"I spy something blue."
Snowflake’s ice-blue eyes flashed from tree to tree, bush, water and continued scanning the surroundings. "The sky! River! Flower!"
"No, no, and no." Snowfall laughed cheerfully while concentrating on the object she had spied, and the cub tried to find whatever blue thing she meant. The game was not just for fun. It taught her cub, Snowflake, to focus on details as well. Snowfall had noticed her daughter’s restlessness a while back, and she found it necessary to make her focus in whatever way possible. Snowflake liked spending time among the wolves more than spending it with Fadestar or even the rest of the tribe. She already imitated the wolves and managed pretty well. But like the wolves, the cub seemed to live completely in the Now of wolf thought, so Snowfall found it necessary to teach her to think as well.
For a while now, Snowfall was concerned about the cub. Elf matters didn’t seem to matter much to Snowflake, and sometimes she had more resemblance with wolves than with elves. Although Snowfall knew as any mother that it was natural for cubs to be distracted often, it was as if Snowflake wasn’t really interested in being an elf.
Snowflake was an introverted, emotional cub who couldn't focus long on one particular event, so Snowfall needed to make it exciting for her. "Look harder, Snowflake. It's not that hard."
The cub pouted. "But it is! You always spy such difficult things, mommy. I can't see them!"
Snowfall tousled the cub’s white hair. "Yes you can, love. I know you can."
Snowflake tried again. "Are you sure it wasn't the flower?"
Snowfall shook her head with a smile, and Snowflake narrowed her eyes to catch whatever blue object she had missed, until Snowfall decided to give the cub a small hint. "You have to be quickly now, otherwise it's gone."
With renewed confidence, Snowflake scanned the trees. "The bird!" she exclaimed, and with pride she turned around to her mother. Snowfall laughed, watching how the startled bird flew off, because of the cub’s cry.
"You're good at this game, it's not fair," she teased, and the satisfied, almost arrogant look in the cub’s eyes made her laugh even more.
Snowflake also snickered. "I know," she stated. "And I'll be the best of the tribe! And then I will be become the best hunter. And the best archer. I will be the best in everything!"
Pushing her long hair to her back, Snowfall shuddered slightly. "I hope not. Then where would I be?"
"You'll be an elder telling stories about how you used to be the best," Snowflake declared with some triumph. “And then, you can tell stories about how good I am!”
"Why, thank you." She tickled her daughter until Snowflake couldn't stand it any longer after which she jumped at her mother, her fangs shown in a playful way. Snowfall fell backwards in the long, wavy grass nearby the river and rolled over until Snowflake sat on her belly again.
"But don't worry," the cub giggled, continuing the talk, "I'll make sure at least some people will listen to your stories. I will make them listen!"
Her mother smiled. “That’s nice of you. That way they won’t forget about me when they’re looking at you.”
Snowflake wrinkled her nose. “Well, not everybody’s going to listen, of course. I’m going to hunt with the others. Listening makes hunger, right?”
"You're too shrewd for your age," Snowfall smiled warmly.