(This story was an entry for Clue #7 in the 2013 Treasure Hunt -- see the collection for related stories and images! )
Author's Note: The idea for this came from reading about and seeing a video of the "drumming" noise that the male ruffled grouse makes when defending his territory.
It started slow, then quickly gained speed, like one of Moss's drums starting to sing as he got into a rhythm. Boom...boom...boom…boom!Boom!Boom!
Thornbow quickly crouched down in the tall grass he was passing through, pulling an arrow carefully and quietly from his quiver, his eyes on the dense streamside growth not far away. His eyes strayed to Thief, ready with a mental call, but it was not necessary. The wolf was already alert, nose to the ground as he warily circled. Snuffling, he padded silently around before pausing by a thick bush. Thornbow nocked his arrow, holding the smooth shaft lightly between his fingers. A brief pause to be sure Thornbow was ready, then with a grin the only sign of his intention, Thief pounced. A great crashing sound broke the silence as small brown bodies rose from the thicket. Thornbow rose swiftly, drawing his bow in the same moment, the tip of his arrow following the arc of the fleeing grouse, then leaving his grip with the rifled air of the passing fletching like a sigh against his cheek. One of the grouse fell abruptly, as if plucked from the sky, and Thornbow ran to claim his prize.