The Howls of Owls
With the last light fading, Malcolm lumbered up the incline. Theobald, clinging to his back, had hoped to have gone to the pond. He was in need of floating. He was tired of bouncing; it wasn’t natural. He was also fed up with having to put up with other animals. he found irritating, especially in mobs. He wanted to be alone, to float down to the bottom of a body of clear, fresh water, leaving all this noise and chaos behind; but here he was, back on Malcolm, bouncing along to a place where (no doubt) they would find other packs of deluded animals behaving, well, embarassingly. He tried to remember if he had ever met a normal animal, or lived any other life, but it seemed so long ago. He could not… what was that? “Did you hear that?” Continue reading
Peace In Our Time
As pink morning light began to silhouette the pines and aspen, Theobald pulled himself closer to Malcolm’s hoof. The sudden flushing of rain had brought him physical comfort but hadn’t eased his anxiety. He needed to express his misgivings to Malcolm privately. Surely he had more sense than that pompous deer. He waited until Manley and Miranda had moved off to forage.
“It won’t work.” Continue reading
Theobald, rocking back and forth on Malcolm’s back, staring out over the vast pond was troubled. Leaving here was madness. Where else would they find a plentiful fresh water and forage? The wolf had assured them that they would “have a plentitude of earthy delights” and “a most luxurious pond”, in Lupis park, but Theobald didn’t trust Wolfie—he was too assured, too full of himself. Why was he being so gracious, and welcoming? What did he want? He must want something. No animal is generous without wanting something in return. And although Theobald had never met a wolf before, he had heard the disquieting stories about them. So he was resolutely against going with “Wolfie” when they discussed it.
“Why would we go there?”
Bender Brings Peace
The voice sounded vaguely familiar. He opened his eyes. Where was he? The red sky glinted across the pond. Was it morning or had the sun just gone down?
He turned his head. Benlow was standing on the edge of the pond, peering at him, standing next to an older badger.
“Malcolm, this is my Dad.”
“He wants to help.”
“His name is Bender.”
“Hello. I’d like to help.”
“Thank you. I don’t… know what you could do.”
“Often, it is enough to join together in common bond.”
Malcolm took to a breath to understand the old badger had said. He liked the sound of it. Continue reading
Theobald & Malcolm Meet
Theobald had never seen such a endless pond, one where he could not even view the other side. He couldn’t have been more elated, although being elated as a rule made him nervous, such a condition was incautious. Playfully, rolling over and over in the clear, invigorating water, amid the abundant trout he spotted, he couldn’t understand why the boars would poop into it. Swimming along with Malcolm, out from the shore, he was as happy as ever he allowed himself to be. Trees edged down to the pond, reeds and bushes rose at the water’s edge. He couldn’t believe how peaceful and pleasant it seemed, much more so than his home in Feckly. And there was no sign of boars. Continue reading
The Arrival of Belden
As the early morning light streamed in through the chinks in the forest, Theobald waited to watch the sun rise above the horizon. He’d woken early and was relieved to see Manley had returned, lying asleep just inside the tunnel he’d dug near the tree wall. He couldn’t tell if the Boars were awake yet. And though he expected to be, he was surprised that he wasn’t afraid. In point of fact, he thought, remembering Rollo, he felt a strange kind of exhileration, as though he were living in a dream.
“Theobald?” whispered Malcolm.
“Yes. What do you think they will do?” Continue reading
The Real Grattie Brina
Through the chinks in the trees, Miranda could see the light fading, and hurriedly searched along the pile of trees for a gap, somewhere for Theobald to slip through. If he could escape, then she might climb the trees, Manley might burrow under the wall and Malcolm might charge at the boars, bound over them and effect his escape, but she could see no opening through which Theobald might slip. Weariness and the Boars’ incomprehensible behaviour were weighing her down.
“Not encouraging,” said Malcolm quietly.
“No.” Continue reading