pace” Russet laughed
“I know” Pace smiled, a little smugly
Ranger and Charmer came by next, they were both carrying large rats. The rats looked like they had been eating non-stop for weeks.
“Friendly? What's wrong with him?” Asked Charmer
“He's had a bit of a... splash in the pond” Russet explained “He's extremely weak”
“Well I could surrender my rat to him, but Charmer needs hers because she's pregnant” Ranger said
Ranger decided it was time to leave, but he left his rat by Friendly, he smiled and turned away as Friendly finished his smile back and started to devour the rat, thankfully.