98 Wolff Den Design
© L. David Mech
Used with permission


The Den

© T. L. SevenMornings


Her eyes fluttered as she woke from her dark sleep, she could smell the musky odors of her siblings, the lingering smell of her mother, though she knew already that she was not there.

As she woke she could now hear her two brothers fighting at the entrance of the den over a bone. She could hear one of her sisters kicking in her sleep, she could smell the new dust in the air from it....Her eyes slowly opened, just in time to see her two brothers barreling towards her. She squinted her eyes closed again just before they hit and rolled over her, fighting over a feather they had found. They rolled over to the corner of the den, the playing had stopped and the fighting had started, they were biting at each other's necks and ears, blood flowing down their legs and muzzles, rolling and twisting over each other.

Their little puppy growls finally brought in their aunt, who eventually had thought that enough was enough, stepping in. In a low growl, nipped them both, pulled them apart, then stepped between them. As she watched all this, the little female felt her sisters huddle up to her.

The den was warm, she sat back heavily on her pudgy little butt, rolling slightly to the side, looked outside at the stone lip and beyond to the forest...She jumped up and padded out to the entrance of the den looking around. Her aunt was laying on a rock, looking out into the forests below. Her brothers were fighting over the bone again, though there were several there. One of her sisters came up behind her bumping into her, she ignored it, they did it all the time. She took another few steps, then sat down looking in the direction that her aunt gazed .

She was the largest and the eldest of the five pups by more than ten minutes. She was a curious pup, but she loved to solve problems more than just look for them. She loved to sing, and when she would start the rest of the pups would chime in, that would usually start one adult or more to add their voice as well..

She climbed up on the rocks around the edge of the entry until she had found her special flat rock where she would lay on for hours.

98 Wolff Den Design

Her head laying on her crossed paws, she drifted in and out of sleep in the warm midday sun. She sat up suddenly, a beetle crawling up her paw. She jumped back, staring at it then lowering her muzzle, she sniffed it. The Stink-bug lifted it abdomen towards her, she flinched sat up, cocked her head to the side, shook it, sneezed then sniffed at the bug again repeating her motions. She nipped at it, rolled back on her hind quarters shaking her head, her tongue out, grimacing. Lowering her head to the bug, she looked at it with one eye, it raised to her face again and she began to bark at it under her breath, once, then again....The beetle suddenly charged at her, running between her forelegs. She reeled backwards, scrambling until she ran into the rocks behind her. The beetle kept coming, she rolled to the side trying to get out of the way, turning to face it again as it tried to reach the safety of the rocky cliffs. She batted it around with one paw, then the other, rolling it over just to watch it lift up at her again.

This went on for quite some time, one of her sisters, slowly climbed the rocks to see what she was up to. As her sister's nose rose over the edge of the rock, receiving for her trouble, a stink-bug retreating from her sister, running up her muzzle and between her eyes. She rolled over backwards trying to run away from this little attacker...

The female ran to the edge of her rock watching her sister fall down the rocks, taking her new toy with her. She lay at the edge, her head hanging over, her paws pulling her a little farther over, watching her sister have all the fun.


Chapter 2 - Lil One



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