Chicory sat by the edge of the pond, waiting. She hoped to see the great grey-blue birds again. She had spotted this particular pair — new to the area — the day before, just before sunrise, and she wanted to watch them. It would mean staying up longer than usual, but that didn’t bother her.
Nearby, Sleuth whined a little. She shushed the pup, and sent an image of what she hoped to see. Sleuth’s ears perked a little, and she bounded over to where Chicory sat and plopped herself in the elf’s lap. Chicory laughed a little and absently stroked the cub’s head. This pup had a lot of energy, as most cubs did, but Chicory wondered if it wasn’t unfair of her to ask her wolf-friend to sit silently by the pond. Deciding the cub should be free to roam, too, she whispered, “It’s all right. You can explore a little.”
Sleuth looked up and yipped. Chicory hurriedly glanced to where she hoped to see the birds and breathed a sigh of relief that they hadn’t come yet. She didn’t want Sleuth scaring them away before she could really watch them. She waved the cub off and watched as Sleuth took a few steps, sniffed, then bounded off.
Chicory turned her attention back to the pond.
The sun was rising and the birds had not come. Chicory wondered if the pair had flown off. It didn’t surprise her, though she was a little disappointed. She called out for Sleuth.
Moments later, a grey face poked through some bushes. Chicory gasped as Sleuth appeared carrying a large croaker. A sigh of dismay escaped as she knelt to face her wolf-friend and take the “gift” she had brought. Chicory knew that the cub had meant well, but she also felt saddened by the loss of the pond creature. As she was holding the frog and considering it, Sleuth nudged her hands a little.
Chicory didn’t want to reward Sleuth, but neither did she want to discourage the natural instinct to hunt. She patted Sleuth’s head a little, but then turned from Sleuth and sat down. Sleuth whined a little from behind her and moved toward her lap. Chicory ignored the cub and did not let her in her lap. She knew she had to do something with the croaker, but she wasn’t hungry, so she dug a hole in the mud.
Sleuth thought it was a game and tried to help with the digging, but Chicory gently nudged her away. Sleuth sat back on her haunches, watching as Chicory buried the frog. Once she was done, Chicory stood to return to the Holt and motioned for Sleuth to follow. Silently, they went home.