VigilIt had been a long night. Longer than they were used to anyway... FurFoot was certain that, had she been conscious and coherent, his younger sister would have scolded him. Not only for risking the journey through the forest at night, but for letting the little ones stay up past their usual bedtime.Vigil by spotty-bee
Frankly, FurFoot wouldn't have complained, he only wished BeautyStem was well enough to do so...
They had arrived at the Outsider's home a few hours ago. It was still dark and BeautyStem was still asleep. She wasn't as fitful as she had been before and FurFoot was hoping that was a good thing. Perhaps it was a sign that the worst was over.
Or it was a sign that she had grown too tired to move.
He turned away from the stone BeautyStem rested upon to gaze up at the home's second level. He could see Mistletoad and The Outsider speaking quietly. She seemed a bit agitated with him, though she hadn't been to happy to see him when he arrived either. While FurFoot didn't know what had tr
In the coming weeks, Ragnarok found himself unable to stop from thinking of the battle he had witnessed. Hidden under his aunt's trembling form he could still see the hyenas swarming over his mother's lone figure, only to be torn apart in her mighty jaws. Of course all of them escaped, but they also were in much worse conditions than their prey. The next morning Ragnarok had awoken alone, as his mother had gone hunting early, before the heat of the day arrived. He hadn't known how she found the strength to hunt, let alone wake up after such an assault...
Yet then, as he grew older and wiser, Ragnarok began to notice more and more each day. Thinking back on event he couldn't help but question the actions of his other relatives. His aunt had watched everything while the attack had happened, not once going into the fray to help. Of course she could have been protecting him, Ragnarok supposed, but that left another...
His father hadn't done anything. While Fira was being ripped apart, Pingiriti had lain in the cave with his back to the entrance, chewing some strange plants....
While the attack was now long in the past, Ragnarok's thoughts and feelings remained jumbled.
This morning his aunt had been rather excited after bathing him. His spots were fading quickly and Chura decided that this was call for celebration.
“We'll have to get some food and have a little feast!” Chura smiled and ruffled the few hairs spurting up on her nephews head. “You don't lose your spots everyday. Maybe I can find you something to play with.”
"Like what?” Ragnarok asked, curious. Thus far he had been playing with a few tumble weeds that had wondered into camp, or his aunt's tail.
“Well, I'll see what I can find. Oh wait! I know the perfect thing! Oh you'll love it!” Chura smiled excited before tuning out of the cave. “Just wait!” As Ragnarok watched his aunt bound from the cave he couldn't help the sinking feeling he had. His aunt's ideas of fun and enjoyment were usually very disappointing.
Padding out after her, he quickly spotted his mother returning. She had a hare in her mouth and was stalking back to place it down with the two others she had collected. Ragnarok quickly made his way to her when she lay down to start eating her fill.
“Hello Mother.” He said when came closer, Fira winced as he spoke, swallowing her meat without properly chewing it.
“Egh! Ragnarok! What have I told you? You are to call me Fira, not mother. Not mom. And defiantly not 'mommy'. “ Fira glowered, pressing a paw to her chest. “I am to be respected by being called the title of my name! A name given to me by my own mother, Mnyama. I called my mother by her name all the time-”
“You just kept calling her your mother then!” Ragnarok pouted.
Fira stiffened, running a paw over her face. “Yes, Ragnarok... I did. I was 'referring' to her as my mother, NOT calling her that as a title. “
Ragnarok sat on his haunches and tilted his head, frustrated. “What's the difference?” He asked in a whining motion.
“The difference is-...Mmmmmmm...!!” Fira stopped her sentence and breathed heavily out her nose for a moment. She seemed to recollect herself tiredly before continuing. “ Never mind.... Just understand this. I am the leader of this pride, FIRST and FOREMOST! Then I am a proud warrior and, finally, at the very end I am your mother. I want to be called Fira because I am your leader first, and your 'mummy' second, do you understand?”
“I guess so.” Ragnarok nodded. “But Aunt Chura said-”
“Don't listen to that twit. Chura is an idiot and has no understanding of this pride's proud heritage. Our kind never calls anyone by relative titles, because we are proud of the name our parents have given us! They survived by using the heart of a killer and the skills of warriors! Not coddling their inner cub away in a cave and tending to 'boo boos' .” Fira snarled and looked out into the desert. “Our kind is proud of what we worked hard to achieve , Rangarok. Not what is given to us! You are given cubs easily enough! Just look at your father. Don't do anything worthwhile and he has you, but in order to live and see the cubs you may have, train them to be worthy of being your children, you must claw out a meagre existence, through pain and bloodshed!”
She whipped to look the cub in the eyes. “You were given me as a mother Ragnarok. You must prove to me you are worthy of the title my son! Until then be proud of your name! I work hard to live long enough to give it to you. The least you can do is respect me, and call me by my name.”
Ragnarok was silent.
Fira sighed and shook her head. “Well, what did you want? Don't tell me you just came over to interrupt me for no reason.”
“Uhh..” Ragnarok stumbled over his words for a second. “Well, see, Chura is going to give me a party because I'm losing my spots and I was wondering-”
“Losing your- Losing Your Spots?! Rubbish! Absolute garbage!” Fira snapped, she sat up quickly and glowered. “A celebration?! For such nonsense?! I suppose we'll hold a little get together every time you pass wind next!” Fira began to pace back and forth in front of her cub. “Losing your spots....pah! What did you do to lose them? Nothing.”
Ragnarok watched his mother gripe and turn back to her den, laying down in the shade.
“Losing his spots, humph!”
Ragnarok turned back just as his aunt rounded the cave, a bird clamped in her jaws. She smiled to Ragnarok as she set the bird down with the hares. “You excited? Look, I caught a bird so I can make a little feather toy! Your dad and I had one as cubs.”
The boy looked at his aunt before ruffling himself.
“I've thought it over and I think the party is a silly idea.” He said.
“Huh?” Chura paused, staring at him.
"Well, I didn't do noth'en to lose my spots, and I don't want to be babied!” Ragnarok said plainly.
“Honey, it's to show you not a baby anymore-”
“My name's not Honey!” Ragnarok said loudly. “I wanna be called Ragnarok and this party will make me a big baby, cause babies just get handed stuff! Soon 'nough I won't be able to do nothen' just like my dad!”
“Hey! Your father does plenty around here. He hunts, he guards borders-”
“He sucks at it! He let the hyenas in , then he just sat around on his bottom!” Ragnarok sulked. “Well I'll never do that! When we do have a party, I want it to be because I did something great, ON MY OWN!” The boy turned and scampered off.
Fira watched him leave his slack jawed aunt from her cave, smiling with pleasure at not only her son's moxie, but Chura's hurt expression.