Noble padded forward with his head raised his eyes scanning the ground. He sniffed the air in hopes of catching even the faintest scent of prey, but he detected not a trace. He wrinkled his nose in frustration. This season was one of the harshest yet, at least that’s what his father reported. He glanced over his shoulder to see that his family was moving away. No one seemed to notice that the six-moon-old pup was not among them. Noble stood up on his back legs, wobbling a little as he used his tail to balance. He scanned the crowd for his guardian, his older sister Petal. She was so focused on foraging that she didn’t even glance in his direction.
Noble dropped back to all fours, the beginnings of a scowl lining his face. How could they forget about him? Was finding food more important than looking after him? He shook his head and prepared to stride forward, his shoulders squared proudly, to rejoin his family. That’s when he glanced up and saw the raptor bearing down on him.
It was so close that he could make out every shade of gray feather along its wings and see the triumphant glint in it’s cold blue eyes. It’s four taloned foot reached for him. He had no time to run. The talons wrapped around the top of his face, one claw piercing his cheek. He felt hot blood mat his fur as the raptor tried to lift him with its one-footed grasp. He opened his mouth to scream as pain exploded in his head. The bird was still struggling to lift him.
A sudden surge of anger gripped Noble. He would not die this bird’s prey, forgotten by his family, and all alone. He lunged forward and sunk his canine teeth deep into the wrinkled and scale-like skin between the raptor’s toes. With a mighty shriek the raptor released the pup and flung itself into the air. Noble heard murmuring around him as his family raced over, but he was losing consciousness. His face a bloody mess and unable to open one eye, Noble finally allowed himself to rest. He would survive the attack but must live with the scar.
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