The moons had just risen, but the fading daylight gave the woods the little extra lights. Snowfall didn’t really need it and didn’t care. Her soft pacing could barely be heard while the wind touched the leaves high above the silent elf.
Carefully, she made her way over the mossy grounds heading in a very special direction; she didn’t wander from her path once. She was carrying a very precious object in her hands, which she kept close to each other. It was its time to leave.
She had found the little bird by accident, after a successful hunt when they already were on their way back. While she could be as fierce as every other hunter, she couldn’t stand the sight of this small creature suffering from a broken wing. So, she had brought it with her and had taken care of it as she’d done several times before. After all, birds this small barely fed a cub. It was unnecessary to kill off a creature when it could be flying around soon again.
Her lifemate had grumbled as he had always done, as long as she could remember, but as always, she didn’t care much. She loved her lifemate, but knew well when she had to ignore his – sometimes completely unnecessary, in her eyes - behaviour.
“Nature gives and takes, Snowfall. The bird has a broken wing because nature takes it back. It’s not our decision to make.”
Snowfall stubbornly watched her lifemate as he tried to make his point. “I’m also a part of nature, and I choose to help it. If nature wants to stop me, she can try. At least then I won’t have the feeling I could have done something about it.”
True Edge sighed deeply, knowing that it would be impossible to convince Snowfall of another opinion. “All right. But no moping around when it dies anyway.”
Snowfalls lips had curled in a smile, stating she would not 'mope,' before hugging her lifemate.
A soft squeak came forth from her hands, and she smiled. “Just a little while longer,” she whispered gently, softly caressing the little creature she held in her hands.
She’d always been like this; wolf cubs and birds mostly, but other animals too. This bird had been particularly hard to resist, because it had been terribly afraid. She had used a small bird cage – a basket turned upside down, actually, to keep the bird in, and had sent Crackle to find worms and other insects the bird could eat. It was amazing how cubs always liked to do the dirty jobs, and Crackle had found it fascinating how the bird swallowed an insect almost in one whole piece.
The cub took a large worm between her fingers and studied it closely with her head slightly tilted. Then she slowly moved to the cage. Snowfall had told her not to approach fiercely because that would give the bird a heart attack and although Crackle felt excited, she tried not to show it. “Here birdee,” Crackle said with a voice that was too loud.
Snowfall observed from a short distance, following Crackle’s every move. With a satisfied glint in her eyes she watched the cub approach carefully. The bird still didn’t like it, but seeing Crackle try was humorous as well. “Here, birdee,” the cub squeaked again, “it’s a nice yummy worm for you! Look, you can eat it!” She lifted the worm. “Mmm, nice little worm.”
“No! Crackle – stop…” No use, the girl didn’t listen, and Snowfall leaned back. She saw what was going to happen but didn't intend to stop it further, so she let the cub try. There wasn’t any harm in it anyway.
Crackle put the worm in her own mouth, her eyes enlarged, she swiftly turned to Snowfall and she spit the worm out. “Yugh! That’s nasty!”
Amused, Snowfall leaned forward and plucked the worm off the floor between her thumb and index finger. “That’s because it’s not food for you, but for the bird.”
Crackle, who was still making faces at the worm and trying to get the taste out of her mouth, mumbled, “Why can the bird eat it and why can’t I?”
“We’re different from birds. We don’t have a sharp beak, we don’t have wings… do we?”
The girl giggled. “No,” she replied, imagining her parents with sharp beaks and wings.
Snowfall continued: “Deer eat grass. Do we?”
Crackle shook her head.
“Every creature has its own food. You tried bird food and you didn’t like it. Here now, let’s feed it to the bird, shall we?”
Crackle inspected the worm one last time and put it in the cage afterwards. Then, she got on her feet and swiftly disappeared. “Mommy! I ate worms!”
Slowly, the bird had calmed down and although it had taken quite some time before the wing had fully healed, it eventually had. Now it was the time to let it go again.
Snowfall stopped and tested the air, watching the familiar surroundings. The last sunbeams touched the leaves as she looked up. “Look, you’re home,” she quietly spoke. She touched the soft feathers for one last time, before she opened her hands and stretched her arms.
With a wide smile at her face, she whispered, “You’re free.”
The bird spread its wings and tested its first flight in freedom once more. Snowfall watched it until it had disappeared from her vision and then, she turned around, making her way back to the holt.