The Great Den

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


This story was going to be a book, but I gave up because I realized something: Writing is a hard thing. Alright, if the writing is cringy, It was because it was made by me a year ago when I was 13,
personally I think I did well for a 13 year old, but that's just me.

Submitted: February 28, 2018

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Submitted: February 28, 2018

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The Great Den 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1 

 

 

 

“Back in the days of yore, there were two foxes whose names are unknown, but how they changed the world is not. Those two brothers were great, humble warriors. They won many, many, battles, too many to count, but one brother was not as humble as most foxes believed, since we do not know their names, he shall be known as the Dark Fox, and the other brother as the Light Fox. The Dark Fox wanted to know who was stronger so he challenged his brother to a duel, the Light Fox knew that his brother will not be satisfied until he accepted, so he did. The brothers fought for hours, they were both tired, hours turned into days, and the Light Fox saw that his brother was fighting him out of pure hatred, so he surrendered, from there on, the Dark Fox was as haughty as ever. Over the years the Dark Fox took the kingdom for himself, but the Light Fox had an army of his own. With his army he quickly took over, the kingdom of his brother and took him prisoner. The Light Fox made sure that this never happened again so he went to make peace with all known kingdoms and colonies and thus, all evil was banished away from the world.” 

“Mom, can you please continue the story?” asked Rocky. 

“That’s the whole story, dear,” said Leta. 

The Light Fox and The Dark Fox were brothers? said Midnight. 

"Yes, but sadly that didn't stop The Dark Fox from hating his brother," replied Leta. 

 "But, The Light Fox didn't hate is brother back," Rocky pointed out. 

Leta nodded," No one should be hated by their own family. But enough of that, it's past bedtime." 

But Mom” whined Rocky, Midnight, and Casper. 

Leta gave her kits a warning glance with her green eyes.  

Rocky didn’t want sleep, he was too anxious to at least take of peek of the outside world. His parents knew thatthey always told him, too never even think of wandering outside the den, but he wanted to know why. There was a part of Rocky telling him, to obey his parents and another part of him telling to do the opposite 

 

Rocky awoke to the brightness of day, only his father was awake. 

“Couldn’t sleep?” asked Dad. 

“No, not really” said Rocky.  

Well you’re lucky, while you tried sleeping I was out hunting,” Dad said playfully. 

Isn't there enough food?" 

"There is never enough food."  

Changing the subject “Dad?” said Rocky. 

“Yes?” 

"Can I venture, into the natural of the outside? Rocky said, playfully but meaning it. 

Well you didn't have to ask me like that, kind of surprising for such a young kit to know all those words. You know I once met a fox who-" 

Dad,” Rocky interrupted. 

Dad sighed "Rocky, I know this is hard for you, but no." 

 "Why?" whined Rocky. 

Dad shook his head, "I just don’t want you getting any ideas. Trust me, I had to go through this too.” 

“Is there something dangerous outside?” said Rocky. 

“Yes, there’s a certain monster called, The Cloud,” Dad snickered. 

The Cloud? It sounds dangerous," said Rocky sarcastically. 

“It is, it’s a horrid evil creature that preys on small foxes such as yourself… When they don’t listen to their parents and leave their den. 

“You’re kidding." 

“No, The Cloud is a real thing, when it sees that all kits listen to their parents it turns bright and happy, but when it sees a kit that doesn’t, it turns dark and evil.” 

"I still think your bluffing," Rocky pushed on. 

"Fine, I give up," Maxwell announced.  

“I knew it,” said Rocky. 

"Clouds are something that make snow," Maxwell added.  

“So, if there’s nothing dangerous outside, then why can’t I just take a peek,” said Rocky. 

Maxwell's face hardened," There are a lot of dangers. The only reason you and your siblings are not outside is because you all are only a couple of weeks old." 

“Like what?” 

Animals that want to eat you. 

Rocky flinched, he hadn't expected that," What animals?" hsqueaked. 

"Owls, twice the size of foxes. They have giant talons and they fly." 

"Fly?" 

"It's kind of like walking in air." 

Rocky tried picturing a fox walking in mid-air. "Can foxes do that?" 

Maxwell laughed," Of course not, you'd need wings." 

Rocky opened his jaws to ask what wings were, but ended up asking a different question," What else hunt foxes?" 

"Nothing much. Just the occasional wolf." 

"What's a wolf?" 

"A bigger, more muscular version of a fox." 

Rocky shrunk back, he didn't like what he was hearing at all.  

Maxwell noticed," I didn't mean to scare you, Rocky. It's just that, there are dangers but you'll learn how to fend each of those dangers off." 

Rocky lightened up," Really?" 

"Yes really... Just in four more days." 

Rocky frowned," That's going to be the longest four days of my life." 

Maxwell burst out in fits of laughter. 

"Dad? What's so funny," said Rocky, a little annoyed. 

"It's just- Well you're only two weeks old," at that Maxwell broke into another fit of laughter.  

It's not that funny... Rocky fumed, but after a few moments, he started laughing too.  

Dad thought for a while, “This is the story of a curious little fox. One day this fox walked through the forest in search of anything interesting, something out of the ordinary, he had high hopes of finding that “something.” He saw plants and trees but nothing else, it was almost daybreak and that little fox had to go home, he was disappointed, but then he saw a plant with red petals and giant leaves, it was the most beautiful thing he’s ever saw and that’s when he realized that what he was searching for was always right in front of him. Everything was something interesting, something out of the ordinary, he had high hopes of finding that “something” and he did, he found it.”  

Rocky wanted be like that little fox, but it was impossible, that was his last thought before he fell asleep. 

 

“I ran into Kyra today,” said Maxwell in a grave tone,” When I was out hunting, she told me something about missing foxes.” 

Missing? What do you mean?” said Leta. 

Foxes are disappearing, whole families." 

“Maybe it’s a rumor." 

“I don’t know." 

Don’t, you know how much Kyra likes to joke around?” 

“I don’t think she was joking." 

“Why not?” 

She doesn’t joke around like that, if she was then she’d tell me.” 

Leta frowned,” Well maybe we might have to make the kits stay a little longer inside the den.” 

Rocky awoke, he looked around but everyone was asleep, curled up into balls of white fur. Had he imagined those voices? They sounded too real to be fake.  

 

Once he got to the tunnel of his den he saw daylight. Rocky crawled towards the opening, he stuck his head out, he saw a vast field of snow, at either side stood a forest thick with trees and vegetation. Rocky made sure that there was nothing dangerous waiting for him to leave the safety of his home, but Rocky saw nothing out of place, he walked out of the den.  

The world was so new to Rocky, he has seen snow before, but never this much, all he wanted to do was play in it, but he didn’t want to waste time. Rocky could play in snow later, right now, all he wanted to do was keep exploring this new world. He was surprised at the soundlessness of this place. Rocky saw a big variety of different plants.  

He tried looking at the sun, but immediately regretted it, the light was too much to bear. Rocky frowned, how can light hurt you? It was a weird question, or perhaps he was just being paranoid but he wanted to know. He wanted to know more about everything. How do trees grow? Why is the sky blue? How does snow turn into water? He wanted to know all of that and much more. Rocky was so immersed in these thoughts that he didn’t notice a familiar tread behind him. 

“Rocky?” said Midnight. 

Rocky turned around, “You followed me?” It was more a statement than a question. 

“You’re not supposed to be out here,” snapped Rocky. 

“You aren’t supposed to be here,” mocked Midnight, “But you can?” 

“I couldn’t help it,” said Rocky. 

“Wait until I tell Mom and Dad,” snickered Midnight. 

“If you tell Mom and Dad, then they’ll know that you’ve been outside too,” said Rocky. 

After a moment of hesitation, Midnight said, “Fine but since we’re out here, we might as well…” Midnight turned tail and ran, “Catch me if you can!” 

“Midnight!” Rocky shouted as quietly as he could, “Stop running, Mom and Dad will hear-  

“What in the blazes do you think you’re doing?” it was Dad. Rocky heard Dad using the term “blazes” only one other time, and that was when all their food spoiled. Rocky knew he and Midnight were in big trouble. “Midnight! If you don’t come over here this instance you’ll be in more trouble than you already are.” 

Midnight didn’t budge.  

“Please don’t make me come and get you,” warned Dad. 

“Follow me,” said Dad in an angry tone, as he walked over to the edge of the clearingwhere Midnight was standing. 

Rocky thought Midnight was going to run but she stood as still as a rock. 

“Midnight,” said Dad, he seemed calmer, “Rocky, why in the world did you leave the den, You two could’ve gotten yourself hurt." 

Dad, this was all my idea,” said Rocky. 

“Uh-huh, it was Rocky’s idea,” echoed Midnight. 

Rocky glared at his sister. She was supposed to defend him too! 

“So, it was your idea,” said Dad. 

“Yes,” said Rocky, “It was my idea to go outside.” 

“Did you ask Midnight to come with you?” questioned Dad.  

Rocky didn’t know what to say. He could either lie or tell the truth. “No. Midnight followed me.” 

“Midnight is this true?” said Dad. 

After a moment of hesitation, Midnight said with a sigh, “Yes, it’s true.” 

After what seemed like an eternity, Dad said, “You two are very brave kits, but you need to listen to you me and Mom, but I don’t blame you.” 

“You don’t?” said Rocky. 

“I did the same thing when I was your age, “Dad chuckled, “But, I was a little younger so I was that much braver.” 

“Hey!” said Midnight. 

“I’m only kidding,” laughed Dad. 

“But, Dad do we really have to go back in the den?” said Midnight. 

“Only for a couple more days,” said Dad, “But, promise me something.” 

Rocky already knew what it was. “Don’t leave the den again, until I say so. I don’t want you two getting hurt.” 

“But, we didn’t get hurt,” whined Midnight. 

“Do you promise?” Dad repeated. 

“Ok fine, I promise, “said Midnight. 

“Rocky? Do you promise?” asked Dad. 

Rocky didn’t like being cooped up in the den, but he promised anyway. 

“Okay, let’s go back to the den now,” said Dad. 

Dad headed his way to the den and the two siblings followed. As they got closer to the den they heard three different voices that didn’t belong to Mom or any of her kits.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2 

 

 

 

“Um, Ma’am,” said the first fox, “I really don’t want to force you to join us – I mean come with us, but- 

“What my friend means,” interrupted the second fox,” Is that, well, we’ve been recruiting foxes for a kingdom, where foxes can live without the need to worry about everyday tasks, like hunting and shelter and other things. 

“Do they really call it a kingdom?” said the third fox. 

“Yeah, well I think they do,” said the first fox, “Most foxes call it a kingdom, unless they don’t think it’s a kingdom but I think of it as a kingdom. 

“What are you talking about?” said a confused Mom, “I don’t want to join any kingdom, I just want to live peacefully with my mate and kits.” 

“That won’t be possible, you will come with us,” the first fox was now suddenly serious.“What if I don’t want to?” Mom challenged. 

The first fox suddenly pounced on Mom, baring his teeth he said, “If you don’t then I’ll make you,” directing his attention to his comrades,”Volf and Slefret take these kits.” 

“But Rupert, how are we going to carry them, there’s four kits, “said Slefret. 

Figure it out,” scowled Rupert. 

Slefret heard footsteps outside of the den. ”Rupert, I think there’s someone else.” 

Rupert heard the footsteps too. “Volf and Slefret, go investigate.” 

“All right,” said Volf. 

“Okay,” said Slefret. 

Dad had to make sure Rocky and Midnight weren’t seen.  

“Run, to the forest,” whispered Dad, “I can’t let them take you. 

“But Dad,” whimpered Rocky. 

No we can’t,” Midnight cried. 

“Don’t worry about me, I have to help her,” Dad’s voice quavered with fear, but his light brown eyes said otherwise. He was determined to help Leta, his mate. 

The fearful kits ran to the forest. They were afraid for Dad, for Mom, for their siblings, for their home. They hid under a bush at the edge of the forest, they had a clear view of Dad as he faced Volf and Slefret. 

“I really don’t want this to turn into a fight,” cautioned Volf. 

“It already has,” growled Dad. 

“You can’t beat both of us,” said Slefret,” It’ll be better if you just come with us.” 

“He’s right,” agreed Volf,” You can’t fight both of us.” 

Dad thought for a moment, he knew he couldn’t fight both of them, “Fine, but you and your friends have to treat my mate and kits with respect.” 

Volf glared at Dad,” Rupert doesn't like making deals, but I'll ask him." 

Dad looked at the forest. He couldn’t see Rocky or Midnight. 

“What are you looking at?” said a suspicious Slefret. 

“Nothing, I thought it was a rabbit, but it just turned out to be snow,” answered Dad. 

“A rabbit?” Slefret lost his suspicion,” I haven’t eaten one of those in a long time.” 

Slefret! What are you doing up there? Bring the prisoner,” commanded Volf. 

Slefret took Dad to the den. When Dad saw Rupert, he noticed something familiar about him, he just couldn’t tell what it was. 

“Maxwell?” Rupert said in surprise," This puts me in a very awkward situation.” 

Dad thought for a moment," You're the son of Oscar and Hazel?" 

"Oscar," spat Rupert in disgust," It's his fault she died." 

Maxwell had no idea what Rupert was talking about. 

Rupert shook his head as if trying to take his mind off of Oscar, "The past is in the past." Rupert hesitated," Sense you saved my life. I will treat your family with respect."  

“Then let us go,” said Maxwell 

“I’m afraid my commander won’t accept that,” said Rupert. 

"Commander? Where are you taking us?" snapped Maxwell. 

"You'll know when we get there," shot back Rupert. 

Maxwell didn't like this, but if he tried fighting them he'd be killed. 

"Rupert, let the parents carry the kits," suggested Volf. 

Rupert looked at Maxwell and Leta," You heard him." 

“Nothing bad is going to happen to our kits, right?” said Leta. 

Rupert seemed to be more compassionate with Leta, “Only time will tell." Rupert's indifference got a hold of him again," Come on, if we don’t get a move on then I’ll be suspended,” he snapped. 

Maxwell and Leta picked up the crying kits on their backs. Maxwell carried Olivia and Piper while Leta carried Mary and Oscar. 

“Mom, I don’t want to leave the den,” cried Oscar. 

“Don’t make us leave,” cried Mary. 

“It’s only for a little while, it’ll be okay,” assured Leta. 

“Where are we going?” said Olivia. 

“I don’t know,” said Dad. 

“I hope it’s a good place,” said Piper. 

Max and Leta followed Rupert, Volf and Slefret out the den, it just started snowing and it was colder than usual, but artic foxes were made for the cold, so they didn’t even shiver. 

 

Chapter 3 

 

 

 

Rocky and Midnight were about to fall asleep, when they saw their parents and siblings coming out of their den, along with Rupert, Volf and Slefret. 

“Midnight,” said Rocky,” We should follow them.” 

“No, we can’t,” said Midnight,” Those bad foxes might take us too.” 

“But if we don’t follow them, then we might not see Mom, Dad, Oscar, Olivia, Piper or Mary ever again,” said Rocky. 

Midnight teared up,” I know that, it’s just, what if Dad sent us away to protect us from something really bad, something dangerous.” 

“But what if it’s nothing like that.” 

“Didn’t you hear them when they attacked Mom,” said Midnight harshly,” Do you think that they’ll just send our family to a place where foxes can live happily?” 

“I don’t-,” 

“Do you?” Midnight was crying now. 

Rocky gave up,” No. 

“I wish I could be like the Light Fox in Mom’s story,” said Midnight after she stopped crying. 

“Me too,” said Rocky,” I wish I was as brave and humble as him.” 

“Do you remember the story?” asked Midnight. 

“Most of it,” replied Rocky. 

“Tell me the story then,” said Midnight. 

Rocky ignored her rude remark,” Okay, but I don’t remember all of it. Once upon a time, there were two foxes whose names we don’t know, but we do know how they changed the world. These two brothers were humble warriors. They won a lot of battles together, but one of those brothers was not as humble as most foxes believed, we do not know their names, so we will call him Dark Fox, and the other brother will be called Light Fox. The Dark Fox wanted to know who was stronger so he challenged his brother to a battle, the Light Fox knew that his brother will not be satisfied until he accepted, so he did accept. They fought for days but the Light Fox saw that his brother was fighting him because he hated him, so he surrendered, after the battle, the Dark Fox was as selfish as ever. After a couple years the Dark Fox took a kingdom that is also unknown, but his brother had an army of his own. With his army he took over, the kingdom of his brother and took him prisoner. The Light Fox made sure that this never happened again so he went to make peace with all known kingdoms and colonies and because of this, all evil disappeared from the world.” 

“I wonder what made the Dark Fox evil,” said Midnight. 

Me too,” said Rocky. 

“I hope Mom, Dad, Olivia, Oscar, Mary and Piper are okay,” said Midnight. 

“Me too,” said Rocky. 

Those three foxes are like the Dark Fox, they’re evil,” said Midnight. 

“Midnight?” said Rocky. 

“What?” 

“How are we going to catch food? We don’t even know how to hunt.” 

“It can’t be that hard.” 

“Why do you say that?” 

“Dad usually brings a lot of food into the den.” 

“I think we should check the den first, Dad just went hunting today.” 

“How do you know that?” 

“I was awake, I couldn’t sleep.” 

“When can you sleep,” said Midnight somewhat sarcastically. 

Rocky ignored her, “Come on let’s head to our den.” 

“I hate those foxes,” Midnight mumbled. 

“Don’t we all Midnight, don’t we all,” said Rocky. 

Rocky walked his way to the den and Midnight followed. Rocky couldn’t stop thinking that it was his fault that the foxes took his family. Maybe they heard Rocky when he left his den, he didn’t know what to think. The once peaceful den was now a reminder of unpleasant events. Rocky almost wanted to leave Midnight behind and follow the still visible footprints, but he didn’t want to be a bad brother, and besides they needed to eat.  

Rocky and Midnight headed down the tunnel that leads to their den. Dad always left his kill under the snow so it won’t spoil, he learned it the hard way. Rocky dug his way through the snow and found four freshly caught lemmings. 

“Thanks Dad,” Rocky said softly. He took the lemmings, gave one to Midnight and took one for him. 

“See,” said Midnight,” If Dad caught four mice, then I can too.” 

“Just eat your food,” said Rocky. 

“Okay fine,” said Midnight,” No need to be bossy.” 

Rocky and Midnight ate their mice in silence. 

“What are we going to do without Mom and Dad?” said Midnight. 

“I think we should follow their trail,” said Rocky. 

“Rocky haven’t we already talked about this.” 

“I know, but Dad said if they see us then it won’t end well, but they can’t see us if we’re too far away to be seen.” 

“What are we waiting for then?” 

“Dad warned me about something.” 

“When?” 

“You were asleep, he told me about,” Rocky paused. 

“About what? Come on tell me,” said Midnight. 

“Predators. There are animals that can eat us, so we have to be very careful.” 

“I don’t think they’re going to be a problem.” 

“Why not?” 

“Why would animals want to eat us? I mean, we aren’t fat, and I don’t think we taste good.” 

“Well other animals probably don’t have the same thoughts as you.” 

Midnight pondered for a moment, “I hate to say this, but you might be right.” 

“If we’re going to follow Mom and Dad, then we better do it now, before their footprints disappear. Take another mouse so we don’t get hungry.” 

“We’re going to have to hunt sooner or later.” 

“I know.” 

Rocky and Midnight took the remaining mice, and walked out of their den, probably for the last time, they might never see their home ever again. 

“I’m going to miss this place,” said Midnight. 

“Me too,” said Rocky. 

Rocky and Midnight were glad to see that the footprints were still visible, their walk seemed to be too easy all they had to do was follow them. 

“I hope the footprints don’t disappear,” said Midnight. 

“They better not,” said Rocky. 

 

Before they knew it, the sun slide below the horizon and the moon rose above it, night. Rocky and Midnight kept walking, even though it was night time they we’re still very awake, from inside the forest they heard various hoots and howls. 

“It’s so scary at night,” said Midnight. 

“You can say that again,” said Rocky. 

“I’m just glad that nighttime isn’t so dark,” said Midnight. 

“I think it’s because our night vision,” said Rocky,” Or at least that’s what Mom said.” 

Just saying the word Mom made Rocky want to cry, but he needed to be brave. 

“Well I hope we’re the only animals that have night vision,” said Midnight, and then she whispered,” Predators.” 

Rocky almost forgot about predators, maybe those hoots and howls could belong to a predator, he needed to be careful. He realized something, he only heard the hoots and howls at night, maybe they hunted only at night. 

“Midnight, I think we should stop to dig a small den for the night,” said Rocky,” Those sounds in the forest might belong to a predator, I really don’t want to get eaten tonight, and I don’t think you want to either.” 

“But what if it starts snowing, we won’t be able to find Mom and Dad if it starts snowing, their footsteps will disappear,” said Midnight. 

“I think we’d have better luck finding Mom and Dad out here than in a predator’s stomach.” 

“Well if you put it like that, then let’s keep digging. 

How unusual, thought Rocky, Midnight would usually put up a fight, maybe she was more scared than she looked. 

Rocky and Midnight worked their way through the snow, it was harder than they thought, the snow was packed and after a while of digging, their paws started to bleed. 

“I don’t think I can keep going,” said Midnight. 

“We have to keep trying,” said Rocky. 

“Can’t we just hide under a plant or something, in the forest,” said Midnight. 

In reality, Rocky was terrorized to hide in the forest, even if it was on its outskirts.  

“There might be predators,” said Rocky. 

“You’re such a coward,” said Midnight. 

No I’m not, I’m just cautious,” said Rocky. 

“Same thing.” 

No it’s not. I just think we have to keep digging.” 

“If we keep digging then we’ll be too tired to keep walking.” 

Midnight did have a point, they’ve been digging for at least an hour and they’ve only succeeded to dig through a couple inches of snow. 

Fine let’s hide under a plant, or something,” said Rocky. 

“It’s about time you agreed,” said Midnight. 

“Don’t push it,” said Rocky. 

In the outskirts of the forest, Midnight spotted a big bush lush with leaves that surrounded a tall tree. 

“Let’s hide under that big plant,” said Midnight. 

“Which one?” said Rocky. 

“That one, right there,” Midnight pointed her muzzle to the big bush. 

Midnight sensed Rocky’s hesitation. 

“Well, I’m not waiting for you,” said Midnight. She walked toward the big bush. Rocky sighed but followed.  

It was relatively cozy under the bush, much more welcoming than the snow they were digging. The leaves were soft and surprisingly warm, almost like his little bed in his den. All his fear for predators disappeared as he drifted into deep sleep. 

 

Rocky awoke to a snowy morning.  

“Midnight,” shouted Rocky, “Wake up.” 

“What is it,” said a sleepy Midnight. 

“Midnight, it’s snowing,” said Rocky. 

Midnight was suddenly awake, “What do you mean snowing.” 

“This can’t be happening,” said Rocky,” We’ve lost their tracks. We won’t be able to find them.” 

Midnight’s anger took control of her,” This is all your fault.” 

“What do you mean, my fault?” said Rocky. 

“If it weren’t for your pathetic fear of predators, we wouldn’t have hidden under here.” 

“It was your idea to hide under here,” said an angry Rocky. 

“It was your idea to hide, in the first place,” said Midnight. 

“Well at least I can actually think, if it weren’t for me we would be in an animal’s jaws, just waiting to be eaten.” 

“What animal. Foxes probably don’t even have predators,” shouted Midnight in a harsh tone, “You’re just a selfish, self-centered excuse for a fox, you would rather save yourself than your own family.” Midnight stopped, she couldn’t believe what she just said. 

That hurt, Rocky took a deep breath, he didn’t want to do anything that he would regret. 

“Rocky, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it,” Midnight sobbed,” This is all my fault, I’m the one that didn’t want to follow Dad and Mom in the first place, it’s all my fault that we lost the footsteps, I just didn’t want to accept it.” 

Rocky took another deep breath, “No Midnight, it’s not your fault.” 

Midnight looked at Rocky with teary eyes,” It’s not?” 

“No, the fault belongs to those three foxes who took our family.” 

“You really think that?” 

“Yes, with all my heart.” 

“Dad used to say that.” 

“Yes, he did.” 

Rocky and Midnight ate their remaining lemmings and sat in silence until mid-day, when the snow stopped falling. 

“I think we should keep going,” said Rocky. 

“With what trail?” said Midnight. 

“The footsteps only went in one direction so we should keep walking in that same direction,” said Rocky. 

“But what if we don’t find anything?” said Midnight. 

“We can’t lose hope, we have to keep walking,” said Rocky. 

“I hope hunting isn’t too hard,” said Midnight. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4 

 

 

 

Rocky and Midnight walked silently through the deep snow. Their feet sunk through the snow with every step, walking was becoming harder and harder. 

“I’m so tired,” said Midnight in between breaths. 

Rocky was tired too, but he tried not to show it, “We have to keep going.” 

“When can we stop?” cried Midnight. 

Rocky spotted something different in the landscape. The trees stopped and a big plain of snow stood ahead. 

“We’re at the edge of the forest,” Rocky realized. 

From the sky, Rocky and Midnight heard an ear-splitting screech. Both siblings look up, but only saw the blinding sun. 

“What was that?” whispered Rocky. 

“Don’t ask me,” squeaked Midnight. 

They heard another screech and looked up again, this time they saw an animal with long wings and sharp talonsan owl.  

The owl swopped above them, and struck missing Midnight by mere inches, the creature cursed in a strange dialect and flew back up. 

“Run!” shouted Rocky. 

Rocky and Midnight tried bounding over to the cover of the forest, but the owl was too fast. It gave another screech and dived towards Midnight. The owl landed, with Midnight in its talons. Before, Rocky could even shout her name, an artic fox leaped up onto its back and brought it down. The fox gave a quick bite on the creature’s throatkilling it. 

“Are you alright?” said the attacker. 

“My sister,” Rocky whimpered, “Under that creature.” 

The fox jumped off the creature, and gave it a tug, revealing an unconscious Midnight buried in the snow. 

“Midnight,” said Rocky as he ran to her, “Midnight wake up.” 

“Let me see,” said the stranger, he checked for breath,” You sister is okay, she’s just stunned, but she needs some help, let me take her to my den, you should come with me You’re not going to survive out here much longer.” 

Rocky didn’t think twice, “Okay, but is my sister really okay, you’re not lying, right?”  

“Don’t worry Rocky, your sister is fine,” said the fox. 

Rocky was shocked,” How do you know my name?” 

“You’re father never told you about me? I’m Oscar,” said Oscar. 

“No, I don’t think so,” said Rocky. 

“I’ll tell you more when we get to my den,” said Oscar, he picked up Midnight and walked to the edge of the forest, a frightened Rocky followed. 

 

Oscar's den was strangely warm, much warmer than Rocky's den. The floor of this den wasn't made out of snow and dirt, it was made out of fall leaves. The leaves had an unnatural glow to them, it was as if a little bit of the moon was put into each one. 

Oscar put Midnight down on the floor, he examined her for injuries, and surprisingly he found none. 

"Good news," Oscar said, looking at Rocky," Your sister is okay. I'm thinking that the reason she fainted was because of the surprise of when the owl caught her, all I have to do is wake her with a splash of cold water." 

Rocky was relieved to hear that his sister okay," Thank you." 

"It was the least I could do," said Oscar with a gentle nod," Just stay here for a moment while I get water." 

"Water?" said Rocky, suddenly curious about how Oscar was going to get water and then bring it back. 

Oscar sensed Rocky's curiousness," There's a creek behind this den, most of the water won't freeze because of the rushing water." 

"How are you going to bring the water back?" said Rocky. 

Oscar turned right and walked towards a small hole carved through the snow wall of his den, and pulled out a wooden bowl. 

Rocky was going to ask another question but realized that he was getting side tracked," Sorry I'm asking so many questions, I should just leave you alone so you can help my sister." 

"Don't worry Rocky, curiosity is a good thing," Oscar paused for a second, "Well, most of the time." Oscar walked out of the den, and Rocky sat patiently. 

Rocky wondered what Oscar meant by "most of the time," but the thought slipped through his mind when he heard footsteps in the burrow of Oscar's den. 

Rocky stood alert," Who's there?" 

"It's only me," said Oscar as he entered the den, the bowl was filled with water. 

"That was quick," said Rocky. 

Oscar walked towards the unconscious Midnight, the bowl over her head. Oscar tilted the bowl and water flowed out.  

Midnight awoke with a jolt, "Cold!" She looked from left to right as if she was gathering her surroundings. 

"Midnight!" said Rocky. 

Midnight was confused," What happened, and who's that?" Midnight pointed her muzzle at Oscar. 

"Oscar," said Midnight," He's Dad's friend." 

"Greetings," said Oscar to Midnight. 

Midnight took a moment to respond," Hi." Midnight glared at Oscar, it lasted for a split second. 

Oscar noticed," What's wrong?" 

"I'm sorry, it's just- Well you look like one of those foxes that took my family," said Midnight with a sigh. 

Rocky saw it too," You do look like one of them." 

Oscar knew who Rocky and Midnight were referring too," Rupert," he said with a sad look in his eyes. 

Who's that?" asked Midnight. 

"You don't have to tell us if you don't want to," said Rocky, giving a mean look at Midnight. 

"No Rocky, it's fine," said Oscar," Rupert is my son." 

"Your son?" Said Rocky, "If you had a son, then where's your mate?" 

"Dead," said Oscar," She's dead." 

Rocky and Midnight whimpered, they hoped that it never happened to them. 

Oscar continued," Rupert was a curious kit, just like you two. He found out how to carve wood, to make it into something useful," Oscar pointed to the wooden bowl next to Midnight, "Of course, carving was already invented but he figured out how to carve wood without anyone teaching him, but enough of that. I went out hunting one day. It was hard, hunting that night. After hours of hunting, I managed to only catch a squirrel. When I returned back home to my old den, which was situated inside a forest, the only thing I saw was fire and ashes. I didn't know what do, I didn't know if Hazel and Rupert were still in the den. I couldn't do anything, our den was surrounded with fire, so I waited until the fire died out, and when it did, I saw Hazel's body just outside our den, and I couldn't find Rupert. I went to look for Rupert, but instead of finding him I found your father. He told me that he saved Rupert's life, but he ran off. I was grateful to know that he wasn't dead, but I was scared, I didn't know where to find him. I kept looking but I just couldn't find him. Some time passed, I lost all hope of finding Rupert. Until one day I found him standing in front of my den, along with other foxes. He obviously didn't want to see me, he thought it was my fault that Hazel died, all he did was ask me whether I wanted to join a kingdom, I rejected. The other foxes tried to take me, but I ran. I later learned that Rupert was part of The Annointed." 

Rocky and Midnight sat silently, they thought Rupert was like the Dark Fox. 

"Did you ever see Rupert again?" said Midnight. 

"No," said Oscar," I hope I can change is heart, I hope I can make him become the fox that I loved, but the past is the past." 

"Is Rupert taking our family to The Annointed?" asked Midnight. 

"I'm afraid so," said Oscar. 

"Where is this kingdom?" said Rocky. 

"In Krafur," said Oscar. 

"Where's that?" said Rocky. 

"It's about fifty redwoods away," said Oscar. 

Rocky heart sank, a redwood was roughly equal to three hundred feet. 

"We should've just let Rupert take us," said Midnight sadly," Now we won't be able to see them ever again." 

"Patience Midnight, don't think like that, you will see your family again," said Oscar," You two just need some rest, how about some lavender?" 

"What's that?" said Rocky and Midnight simultaneously. 

"A plant, it helps you sleep," said Oscar. 

Rocky realized that he was very tired, but he didn't think he could sleep," I'll take some." 

"Midnight?" said Oscar. 

Midnight hesitated," I'll pass." 

"I'll be back with the lavender in just a minute." Oscar walked out of his den. 

"I hate eating plants, but I'll do anything to get some sleep." 

"I'm actually afraid to go back to sleep." 

"Why?" 

"When that creature attacked me, I thought I was going to sleep and never going to wake up. I don't want that to happen." 

"But it didn't happen, besides nothing's going to attack you in here." 

"I hope not." Changing the subject," Why does Oscar use leaves to cover the floor? They do make the den cozy but won't they just rot?" 

"These leaves don't rot," Oscar suddenly entered the den, with a bowl full of lavender buds" They last forever." 

That's impossible, thought Rocky. 

"I glazed these leaves with a rare flower called Benoo, it isn't a very delightful plant to look at, but it's filled with an oil that can make any plant last forever." 

Rocky looked back at the leaves, it must have taken a lot of Benoo to glaze every single leaf. " How much Benoo did you use?" 

"Benoo is a tremendous flower, it's absolutely filled with oil," said Oscar," I was just lucky that it grew right beside this den." 

"Do you any more oil left?" asked Rocky. 

"The oil might make plants last forever, but the oil itself does not. It went bad years ago." 

"That's a shame," Rocky yawned. 

Oscar put the bowl down," Here's the lavender, just take a mouthful." 

Rocky yawned again, he took a mouthful of lavender and ate it. The lavender tasted peculiar. It didn't taste like meat at all, it was different but different is sometimes good. 

Rocky looked at Midnight, it was obvious that she didn't need any lavender. She was already asleep. 

 

Rocky was back with his family. Leta was telling him the story about The Light Fox and The Dark Fox. The Dark Fox was facing The Light Fox in a duel. They fought for days. The Light Fox sensed pure hatred in The Dark Fox's heart, but The Light Fox kept fighting, he was overpowering The Dark Fox, he couldn't stop. The Light Fox saw a chance to finally beat The Dark Fox, he took that chance. He lunged at The Dark Fox. The Light Fox had him beneath his paw, he was victorious, but he didn't stop. The Light Fox killed him with a mortal blow. All good disappeared from The Light Fox, he was now The Dark Fox. 

Rocky awoke with a start," Just a dream," he told himself. 

Rocky looked around, Midnight was still asleep but Oscar was carving wood. Rocky stood and walked towards Oscar. "What are you doing?" asked Rocky. 

Oscar looked at Rocky, he was surprised to see him awake, the effect of the lavender should've lasted longer. "Nothing," he said," I'm just carving a well- I don't know what it is." Oscar chuckled," I'm just feeling artistic." 

Oscar's wood carving was a large wooden square with spirals etched into it. "I want to paint it, but the only dye I have is lavender." 

Oscar worked diligently on his carving, carefully using his sharp claws to work out the spirals. He looked up, "Rocky," Oscar faced him, "I know you and Midnight have only been here for a day, maybe less, but I think it's time to teach you two how to hunt." 

"Do you mean right now?" Rocky jumped up and down in excitement. 

"Yes, after all, the night has only begun." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 5 

 

 

 

Rocky and Midnight sat outside near Oscar's den where the snow plain and the forest met. Oscar stood in front of them," Before you know how to kill your prey you must learn how to stalk," Oscar told them," Do you two know what stalking is?" 

Rocky and Midnight exchanged confused glances," No," replied Midnight," But I don't need to know what it is, hunting is easy." 

"Is that so? Fine Midnight, if you think it's easy then why don't you catch us a lemming," Oscar challenged. 

"I'll catch much more than just one lemming," Midnight boasted. 

Midnight quietly walked towards the forest, where she thought she'd find a lemming. Midnight crouched and scanned the area for a lemming, but she couldn’t find anything. Maybe I have to try to smell the lemming, thought Midnight. She tried remembering what lemming smelled like, but with no success, she never payed attention to smells. Midnight huffed with anger, she walked back to Rocky and Oscar. 

"How many lemmings did you catch us?" Oscar teased," Now do you know why it is important to properly know how to hunt?" 

Midnight shot Oscar a glare, her brown eyes turning even darker, her tail twitched in anger," Yes, I understand," muttered Midnight through clenched teeth. 

Oscar nodded "Hunting requires a good amount of patience, one cannot be a hunter if they have none," Oscar mentioned specifically towards Midnight.  

"Stalking means approaching your prey very quietly and carefully," Oscar continued," Do you two know why we have to stalk?" 

"So, our prey doesn't take notice of us?" Rocky tried. 

Oscar nodded in agreement. "This is a stalking position," Oscar crouched down, his white belly rubbing against the bright snow, he stood back up, "Even though stalking is useful in most places, it is almost useless in a snowy plain – Unless you're hunting an artic hare- in undergrowth." 

"An artic what?" asked Rocky. 

"I'll tell you what it is when you see one, but when you're actually hunting one, you'll notice that it'll hop instead of run." 

"Like this?" Rocky hopped forward and back. 

Oscar chuckled. " Something like that." 

"If we're not stalking, then how are we hunting?" asked Midnight, who seemed to have lightened up. 

"There are various ways of hunting, today we'll be practicing fox-leapingFoxes use it to capture prey that's beneath the snow." 

"Fox-leaping?" Rocky uttered.  

Oscar tilted his head left and right, he was listening for the heartbeat of a vole through the thick snow. Oscar jumped almost straight up and plunged head-first into the snow, he landed and emerged with the vole. Oscar put the vole down, "That is fox-leaping. Since this is a natural instinct, it should come easily to you two. Now try it." 

 "How did you do that?" Midnight's jaw dropped in amazement," I mean, how did you know that you'd catch a vole if you couldn't even see it?" 

"I'll teach you that after you learn how to fox-leap. Now try it." 

Midnight crouched down so that her belly barely grazed snow. She jumped almost straight up, just like Oscar and landed. 

"Perfect," Oscar chirped as Midnight emerged from the snow, he turned to Rocky, "It's your turn." 

If hope I mess this up... thought Rocky. He crouched down instinctively and executed a fox-leap. 

"Splendid," Oscar praised," But performing a fox-leap and capturing prey using this method are two different things." 

"Why?" asked Rocky.  

"If you put too much power in your jump, but if the snow is too thin you'll end up with a broken nose, on the other hand if the snow is to deep then you'll flip over, possibly hurting your back. But, if you don't put enough power in your jump then you might not even break through the snow." 

"How are we supposed to know how deep the snow is?" asked Midnight, puzzled. 

"You're not going to know. However, you can figure out how close your prey is to the surface of the snow using your ears, based on that you'll know how much power you'll need to put in your jump," Oscar saw confusion on Rocky's and Midnight's faces," But don't worry, it's easier than it sounds," he assured. 

Rocky and Midnight hoped it was.  

 

The pale light of the moon radiated across the snowy plain. Rocky gathered his strength for his third kill of the day, the vole was buried deep in the snow. He jumped and sliced through the cold earth, the warm body of the vole firmly clamped between his jaws.  

Rocky emerged from the snow, he was amazed at how easily he'd caught it. Practice makes perfect, he thought.  

It had already been about three months when he first learnt how do hunt, he was lucky to have such amazing teacher. He trotted towards Oscar's den, the trees that surrounded his den quickly came into view. Rocky noticed the hopping motion of a hareone more kill can't hurt. 

Rocky set the limp body of the vole down and bolted towards the artic hare. It looked over its shoulder, its eyes widened in shock. The hare bounded forwards even faster, racing for his life. This is one fast hare.  

Rocky started falling back in exhaustion. The hare looked back again and a sudden blur knocked it off its paws, it was a red fox. Oscar told Rocky about them, he said that there are a lot of different foxes. 

The vixen glared at Rocky, as if cautioning him not to get any closer. Rocky didn't want to get into a fight, she was much bigger than him. Both foxes kept eye contact as Rocky backed away, forgetting the vole he had caught earlier, Rocky turned and shot across the snow plain towards Oscar's den. 

Rocky heard the soft sound of paws against snow, without stopping he looked back. The red fox was hot on Rocky's trail. Like the hare, Rocky's blue eyes widened in shock, he was the prey. The long strides of the red fox were outpacing Rocky's, it was getting close.  

Rocky pushed himself harder, the entrance of Oscar's den was already in view, and suddenly he heard silence. Rocky looked back again, the fox was in mid-air, lunging at him. An image flashed in Rocky's head, the day when his sister was attacked by the owl. 

At the last moment, Rocky dodged to the side, the red fox struck snow, before she could react Rocky threw himself on the fox and raked his claws against her back. The red fox yelped in pain as it shook Rocky of its back, who landed softly on snow. Rocky looked up too see the red fox towering over him, a growl rose from its throat.  

"Smart move," she growled," Now it's my turn." 

The red fox bent down and opened his jaws, aiming for Rocky's throat. But Rocky wasn't going to give up, once in range, he clawed the red fox's face. She flinched back, stunned. Rocky had the advantage, he could've killed her, but the thought of doing that made him sick. Instead he stood and bounded into Oscar's den.  

"Back already?" Oscar looked up from his wood carving, Midnight was looking over his shoulder, she had recently adopted an interest of wood art. Just from looking at Rocky, they knew something was wrong," Are you okay? What happened?" asked Oscar. 

"A red fox attacked me," said Rocky in between breaths. 

"And you fought it off? You don't look hurt" Midnight walked over to Rocky, her voice skeptical. 

Rocky ignored her question "I couldn't drive myself to kill our own species." 

"Did you get hurt?" Oscar asked. 

"Did you fight it off," Midnight repeated a little annoyed. 

Rocky looked at her," Yes I fought it off and no I'm not hurt." 

"That's impossible," declared Midnight. 

Rocky nodded, "I know it's hard to believe, I hardly believe it myself but it's true." 

"Tell us the story," Oscar strode over and sat beside Midnight. 

"From the very beginning?" Rocky asked. 

"Well, it can't be that long, is it?"  said Midnight. 

"No, I guess not," replied Rocky. 

"Then tell us," said Oscar. 

"I was out hunting and I saw an artic hare..." after Rocky had finishedMidnight was awestruck but Oscar nodded. 

 

TO BE CONTINUED?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

  

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

 

  

 

 

 

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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