It was not anything like a clear night. Rain came bucketing from the sky, and the thunder shook the earth. Talan the Timber Wolf padded across the soft ground. His fur was sopping wet, and it stuck to his shivering body. After a few paces he stopped and briefly pushed his snout into the mud, searching for a fresh scent of his family. But all he could smell was mud and the rain in his soaked fur.
Again he began to walk among the trees, his eyes sad but his body language perky and up beat. At once he came onto a wide, empty road. He looked to his left, then to his right, and a bright light caught his eye. It got bigger and bigger until Talan realized it was just getting closer and closer, and soon a large car zoomed past and sprayed water in his face. Insulted, he shook his head free of any droplets and walked cautiously across the street. His paws stung as he stepped on little rocks and pieces of glass and rubber. He collapsed on the other side, exhausted, and rested for the long, cold night.
He awoke with a start. A car had splashed him again, only this time it was a truck, and had sent a tsunami over his thin body. He jumped up and ran down the slope he had slept on, behind the nearest tree. 10 minutes went by and Talan was still behind that tree. He decided it was safe and started to move again. He walked the day through, and when the moon rose over to take the sun's place, he smelt food. Good, delicious, mouthwatering food.
He placed one paw after another toward the scent. He was stopped by a large, metal fence. The food was on the other side. The food. He was desperate. His eyes squeezed together so he could see. It looked like a fence was just randomly placed in the middle of the wood.
Suddenly, something stirred. A huge white lump rose from behind a near bush and moved slowly to a pile of-food.
Talan began pawing at the fence. Let me in! He thought hopefully. Let me in! The lump looked up at Talan, hearing his soft whine. But instead of bringing some of the food to him, the lump shrieked and ran a great length before running into something. This was a cage. Talan was at the zoo!
But, in his hunger, he pawed more frantically on the fence, whining louder and louder. His whining died down and was replaced with growling. He became fierce and took a running start to bash into the fence.
It took four tries before his shoulder rocked the fence. He gave it one last try and it came crashing down at the foot of the mysterious white thing. It yelped and ran into the fence on the other side again, and punctured a large hole. That awoke the animal inside the neighboring cage and it walked casually through the hole to Talan.
Talan could see at once this animal was a Lynx.
The wild cat blinked once or twice before it began to circle Talan, who kept his head held high and did not let his gaze follow the seemingly conceit cat.
"You got a name?" asked the Lynx, as he finished his second circle around the wolf.
"Talan." The wolf replied, not looking at the stranger. "What's it to you?"
"Nothing. I'm Rusty." He sounded defensive. "Whats wrong with you?"
"Dont ask. Its a long story." Finally, Talan pushed forward and walked over the fallen fence. He'd been to stunned at his own strength to move at all. "And there's food over there."
Behind, Talan heard Rusty's soft footsteps. "You're not gonna like that crap." he said. "It's tiger food."
"And what's wrong with this tiger food?"
"It's utterly disgusting."
"Well, it's food."
Talan continued to walk without looking behind. He eyed the food and listened to his stomach growl. When had he last eaten? Even he couldnt remember. But that food...the smell wafted into his nostrils and a small string of drool slipped out from the corner of his mouth. He began to move faster as he got closer, and finally he dug his claws into a nice slab of red meat.
At the same time that Talan put a bloody mouthful of beef into his mouth, about ten sharp claws dug into his back. He cried loudly and rolled onto his now bleeding back and was face to face with his attacker.
A big, white slump. With two large brown eyes burning with rage and a paw coming down to swipe him across the face.
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