Freedom, Love and Loyalty Part 3


Lily woke to Splash nudging her.

“Its your turn to stand watch.” Splash whispered into her ear, aware of Leap snoring softly in her nest.

“Okay” replied Lily.

She padded into the clearing and sat down listening intently for signs of movements in the grass. Lily shivered from the fierceness from the cold, and attempted to fluff out her fur but was pushed flat by the wind. Splash never mentioned this weather. No wonder he wanted to switch thought Lily. Lily snapped her head, hearing a rustling sound, she crept carefully aware of the twigs lining the ground. The rustling grew louder and Lily continued. She was four paw lengths away when something jumped onto her back and flattened her to the ground. Lily tried to scream out but her voice was muffled by a paw blocking her mouth. Weight was finally taken off of Lily’s back. She twisted around and saw another otter looking at her quizzically. “What was that for” snarled Lily. The other otter tilted his head.

“I was just playing.” answered the otter.

“You call that playing! That was more like attacking.”

“I’m sorry.” The otter stared at his paws. “My name is Thunder.” he murmured. Lily suddenly felt bad about her recent outburst.

“Well it’s nice to meet you Thunder. How about we start over, my name is Lily and I come from the zoo.”

“The zoo?” Thunder asked quizzically.

“The zoo is a place where a collection of wild animals like otters are placed just for show I guess.”

“Oh. Well I’m from up the ridge.” Thunder pointed towards the ridge with his tail. A rustle from the grass made both otters turn around. Splash burst from the thick tangle of grass and crashed into Thunder. “Lily, run!” yelled Splash. Leap appeared beside Splash and held Thunder’s head with her paws.

“Wait! He’s a friend.” yelled Lily, desperately trying to make them stop before any damage could be done. She raked her paws with sheathed claws and dragged her paws on Splash’s back in an attempt to get Splash off. He finally gave up and got off of Thunder. But damage had already been done. Tufts of fur lay on the ground and Thunder was bleeding from several scratches on his cheek. Lily bounced off of Splash and hurried over to Thunder. She crouched down beside him and licked his scratches. “Leap, get me some cobweb and dock.” ordered Lily. Leap hurried off. Lily turned back to Thunder and licked his scratches with soothing licks. A small amount of the bleeding had stopped but a majority was pouring out. Moments later Leap came back with wads of cobweb and a few dock leaves. Lily grabbed the dock leaves and crushed them into a mixture. “This might hurt a bit Thunder.” Lily murmured into his ear. Thunder moaned in response. She applied the mixture on his scratches and could sense Splash watching her with disbelief. Lily didn’t care, as long as Thunder was okay she would be relaxed and calm. She turned towards Splash. “We need to carry him back to our camp.” said Lily

“I’m not taking a otter we’ve never met to our camp.” snarled Splash. Lily did her best to keep calm but could feel anger bubbling up inside her.

“He’s not a stranger, I just met him 7 minutes ago before you attacked him.” Lily answered. “And I have to keep an eye on his scratches for infection.” Lily stared at him..

“I agree with Lily, you did attack him for no reason. He wasn’t doing anything to her.” Leap backed up Lily. Splash gazed at her for a moment and Lily saw defeat in his eyes.

“Alright. But if he makes one wrong move he’s going to get it.” Lily sighed.  Splash started to move towards Thunder, he lifted his head gently on his back while Lily grabbed Thunder’s tail. Leap slid under his body. The otters headed back to their make-shift camp. Lily padded backwards into her small den where they scooped out paw fulls of wet mud to make the curve. “Gently set down his head here and lay the rest of his body down gently.” instructed Lily, she watched Splash and Lap intent;y making sure that they were doing it exactly the way she wanted. Leap set down his tail and backed off. “can I talk to you for a minute Lily?” asked Splash. Lily nodded her head in response. She checked on Thunder for the last time until she was satisfied that he was okay. Once they were out of earshot Splash spoke.

“How long until your friend is fully healed?” questioned Splash.

“It depends on the scratches, the ones you gave him were pretty deep so I would guess about 2 days before they fully heal.” answered Lily calmly.

“we leave in one day and I don’t want to delay. I would suggest that we leave him here with a few dock leaves and be on our way.” warned Splash.

“What if there’s infection, he won’t be able to take care of that.” prompted Lily.

“Oh well, the only problem we are facing is finding a new camp to call home.”

“I never new you could be so careless. I bet if you were in Thunder’s paws you wouldn’t want us to leave you behind.”

“I-i” stuttered Splash. Lily had a satisfied look on her face.

“I guess it’s decided then, we are not leaving Thunder behind. Unless of course you can carry on yourself, we can simply pick up your scent trail.” suggested Lily.

“What! NO, we stick together no matter what happens. I don’t want to hear you say this ever again.” yelled Splash. “I guess we can delay for a bit longer until Thunder fully heals.”

“Alright, goodnight Splash.” The otters parted their ways. Lily curled up in her nest and gazed at Thunder. He was snoring softly with his tail napped neatly around his paws. “Goodnight Thunder, get well soon.” And with that, Lily drifted off to sleep.    To be continued…

Part 4 coming soon