Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fur Wars - Chapter 13

The heavens slowly lit, their brightness intensifying from a jet-black star-spangled night through the full greyscale spectrum of pre-dawn. At sun up above canopy level, with dew collecting all around as though some invisible woodland gardener had sprayed The Village and all about with his magical hose, the sky eventually assumed a delightful, early morning, eggshell blue.

According to The Village Law, it was still officially night time though, and so Derek sat patiently waiting while The Village slumbered on. Dawn was officially acknowledged when The Village cock eventually took it upon himself to crow in the new day. He did so, it seemed, with complete distain for the idly kipping Bunnies. Derek, unable to sleep a wink that night, felt a sudden kinship with The Village cock. As far as Derek was concerned it felt as though half the day had been wasted already.

Ripping Duncan out of sleep Derek handed over a fresh breakfast bap of nuts and berries. Then, before Duncan could argue, Derek dragged him stumbling southwards out of The Village.

“You can eat as we go,” said Derek. Duncan was still too shell-shocked by this rude awakening to bring up the merits of a nice cheesy cup of Bea and a full Nobish breakfast. The Village cock, looking unimpressed by the early morning shenanigans, simply crowed once more before scratching around in the dust and unburned twigs of last night’s Pyre.

Derek, just like all the Derekson’s before him, had never timed himself whilst out in The Forest. He’d been taught as kitten, just like everybunny else, that the surest and safest way to make it back to The Village in time for The Sacrifice was to ensure that you had a good view of the sky and the position of the sun, then turn around wherever you found yourself at noon and head back to The Village along your earlier outbound route.

Derek had realised while lying awake the previous night, that the traditional Bunny method of gauging when to make your return for The Sacrifice didn’t really make the most efficient use of time and space since it required the Bunny to have a decent view of the sky and where Derek and Duncan were heading maybe that wouldn’t always be an option. For today’s mission he’d need to know how much time he’d used up and how much time he had left, so that he could cover as much space as possible over any terrain.

Leaving nothing to chance, he flipped over his egg timer. It was pretty much the height of summer in The Forest, so that meant he’d have at least 150 flips of the timer before he needed to start thinking about making his way back.

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