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Worth · 200


This is a rework of something I did a while ago.…

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This is a rework of something I did a while ago.

      There had been nothing more he could do, he thought. No matter how often you tell the young, some things must be learned from experience; the weight of words means nothing.

      "Late again, youngling," Grandfather growled. "Late is..."
      "I know, I know," Toothsome Bounder ducked under his elder's snout. "Late must be avoided, late is rudeness, late is...."
      "Late is getting caught, killed, and skinned for your pelt."
      "... and it brings disgrace to the family. I know, I know," the youngster rolled his brown eyes.
      "Not that you'll care," Grandfather arched an expressive brow. "You'll be dead."
      "Ha! I'd like to see the human that can catch me!" Toothsome Bounder howled triumphantly, then bounced off a nearby rock, caught off-guard by the older wolf's well-placed blow.
      "It's not the humans you have to watch for, silly cub. It's the traps they set, the snares they lay. It's the poisoned game they leave just so. It's..."
      Toothsome Bounder shook himself from tip to tail, then shot a superior look at his dam's sire. "It's nothing I haven't heard before, Grandfather. And," he nuzzled the old wolf's shoulder, "I promise I'll be careful."
      "See that you are," Grandfather commanded. "Let's join the rest of the pack."

      Grandfather recalled the snap of the steel jaws, the bark of shock from his favorite grandchild, the whines of pain, silenced once the humans had found their prey. There had been nothing more he could do, he thought. No matter how often you tell the young, some things cannot be learned but from experience; sadly, experience is the cruelest teacher, and oftentimes, the pupil does not survive the lesson.

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