Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hunting (Cecil, 1)

Cecil squatted carefully, his feet poised on the trunk of a recently fallen tree. He braced himself on the remaining upright stump and leaned forward slowly until he could reach the soft dirt below him with his fingertips. He brushed the paw print of his quarry and lifted those fingers to his nose, sniffing them.

Satisfied, Cecil clicked his tongue twice, and behind him, a pair of noses followed closely by bright eyes peeked out of the underbrush. He shuffled to one side to give them access to the print, and then waved his hand. Go, he urged wordlessly.

The pair dodged around Cecil and continued their pursuit. He sat there a few minutes more, listening to the world around him, until the yipping of Sita's successful catch brought his attention back. He homed in on the sound, and found himself at the edge of the forest.

The old boar had put up a good fight, but Rama and his sister were more than his match, and he lay fallen in the long grasses of the prairie. Sita was still full of energy, and she bounced over Rama, trying to get him to play as he lay patiently guarded, waiting for the all clear.

Not a fan of wide open spaces, Cecil pulled a small clay flute from beneath his shirt and blew a long, deep note, extended his left arm, and waited. Shortly, two large crows landed on the arm, and he ticked his head toward the clearing and clucked his tongue once.

Huginn on the right fluffed his feathers, bumping into Muninn and disturbing his balance, who then turned and headbutted his brother. Cecil hissed at them and threw his arm forward, and they petulantly leapt off to secure the area. The moment they returned, Cecil stalked out into the long grasses, denying the pair a perch; instead, they fluttered around, just above his head, bickering not unlike some human siblings Cecil once knew.

He knelt beside the boar, and with a patient tenderness, stroked the fallen animal's forehead, whispered thanks for the hunt and the sacrifice, and finished the kill with the sure stroke of his sharp knife. Cecil then stood, hefting the dead animal onto his shoulders, clicked his tongue twice more, and led his pack back into the forest.

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