Day 85 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about an animal family.
Erin: “I want to be alpha,” Luna declared and the group burst into laughter.
“Females have never been an alpha in our pack,” Kenite spat.
“Yeah, girls aren’t strong enough,” Freebie echoed in his preposterous tone.
“This exercise is about dreams not plans,” our professor barked. “Her answer is valid even if Women are not alphas of our pack.”
“I don’t care if Women are alphas of our pack,” Luna’s scream overtook the group and silenced them. “What I care about is if I Luna Camay Dinger will be alpha. That’s the answer that matters.” She ran off to who knows where and left the rest of the wolves curious for the answer as well.
Shannon: “Piper still can’t fly,” Dax teased, “Maybe she’s not actually a bird.”
“Shut up,” Piper broke herself free from under her brother’s mocking wing.
“It’s okay if you never learn. You can always stay in the nest with mom for the rest of your life,” he laughed.
“Don’t listen to him. You’re fine,” Willow argued, following after her. “You’ll get it eventually. Don’t worry if it takes you a little longer. Just keeping working on it.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know Dax is a jerk,” Piper grumbled.
“Dax is a winner,” Dax spoke in a manly tone, and his sisters gave him a disgusted look. “Whatever. You two are lame. I’m going to go out and be independent and do whatever the heck I want, because I can. See you losers later, or not.” He puffed his feathers proudly before hoping out of the tree and sloppily flopping his wing until caught a stride.
“He’s not the most gracefully flyer,” Willow observed.
“But he’s right. At least he’s flying. I can’t even let myself jump,” she hung her head. “I hate being last. It makes me feel like there is something wrong with me.”
“Who cares about first? Be better. Learn to enjoy it, because it’s a lot of fun when it’s effortless. I sense that you’ll be effortless,” she lovingly bumped heads with her sister.
“I hope your right,” Piper took in a deep breath.
“I know I am,” Willow stated with confidence, as she stood up a little taller.
Try incorporating less people and more animals into your writing.
We stalked silently after mama’s hooves, brother and I, through the whispering forest. Across a babbling stream and through a tiny glade full to the brim with emerald flowers, we did go. Ducking below willow tree branches that grasped for their next sunlit victim, picking our way around an enormous tree trunk dripping with olive vines, and stepping our spindly legs over a felled tree sticky with sap, we arrived at mama’s side at last. All around us, the space opened up to reveal a small pool of mysteriously undulating water below an immense tree lit up, in the bright daylight, by millions of fireflies.
Whickering gently, mama nudged me forward into the deserted clearing, where I waited with my tail flicking impatiently. Behind me, I could feel brother’s eyes staring at me without much interest; he never cared for what anyone else did if it didn’t explicitly involve him. Mother shorted shyly and nodded toward the tree. Suddenly the world was full of swirling dust and high-pitched voices that hovered about my head.
Everything blurred together, making my instincts kicking in and I bucked; I’m not proud of it, but I did it. I rose on my hind legs and whinnied at the terrifying beings around me, knocking them out of sync. As they scattered, one remained before me with an irritated expression on her miniature face. “Don’t be alarmed that you can understand me, young one. The others are simple beasts urged by their natural instincts, with a little shove in the correct direction, to bring you here,” she droned, her tiny voice echoing unpleasantly in my mind. But I couldn’t answer back, being only an equine.
I turned to mother, her huge doe eyes staring at me blankly, as she wandered away to feast on a particularly scrumptious bush. Behind her was my brother, his antlers sprouting gracefully into the sky. When I turned back to the small woman, her annoyed tone changed, “You, young one, are not a deer as they think you are. You are a unicorn, and must be very careful in the dark woods. Many creatures out there may wish you harm; you must not let them.” Fluttering close to my nose, she flicked my nose with her wand and more swirling dust flew through the air.
Hovering away from me, she instructed the dust to settle near the pond and it rested in the soft silt. Interested by the gentle glitter, I stepped forward with solid hooves, and sniffed at it gently. While I was there, I figured I’d have a quick drink of the clear water but found a surprise in the liquid. Gazing out of the pond was a stark-white horse with a silvery horn sticking out from its forehead. The creature appeared to be mimicking me as I leaned closer for a better look. When I turned back to the winged woman, she chuckled lightly, “That is you, young one. Be safe.”
As she disappeared so, too, did the mysterious glow of the fireflies, and the glade was cast into the faded tones of a forest. Staggering toward mama and brother, I was weighted down by the new-found horn that had sprouted from my head. Though it must have always been there, I’d never noticed it until that strange little woman did whatever she did. I called to mama and she glanced up from grazing, a twig sticking out of her mouth, and started back through the archway.
Throughout the whole way back to our usual grounds, I was attempting to see, or even control, the strange new implement at my disposal. When I accidentally ran into a tree, I was horrified until a dim glow erupted and blasted the bark to bits. Around us, birds took flight, squirrels chirruped madly at each other and wild deer bounded away in a panic. Mama resisted the urge to run as brother searched around for someone to fight; he was going through the over-protective stage of a buck’s life.
Gradually, the forest returned to normal and I sighed at my kin, urging them to continue on; nothing was out of the ordinary and we were safe. There was a strange connection between my adopted family and me. Truthfully, we’d never really clicked perfectly like the other deer did. I always figured I was an odd deer and there was nothing else to tell. As we stalked silently through the wild trees and shrubs, I let the truth sink in.
When we were finally home, the field we learned to graze just a few trees away, the other deer surrounded us like we were possessed. I’ll never understand the instincts wild animals have, and they’ll never understand my thought processes, but I could tell they weren’t happy with us. Whickering softly to the others, mama attempted to explain our situation; I don’t know that’s actually what she was saying, but I assumed. But the leader of our group stepped forward, bearing his fully-grown antlers, and any chatter ceased.
To this day, laying in a comfortable stable with my new equine family, I don’t know what the leader said, nor what mama replied. As soon as he got involved, I turned tail and bolted back into the forest to take my chances with the trees. Sure, I was taken in by a family of deer who nurtured me and took care of me until I was strong enough to take care of my own, but I couldn’t be a burden on them.
Out in the wilderness I eventually found a young maiden singing softly in a clearing, braiding her golden locks. I was helpless to resist her gently melody; but I didn’t want to fight the urge to go to the lovely woman as I could feel, my heart, that she was my destiny. While leaving my adopted family was hard at first, I came to adore my new one. I even have a young girl of my own to care for in the form of my owner’s daughter.
Created to Write:
August walks along the dirt road, taking in the scenery. His feet are tired, his legs are sore. But the familiar green slopes and occasional clumps of trees makes it all worth it. “It’s funny,” he chuckles.
Mocha looks up to his face from where she walks next to him.
“I never I thought I’d enjoy, even… maybe… prefer, living outside the city.” He scratches Mocha’s head, “And here I am, loving the view.”
Mocha barks and August gives her a bit of meat left in his sandwich. She pauses, chewing it, before running back to him. August looks up and sees the sign in the distance.
“If she’d be anywhere,” he whispers to himself. He forces himself to keep walking, and not break into a run. Mocha senses his apprehension, nudging his leg.
August sighs, then picks up speed. Mocha runs along with him, and suddenly, the sign is looming in front of him.
‘Morse Family Farm’
He walks through, Mocha sniffing the air. August goes first to the house, keeping half his attention on the entrance of the stable. The door to the house opens up and Andrew walks out. August lets out a breath and waves.
“August?” Andrew asks, then breaks into a run. He tackles August, “You’re here! You came back!” The younger boy cheers. August hugs him, ruffling his hair.
“Hey stinker, how are your grandparents?”
Andrew sits up, “Their good. My mom and sister are here, too.”
“Really?” August looks at the door as more people come out; Susan and Leslie. He tries not to show his disappointment. Both boys stand up as the girls walk over.
“August,” Susan says, offering her hand.
August takes it, “Mrs. Morse. I’m glad your family is healing.”
“It’s nice to be back to a place my husband loved,” Susan says, looking around, “I always knew this was a place he and Heather loved, but…” She sighs. Leslie gives her mother a side hug.
“I am so very sorry for your loss,” August comments gently. Susan nods. She wipes her eyes then looks at him.
“I heard you have been gone for some time.”
“Yeah, but I’m back. And I have had quite the adventure,” he adds, looking at Andrew. The kids light up. “Another day,” August assures. He looks at Leslie. “Hey Leslie, oof-” he groans as she collides with his stomach for a hug. “You’re getting taller,” he says. He pats her head, which is almost to his shoulder.
Leslie doesn’t answer him. August feels wetness run down his shirt. He crouches down, breaking her grip. Leslie is crying, looking at him. “Why isn’t Heather with you?” She mumbles.
August has no good answer for her. But before he can come up with something, there’s a bark from the house. Everyone turns to see Sammy trotting over. August holds his hand out and Sammy licks it. “I missed you too, Sammy.”
Sammy looks at Mocha, who hasn’t joined in the reunion. She even shied away from when Andrew tried to pet her. Sammy walks over slowly. Mocha watches him, then inches forward. The humans watch the dogs sniff each others butts. Sammy wags his tail, barking. Mocha barks back, still hesitant.
“Who’s this?” Susan asks.
“This is Mocha. She was with me for most of the adventure. She lost her partner from an explosion,” August says. Andrew kneels down and Mocha lets him look at her tag.
“Whoa! She’s from a military K9 unit!” Andrew says.
“I was hoping…”
“We’d be happy to have her,” Susan says.
“Sammy has an old bed she could use,” Leslie says, “I’ll go find it. Come on, Mocha!” Leslie pats her thighs, “Come on.”
Mocha starts forward, Sammy next to her.
*** (At least one year later)
Mocha is laying on her big bed in the kitchen, fast asleep, with three puppies climbing over her. Two other puppies are curled up by Sammy, who is watching over Mocha. Heather is holding the final fluffy puppy, already getting big, like his siblings.
“They’re adorable,” Heather says. August reaches down and picks up a puppy on Mocha. The puppy looks a little surprised at the sudden change in scenery and warmth. It wriggles in August’s hands. He pulls it close and holds it like Heather holds the sibling, but the puppy wasn’t having it.
“Wiggly little guy.”
“That’s a girl,” Heather says calmly.
“How can you tell?” August asks, looking at her. Heather motions to the puppies lower region, with the belly facing away from her boyfriend. August follows her gaze. “…Oh.”
The two humans turn to look at Mocha, who’s growling lowly.
Heather eyes August, teasing, “I think it’s best to put the puppy down.”
August sets the puppy on the floor, who scampers back to her mother. Mocha calms down. Sammy nudges Mocha a little, then settles down with his head over her neck and shoulders.