In the days that followed, Pudgy and his woodland friends completed their tunnel. It was large enough to accomodate Argente, after several passes by the fox in and out of the tunnel. The tunnel was braced with wood beams, to ensure it was safe. The bunnies and Pudgy set, and reinforced the set of doors at the entrance of the tunnel by Argente’s cottage. The bunnies loved their new warren, and had moved all of their various food and belongings from their original warren. On the path of the tunnel that headed to their warren, Pudgy helped them install a new interior door, to give them privacy. The field mice also made a little door to shut off the tunnel from their cave, though it remained open.
Despite the looming threat from the coyotes, Pudgy continued on his various projects. The potato that had been retrieved from Cobalt’s house was planted. The planting bed was nearby to where Argente’s cottage was, as it was a flat area with a fair amount of sunshine that streaked through the trees. The little hedgehog did not know how long it would take to grow, so he left it alone, but would stop by to check on it occasionally. The rains fell hard and cold on the forest, and there were many days where it was so miserable outside, the best place to be was inside. The critters gathered at Pudgy’s home, in the big room and the interior, laughed and bounced every day.
At night, the coyote calls were growing louder and more frequent. Everyone stayed inside, and secured their homes. The tunnel entrance was large enough for the silver fox, but the coyotes were bigger, and could not fit inside even if they tried. The shale rocks were plentiful in the area, and the cavern was narrow and tight, so even a determined one would get stuck. Pudgy told everyone that if they were out and about, to go with someone else. If there was any danger: the tunnel or Pudgy’s underground home would be safe. After a long night, Pudgy woke up the next day, and wanted to work on the grist mill project once again. He waited for his silver fox friend to arrive, and when she did, they headed to the beaver pond first.
The beavers were alright, and swimming around their pond playfully. They too had heard the coyotes, and stayed within their home within the dam structure. When Pudgy explained the plan to use his home as a safe place, the beavers thanked him and agreed to come if it was dangerous. The existence of the cavern pool behind his home intrigued them, and also meant they could stay longer periods of time if need be. They preferred to be in the water, as their fur dried out easily if they spent too long on the dry ground. Argente watched as her hedgehog friend headed back to the grist mill, and went to work. He had determined that the base stone needed to be raised from the ground. The little critter began to move all sorts of rocks into the three sided log cabin walls. As the fox padded over, and saw Pudgy struggling to move the heavy base stone onto the platform of rocks he had built up.
After many attempts, the hedgehog moved the bottom stone in place. He fell onto the ground wheezing, and was trying to catch his breath. Argente placed a paw on the stone, “Pudgy, why did you raise the stone?” The critter looked up at her from the ground, “The bottom stone does not turn. There is a hole in the middle, as the grain is milled, the flour moves to the center hole and drops down into a chute. Pudgy can have a basket or bag at the end to collect flour. Above the base stone, is the top stone, which will turn.” The fox nodded, and tried to imagine what her friend was telling her. She was having trouble, but trusted Pudgy and giggled. “Well, I hope it is worth all the trouble.”
Pudgy laughed, and was about to speak, when he smelled an odd odor. He stood up, sniffing the air, and looked around the forest. “Argente, something smells funny,” the hedgehog said softly. The female fox’s ears perked up, and then she spotted a gray furry head peeking out from a blooming rhododendron bush with pink flowers. It resembled a dog in many ways, but the ears were pointy, almost like triangles. There was a black nose, and white legs could be seen just starting to emerge from behind the plant’s leaves. She knew what it was, it was a coyote. Turning towards Pudgy’s home, Argente whispered, “we need to go now.” The hedgehog nodded, and picked up his tools, and swung his backpack back on. He began to scamper beside his fox friend, and a quick pace, but not so much to show that they were aware of the lurking predator.
Argente did not say anything, and walked as best as she could to hide the scampering hedgehog beside her. The coyote had noticed them, and was starting to approach slowly. “Pudgy, run as fast as you can, and open the door. I will follow you in,” the silver fox said in hushed tones. Pudgy nodded, and started to run as fast as his little legs could carry him. He looked forward towards the round wooden door to his home. He heard the coyote calls sound off, and soon more than one was approaching him. With burning muscles in his legs, he sprinted as fast as he could muster, and reached the round door. He undid the lock, and swung the door open wide while diving inside.
Turning quickly around, he could see Argente at a full sprint heading towards the open doorway. She dove in, but got stuck at her hips. Frantically she was wiggling her hips, to try and get in while the coyote calls grew louder. Pudgy ran around her, and stuck his paws inside the door jam, and pushed in her fur as far as it would go, till he heard a pop in the doorway. She was able to slide into the home, and then whimpered a bit. The hedgehog turned, and saw the coyote lunge for the open doorway, and stick his snout inside the home. Snarling nastilly, rows of sharp white teeth were viciously trying to chomp down on anything they came in contact with. The snout of the predator sniffed the air, and sounded a loud call inside the home. Realizing he still had his mining tools, Pudgy took out his shovel. He swung back, and then whacked the teeth of the coyote. Immediately, the snout pulled back, and Pudgy slammed the door shut. He locked the door, and braced it.
Argente was whimpering, as what her hedgehog friend had to do to get her through the door hurt her hips. The coyote continued to sound its angry calls, and soon dozens of calls were outside of the home. The front door was bouncing, as the monsters were clawing at the door to get in. Pudgy went over to check on his fox friend, “Pudgy sorry, but only way to get you in. We need to make the door bigger for you.” The fox was scared, but nodded, and pulled the hedgehog in for a hug. It had been a very long time since she felt fear like this. The Kaiser and his demons were one thing, but this was instinct mixing with terror. She had grown complacent in the forest, and had let her guard down. The return of embrace from her friend helped calm her down, while her hip muscles sorted themselves out.
Pudgy whimpered slightly, and watched shadows pass by his round windows. The front door was being pawed at, and he could hear the scraping sounds of claws against the door. “Pudgy should have kept the monster barricades in place,” he whispered to Argente. The fox nodded, “we can add those back … eventually the coyotes will give up and wander off.” The hedgehog wiggled his nose, and his friend was right, in time the banging stopped. The shadows stopped moving, and the calls died down. Cautiously, he let go of the fox, and slowly walked towards the window in his kitchen. Peeking at first, he looked left and right around the forest. The coyotes were gone, from what he could see. Though the only way to check was to open the front door. He was too scared to do that now, so Pudgy waved at Argente.
“Let’s head for the tunnel, we have to tell the others.” Pudgy said, while opening the interior door to his big room. The room was intact, and the big round doors were locked into place. Waving it was safe to approach, Argente padded slowly through the home and looked out of Pudgy’s kitchen window. The coyotes indeed seem to have wandered off, but it was appropriate to be cautious. As she passed through the interior door to the big room, she was able to stretch his hind legs out fully. The kink in her hip worked itself out, and was no longer hurting. The hedgehog was opening the tunnel door, and scampered through.
As the fox padded behind the scampering hedgehog, she giggled when she saw a POOL CLOSED sign by the watery pool that had been constructed behind Pudgy’s home. The tunnel was dark, but had faint white lights along the path in key spots. The hedgehog reached the bunny warren, and knocked on the door. In a short period of time Billie bunny opened the door and twitched his nose, “What is it Pudgy?” Pudgy hugged Billie, “Pudgy glad you are safe. Coyotes just chased Argente and Pudgy home. Where is Bobbi Bunny?” The sleepy rabbit twitched his nose, “she went out to forage … BOBBI!” The frightened rabbit tried to push past the hedgehog. Argente softly nudged his back with her nose, “Billie, calm down. If she runs and hides, she should be safe. We need to be cautious about this.”
Squeaking sounds could be heard, as the field mice peeked out of their back door that led to the tunnel. Mr. Field Mouse waved, “we saw Bobbi run into your old warren. Those coyotes are still camped out in front of it. Pudgy, why are the coyotes here?” Pudgy frowned, “the humans kept them away … now there are no humans left …so coyotes have moved closer. We now need to be careful, bad animals are coming to our home.” Argente nodded, “we have all been complacent, and now have to be cautious. The village idea may need to be halted …” The bunny frowned, and shook his head. “No, we shouldn’t abandon it. Isn’t there a way we can make it safer, maybe closer to the tunnel?”
Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy big room is a big empty place. Perfect for many things, but we can do that later. We have to get Bobbi here safely … Argente, Pudgy have an idea.” Pudgy maneuvered around, so that he was blocking the exit of the tunnel. Argente blocked the path to Pudgy’s home, and the hedgehog was in the tunnel exit path. “Pudgy will go back home, and open the front door. Pudgy will taunt the bad coyotes,” Billie twitched his nose, “but that is dangerous Pudgy! They could get you!” The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy will have to be careful. But have tools, can hit coyote noses and mouth to make pull back. Billie will be in the kitchen, and yell things out the window, so coyotes come there too. With all attention on us, Argente can run out of the tunnel to get Bobbi bunny from the original warren. Mr. Field Mouse will need to work the tunnel doors, and Mrs. Field Mouse will help with doors and then run back to Pudgy home.”
Argente nodded, “good plan Pudgy, I agree. As long as nobody makes a mistake, we should be all right.” Billie bunny looked angry, “no, I have to save my Bobbi!” He angrily hopped forward, and then knocked over Pudgy. The rabbit made it to the tunnel doors, and then opened them. He emerged from the tunnel entrance, and looked around the clearing. The whole pack of coyotes were camped out in the clearing. There were around a dozen here, with several pawing at the former location of the bunny warren. The rabbit took a deep breath, and then shot out of the tunnel hopping at full speed. “COME AND GET ME YOU STUPID COYOTES!” The rabbit screamed, as the predators all looked up and immediately gave chase.
Argente was horrified, as the male rabbit had done something incredibly reckless. She snapped at Pudgy, “get back to your home, and open the door. We need to try to save that fool rabbit!” As the fox padded forward towards the tunnel entrance, Pudgy scampered back down the tunnel to his home. He knew she wasn’t mad at him, so the hedgehog did not take offense. The plan was going in reverse, so they needed to adapt. Through the tunnel, the doorway to the big room, the big room, and the doorway to his home the hedgehog ran. Racing to where he left his mining tools, the hedgehog picked them up. Tools in paw, he unbraced the door and threw it open. Scampering outside, he could see the coyotes chasing after the rabbit. Pudgy shouted, “BILLIE…..OVER HERE!”
The bunny saw Pudgy and nodded, while hopping as fast as his little legs could carry him. The coyotes were chasing after, and catching up to the tiring rabbit. As Billie was just passing the big round doors of the big room for Pudgy’s home, one coyote lunged and snapped up the rabbit by the ear in his jaw. The bunny started screaming, and flailing as he tried to break free. Pudgy shouted, “no, you let go of Billie!” The coyotes looked up at Pudgy and sneered while barking angrily. “OR YOU WILL WHAT?” The lead coyote snarled at him angrily, while staring at him with angry brown eyes. “These are our forests, now that the humans are gone. We claim them for the Black Tail. You are trespassing here!” This particular group of coyotes all had black tips at the end of their tails, so it was an appropriate but not too original name for their pack.
Pudgy stood defiantly, and raised his quills as wide as he could. Normally he kept them down and soft, but if he felt threatened the quills could be quite pinchy. He had a tiny shovel in one paw, and a tiny hammer in the other paw. “Pudgy lives here for years, no one owns forest. Pudgy, and Pudgy friends will live wherever we want!” The lead coyote sneered further, “is that so, porcupine? You are all talk and bluster ……now that your pet human has left you defenseless … we can feed and move on.” One particularly lean coyote with thin gray fur strode up past the lead coyote, and lunged at Pudgy. The hedgehog saw the mouth full of razor sharp teeth coming quickly, and he swung the shovel. The blade jammed between the front teeth of the predator, and the hedgehog quickly twisted it, causing tremendous pain. As the coyote whipped his head back, Pudgy was picked up and flung into the air. The hedgehog landed on the hill that was above his home, and into a pile of rotting leaves.
As Pudgy saw the coyotes nipping at the terrified rabbit, he saw his friend Mr. Bear charging through the woods up the creek. The beavers were hiding in the underground part of their dam, which made the hedgehog thankful that they would need to be rescued today. As the large brown bear raced up the creek, past the dam, and into the area in front of Pudgy’s home, he let forth a blood curdling roar. The hedgehog watched as the coyotes lunged at the bear, and started biting at whatever they could connect with. Sliding down the hill, the hedgehog reached his front door and saw Billie bunny laying on the ground.
The hedgehog scampered quickly over to his bunny friend, and saw that his one ear was punctured in several places. There was blood coming out, but the rabbit was dazed. The coyote had been swinging him against the wooden doors of the big room. Picking up the bunny as best as he could, Pudgy started to drag him back towards the front door of his home. Mr. Bear was keeping the attention of the coyotes, and was effortlessly flinging them away with his massive clawed paws. But they had no fear, no humans to save the bear, and there were twenty of them. The leader was up front and raking the bear with his front paw claws, before biting at the bear’s hind legs. Mr. Bear roared, and bucked, throwing the coyotes off of him.
As Pudgy was able to reach his front door, one coyote spotted the two small critters. It veered off from the pack, and raced towards them. Billie was starting to come to, but soon found his leg snatched up by the coyote’s mouth. As the teeth pierced his leg, the rabbit cried out, “let me go!” The hedgehog lunged again at the coyote, and using his shovel, stabbed directly at one of the predator’s eyes. The shovel connected, and plunged deep into the soft tissue. The coyote howled in agony, and let the bunny go. As Billie dropped to the ground, he started pulling himself with his front paws towards Pudgy’s door. The hedgehog grabbed him, and pulled the rabbit inside of his home.
The hedgehog immediately slammed the door shut, and then braced it. As Pudgy looked at the rabbit, he was bleeding all over the floor. Pudgy snapped at the rabbit, “WE HAD A PLAN, YOU BIG DUMMY!” As Pudgy shouted, he looked up and saw Bobbi bunny in the doorway from the big room, crying. The hedgehog uncharacteristically snapped at her, “stop crying, and go to the center cabinet! Pudgy needs medical stuff!” The hedgehog shouted, and the female rabbit nodded. She hopped over to the center wall panel, and pushed it open. Inside, she found all sorts of medical things that were hedgehog sized. Cobalt had prepared the home for many things when the Kaiser was attacking, thankfully medical supplies was one of them.
Pudgy’s front door soon was banging, as the coyote was kicking at it. After a couple powerful kicks, the door was busted in. Bobbi watched as the coyote’s jaws entered the home and he snatched up Pudgy in his mouth. The hedgehog was then pulled violently out of the home. Bobbi cried out, “NO … NOT … PUDGY!” The hedgehog’s leg was caught between the teeth, of the now one eyed coyote. Blood was pouring out of the coyote’s right eye, and it snarled angrilly. “I don’t care about eating, I just want you to die, porcupine!” Pudgy was striking anything his paws could connect with, “PUDGY IS HEDGEHOG YOU BAD COYOTE!” He could see a bone from a previous kill stuck between the front teeth of the predator. So Pudgy grabbed at it, and twisted it deeper into the coyote’s gums.
Mr. Bear was tiring, and the coyotes were relentless, they were biting deep gouges into his flesh. The bear was bleeding all over, causing his brown fur to darken. He roared again, too angry to speak, and wailed on the coyotes. Until one very distinctive Coyote call rang out from the woods further up the creek. A huge coyote was racing forward, covered in scars, and missing an ear. It was the leader of the pack, and he lunged directly at the bear teeth bared. As Mr. Bear whipped his paw forward, the leader slid underneath and began to bite at the bear’s underbelly before ducking out from behind his hind legs. The brown bear collapsed onto the ground, and tried to get up, but the coyotes were too great in number.
As Pudgy was frantically trying to break free, he saw the bear drop down onto the ground. He then saw his friends peeking out of the underground home’s windows. But they were not looking at the bear, nor the coyotes but a spot in the forest. A shimmering cloud was distorting the forest, and the smell of ozone was spreading in the air. The skies started to darken, as the clouds thickened overhead. The coyotes were too busy with their prey to notice, but the one holding Pudgy in his jaws did. With one good eye, he watched in horror as the cloud started to form into a shape. Two glowing silver orbs began to appear, and narrow as it looked throughout the area.
The hedgehog was dropped hard onto the ground, when the coyote opened his mouth to sound a warning call. As the other turned and looked, they saw the clouds overheard. Thunder started to roll in the skies overhead, as the rains began to fall hard. But the funny shimmering cloud was still glowing brightly with an ethereal green light. Pudgy recognized it, it was the light from the earth mother Gaia. Working out the days in his head, it was many weeks since he had returned, was it almost time for summer? Violent lightning started to flash in the skies, and suddenly several bolts struck the ground where the shimmering light was. It was so bright, it temporarily blinded all the animals staring at it.
As the rains fell harder and harder, it was the beavers who first saw what had emerged from the cloud. They had seen an animal like that once before that visited Pudgy, and so the beavers decided to hide once more under their dam. Pudgy was rubbing his eyes with his paws, and trying to crawl back to his home. He could near see anything, but there was a crunching sound on the ground walking towards where Mr. Bear was laying. The hedgehog felt his body being pulled roughly forward, and soon smelled the wood paneling from his home. As his eyes were clearing up, he could see Bobbi Bunny furiously trying to patch up Billie Bunny. She was crying and yelling at him, while the male rabbit was laying and whimpering.
An unearthly roar was heard, louder than anything Pudgy or his friends had ever heard. Even Mr. Bear who was struggling to get back to his paws winced at the sound, and smelled a new scent in the woods directly in front of him. As the coyotes’ vision cleared, they could see a hulking blue mass approaching them. The roar sounded off again, as silver eyes glowed in the falling rain. The coyotes all sounded a warning call at the same time, as they saw what was approaching. It was a creature they had never seen before. It was a bit longer than Mr. Bear, which was roughly 8 feet long. The body was slender, but muscular with dark blue scales all over. Wings seemed to be folded back along the body, with many long spikes coming from its back. The head was pointed, with two long curled black horns. Four toed claws were tipped in black talons, and rows of sharp teeth were bared at them.
The leader of the pack strode forth, “I don’t know who you are, but these lands are claimed by the Black Tail. You are all trespassing …” The coyote did not get to finish the statement, because the creature lunged forward and snatched up the coyote in its mouth. He bit down hard, and killed the predator. Opening his jaw, the scaled monster whipped his head to the left and threw the lifeless coyote on the ground. Letting forth another roar, the coyotes all lunged for the one that killed their leader. All attention was diverted from the brown bear, and the hedgehog’s home, in favor of the new attacker.
Meanwhile in the Pudgy’s home, Argente was peeking out of the broken front door. She had seen a creature like that before, Xylenia the dragon. Pudgy spoke of the dragons when he went to save Christmas in Santa’s lands, and how they were very few in number. If what the owls told Pudgy was true, then the humans would be returning as animals. It only made sense that the ones they returned as, would be animals that were no longer present or dwindling in number. The female fox’s ears perked up, as she realized the appearance of a blue dragon, was in the same spot where Cobalt disappeared. Pudgy was at his kitchen sink, washing out bloodied towels and making hot water for first aid. But he too was watching, and thinking the same thoughts as his fox friend.
Mr. Bear’s vision had cleared up, and he got a first look at the dragon standing in an attack posture. The coyotes were lunging at it, and because the creature’s body was scaled, it was better suited against a coyote attack. The trail was long and spiked, and when it turned quickly, it flung the coyotes against trees. Sharp talon claws were striking against the predators, and gouged deep into their flesh. The dragon let forth an ear piercing roar, which echoed in the forest throughout. With their overwhelming number greatly decreased, the remaining coyotes sounded a danger call, and began to limp away from where they came from. However, the dragon gave chase, running on all fours.
Mustering what strength he had left, the bear roared, and started to charge forward as well. He eventually caught up to the dragon, and was running beside it. Up the hill they went, past the clearing with Argente’s home, up the hill to the grove of trees around the ley line, and to the ridge behind it the two protectors chased the coyotes. Upon reaching the ridge line’s crest, The dragon slowed and came to a stop. The wounded bear slowed and slid to a stop as well on the wet ground, and watched as the coyotes were rolling down the hills side and off a cliff ledge. Both animals roared at the same time, for an extended period of time, causing the roars to echo throughout the woods behind Pudgy’s forest.
The rain was still falling hard, and cascaded down the dragon’s back. Mr. Bear coughed, “thank you for helping, whomever you are.” The dragon grinned as only a reptile could, as he backed up and turned around to face the large brown bear. A very familiar voice, with a bit of a hiss now, spoke to the bear. “Glad I could help, Mr. Bear.” The brown bear’s brown eyes went wide, and his mouth dropped open. “C…..C…Cobalt?” The dragon nodded his head, “let us head back to Pudgy’s home.” The dragon winked, and then started to walk slowly back down the ridge. As Mr. Bear processed the information, he nodded and followed beside the former human. Pudgy had said what the owl shaman had told him, that the good humans would be returning to this world as animals. He had thought it was the owl’s way to give Pudgy some hope, so he would not be devastated when the human would never have returned.
Past the ring grove of trees the two large animals walked, with a remark from Cobalt. “What is that strange grove?” Mr, Bear nodded,“that is a ley line node, from what Pudgy says. The owls taught him how to use them to travel. The dragon nodded, “I see, Pudgy went off on another adventure. I will be most interested in what happened this time. I just realized something, I can see fine now. No more glasses,” the dragon said while chuckling. The bear laughed as well, as they walked through the clearing past the tunnel. A tiny field mouse was peeking from the tunnel, before shutting the door and scampering inside. Mr. Bear chuckled, “I see they spotted us. The critters built a tunnel so they can move underground, as well as they started a grist mill. They have been keen to make a village of some sort.”
The dragon grinned again, and nodded his head. “That sounds like a nice idea, but we should properly coyote proof it. We stopped them today, but I fear they will return in greater numbers.” The brown bear nodded, “Cobalt, all the humans are gone now. You seem to be the first one back, as an animal. Pudgy will explain why …. Pudgy open up the big room!” The bear called out, as they approached the big bifold doors of the underground home. As Cobalt and the bear stood outside, they watched the bifold doors open up slowly. Soon Argente, Pudgy, Bobbi Bunnie, a hurt and bandaged Billie Bunny, and two field mice were sitting in the middle of a partially disassembled room in Pudgy’s home.
The dragon grinned, “hello Pudgy.” The little hedgehog started to cry, and bounce happily. “COBALT!” The other critters all stared up at the dragon with disbelief in their eyes. The rain continued to pour down from the skies above, causing water to drip off the two large animals. Argente looked up at the former human and blinked with her mouth agape, while the field mice hid behind the hedgehog and peeked. The dragon nodded, “Pudgy ..everyone …please stay inside the home and your tunnel. Do not go outside until I return. I need to take Mr. Bear back to the house, and treat his wounds.” Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy understand, Pudgy listen to Cobalt.”
Mr. Bear nodded, “we will be back everyone. Please shut the doors and windows, and lock up your homes tight. Do not go outside, until we get back.” The hedgehog nodded, and then scampered over to the interior door controls to swing the big doors shut once more. The doors locked with a click once they were closed, and the two large animals watched the critters inside shut the doors and windows. The front door was partially broken, so it took a few tries. As Pudgy peeked from his kitchen window, and Argente from the other window, the two large animals walked back towards the creek.
There were several dead coyotes lying along the creek bed, so the two animals picked them up in their mouths to carry off. Across the creek they went, up the hill, past the thorn bush, across the scary road with the delivery trucks, up the hill, and to the back yards behind the homes they went. The garbage was rotting, sending a putrid stink into the air. They dropped off the dead coyotes behind a neighbor’s house, knowing the rotting garbage would mask the dead coyotes. Plus, it might even deter them from heading this direction as well. The grass had grown to reach almost to the chin of Mr. Bear, which caused the blades to tickle his underbelly.
One by one the dark and silent homes of the humans they passed, still standing as they always had for decades before. Cobalt noticed how quiet it was, save for the thunderstorm overhead. The two animals reached the former human’s concrete patio, and sat down underneath the deck to rest. “How are you doing Mr. Bear?” The dragon asked, while watching the brown bear wheeze. “I have had better days Cobalt. How are you going to get in, I assume you don’t have your keys?” The dragon grinned again, and reached for the handle, and pushed a couple of buttons. The door lock clicked, and soon the patio door was able to slide open. “I installed a mechanical lock a couple years back, if I ever was locked out. It works even with no power … which looks like the house does not have current.”
Cobalt soon realized his new body was different, and he had to wiggle his hips through the door. Once cleared, Mr. Bear headed inside the man’s home. “I think this is the first time I ever was in your home Cobalt.” The dragon smiled as he walked further inside the basement, “I would invite you upstairs for dinner, but I think neither of us can get upstairs.” Cobalt noticed things moved around, and little piles on the ground that were not there before. “Looks like Pudgy was here, he must have taken the stuff he could reach.” Cobalt said, while looking for a red canvas bag. He located it in the mechanical room, and snatched it up in his jaws. Unable to turn around, the dragon backed up. This new body was going to take awhile to get used to.
Once he reached the center of the basement, he turned around and noticed Mr. Bear was back on the patio. Walking slowly out through the open patio door, the dragon set down the bag in front of the bear. The tired and injured animal was resting finally, and watched the dragon pull out a very large bottle of hydrogen peroxide. To both animal’s disbelief, Cobalt was somehow able to open the bottle with his four toed claw. “I wonder if you can work a can opener?” Mr. Bear laughed, while wincing as the dragon poured the peroxide over the bear’s wounds. The antiseptic started to cleanse, and bubble along the cuts. The dragon laughed, “I hope so too, those coyotes tasted terrible.”
The two animals laughed, while Cobalt treated his friend’s wounds. After several bottles of antiseptic, and cloth bandages put into place, the bear was starting to feel a bit better. Cobalt backed into his home once more, and located two large jugs of water underneath a table. He brought them out, and helped Mr. Bear get the caps off. Again they sat on the patio, listening to the rain, and holding the water jugs in both paws. Cobalt had to rinse his mouth out several times, and spat out in the tall grass behind his home. “I’m going to call the HOA to complain, the grass is not cut.” The bear snorted, and started to laugh again.
The dragon backed into the home once more, and opened a tall wooden cabinet along the wall. Cobalt stood up on his hind legs, and located a row of cans, and took out several in his claws. They were the big family sized ones you get from the super mega store places, and then rolled them out to the bear on the patio. One by one the cans rolled and were stopped playfully by the bear’s large paw. Dropping back to all fours, the former human walked out and then sat down on the patio once more. As he picked up a large can of swedish meatballs, the dragon stared at the can. “No can opener downstairs?” The bear asked, and watched Cobalt nod. But to the bear’s bemusement, the dragon was using his talons to trace along the top of the can. With a screech, the lid of the can was popped off.
Mr. Bear licked his lips, and watched as Cobalt handed him the can. “Sorry, I can’t cook them for you, looks like the power is out.” The dragon picked up a can of meatballs and spaghetti rings, and with a similar action popped the top off the can. The two animals started to eat from the large cans hungrily. As Mr. Bear watched the dragon pour the food into his mouth, he slurped down the meatballs. The thunder continued to roll overhead in the skies above, as the rain continued to pour harder from the sky. Cobalt realized a lot had changed in the time he had been gone. The former human looked forward to the story from his hedgehog friend, and wondered what else had changed in this world. He too had a story to tell, where the humans went, when they disappeared.
One reply on “Moon Cry: Chapter 11: Coyote Terror”
MAJOR surprise rescue! Things got heavy there for a second but I’m intrigued. I like how Pudgy usually meets up with Cobalt by the 11th chapter of a normal adventure but this time it was the other way around.