The foothills sloped and grew in size the farther Kitchi loped. His short breaths came out in clouds before being whisked away by the chilly morning breeze. The sun had no yet slipped past the horizon of the bowl he was in, and so the ground was cold, soggy, and soaked his sore paws. He was aiming for a higher vantage point, to bask in the morning light for just a few moments. His tawny eyes scanned the shadows before him for any signs of movement, but any scurrying creatures were being obscured by the waving grasses.
Soon enough, the young white wolf reached the top of the hill and nearly groaned in pleasure. The cold air bit his wet nose and stung his eyes, but the sun had already begun to bake his fur. If there was one thing Kitchi hated more than anything, it was being cold. He panted softly and squinted into the light. The rolling hills were swathed in greens, oranges, and blues as the sun crept higher into the sky. Wherever the sun reached the ground, the heat melted the spring frost and a steady steam rolled up into the crisp air. His belly had felt tight that morning, but the sun seemed to thaw it as it released a loud gurgle and slackened in his body. After standing in the warmth for a few minutes, the lad was off again, barreling down the backside of the hill back into the shadows.
Kitchi froze halfway down the hill, his paw in the air, his eyes unfocused. He tilted his nose to the sky and inhaled deeply. He could smell deer. His nose wriggled and he tasted the air again. Pheasant. Quail. The scents were stale, all except for one. Hare. The young wolf’s mouth watered. As he continued downhill at a slower pace, he all but dragged his wet nose along the ground to track the small creature. Kitchi seemed to be wandering in circles, because as the sun climbed higher, he grew no closer to catching his breakfast. His nose started to twitch and he growled to himself, pausing to furiously paw at it with his claws.
He was losing hope. The longer time passed, the more frustrated he became, the more his face started to spasm. Kitchi let out an exasperated snarl, and stopped again to scratch frantically at his head. Just as he stood to shake off the dirt that his paw smeared on his forehead, a fat hare bolted from under a bush to his right. Instincts kicked in and he was chasing before he realized it. Faster and faster, multiple direction changes and a trip later, Kitchi managed to snag the fleeing creature by the tail. He quickly repositioned and crunched into its squirming body, holding tight while it writhed. Kitchi flopped onto his side while he held the still dying hare, panting heavily into its fur. The kicking ceased and he quickly scanned the land before him for anyone that may try to steal his meal before he started to ravish his kill. (514 words)
Nov 09, 2016 02:52 PM
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