The Wolf and the Raven: Part 2
(THEDAVINCI-CHARLOTTESVILLE) - The runt woke up with a shiver. The crowded trees loomed over him like a cage. The nights outside of the den were chilly and he could have sworn they were getting colder each day. Everything here was eerie and foreign, so large yet so dark and claustrophobic. He grasped his bushy tail in his back paws and tried to fall back asleep. He had managed to stake out a sleeping spot that night tucked away in the dead leaves beneath a bramble, though he had not always been so lucky. The forest was full of hiding spots, but most had been taken by some creature unwilling to share space. At worst he had stuck his snout into a hole and was immediately chased back out by some large, snarling beast. He longed for his den. Its warmth, its food, his parents and siblings. He tossed and he turned until he shuddered himself to sleep, curled tightly into a ball.
The runt woke up to the sunlight seeping between the browning leaves of the bramble. He slowly began to stir, pushed on by his growling stomach. He poked his head out into the open, cautiously sniffing about, before he searched the forest floor for anything to eat. He had never been taught to hunt and was too young to catch anything anyways, so he was limited to the bugs and leftovers from more experienced hunters. The runt spent much of the day snuffling about beneath trees and under stones, though he had only managed to scrape together a few large beetles. He lay defeated on an old log as he crunched on his findings. He couldn’t help but notice, though, a penetrating smell of something fresh. He took it in in deep breaths. Even the scent was invigorating to him and he could not help but search for the source. He swallowed the rest of his beetle and followed his senses to the meat. As the scent grew stronger he heard the squawking of birds not far off, stirring up quite a racket. The pup paid them little mind.
After a spell he stumbled upon the scene. The screeching birds fluttered and fought in the trees surrounding a clearing, waiting eagerly for a chance at a meal. In the clearing lay the carcass of a large rabbit, blood still flowing onto the grass. Hunched over it was a creature similar to a wolf, but smaller, stouter and skinnier, and most noticeably fur of a reddish hue. The runt had unfortunately stumbled blindly into the clearing, directly in view of this beast. They gave a vicious snarl and the hair on their back bristled. The birds quieted and looked on with curiosity. The pup froze, eyes wide, and shambled back a bit before breaking into a dash. The creature, enticed by a chance for an easy meal, gave chase.