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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 26th day of Eating, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 1 > New Series > The Strangest Lupe: Part One

The Strangest Lupe: Part One

by Tdyans

Carrow trotted briskly through the forest undergrowth as thunder rumbled in the distance, the dark clouds approaching on the horizon obscuring the fading light of the sun. The twitching of his ears was the only sign that Carrow even heard the thunder as he rushed to get home to his den. His mate had given birth to her litter the day before, and he was anxious to get home to his new family before the storm broke. He smiled at the thought of the tiny pups-- two hearty boys and one sweet little girl. They were little more than balls of fluff right now, but his heart had melted from the first moment he saw them. Already he knew that he would do anything, anything to protect them.

He was pulled out of his thoughts suddenly by a strange sound below the bellowing thunder and howling wind that grew ever closer. It was a small sound, and he might have called it a whimper, but it had a stranger, tinnier quality to it than the whimpers of hungry Lupe cubs that he was used to. As he looked toward the direction of the sound, he saw the bushes rustle. Cautiously, he approached, prepared to bolt at any sign of danger, but he did not really feel that whatever was making this pitiful noise could harm him. He sniffed hesitantly and then stuck his head into the dense foliage. There, huddling in front of his nose in the middle of the bush, was a tiny yellow Eyrie.

Carrow quickly lifted his head out of the bushes and looked around him. He didn’t want to chance an encounter with one of this child’s fearsome parents. He stood alert, absolutely still and silent, for a few moments, but there was no other creature around. As he studied the area more carefully a picture of what had happened began to form in his mind. There were Eyrie paw prints scattered all about the clearing, thrashed bushes and tree trunks raw of bark, and here and there a torn Eyrie feather-- signs of a struggle. And then he made out, amongst the many Eyrie tracks, something that put him even more on the alert. It was the print of a Monocerous. He sniffed at the track. The scent was faint; that was why he hadn’t picked it up before. The beast was long gone by now, but most likely it had taken the little Eyrie’s parents with it also, for good.

Carrow stuck his head back into the bushes to look at the tiny hatchling again. Visions flashed through his head of two Eyries hiding their small son within the safety of the bushes and then turning bravely to face the Monocerous, knowing that they would never win. He remembered his thoughts of earlier about his own children, about how he would give his life to protect them. The Eyrie’s parents had done just that, and now the poor thing would wouldn't survive anyway without them. Carrow realised that as these thoughts had been racing through his mind, the scared little creature had sidled up to his face. Its crying had stopped and it snuggled up to his cheek and looked up at him expectantly. Carrow smiled at the little Eyrie, but when he suddenly realised where his thoughts were heading he bolted up out of the bush again. No, he couldn’t. The baby followed him out of the bush and rubbed up against his foot affectionately. No, the pack would think he had lost his mind. An Eyrie? Suddenly, a clap of thunder boomed overhead. The little Eyrie clung to him even closer and squeaked when a fat rain drop hit him square on the forehead. Carrow looked down at him again, seeing his own tiny, helpless children, and knew that his mind was made up. He reached down and grabbed the Eyrie in his teeth by the scruff of it’s neck and headed onward toward the den as the rain began to hammer down.

Jansa looked up toward the cave’s entrance worriedly as another beam of lightning flashed close by. The rain was coming down as though someone had scooped up the river and dumped it over their forest, and Carrow should have been home by now. She longed to go after him, but looking down at the three beautiful, helpless pups snuggled up against her belly she knew that she could not leave the den. Just as she began to look away though, a familiar figure finally appeared in the small hole in the cave wall. “Oh Carrow, where have you been?” Jansa asked quietly, so as not to wake her cubs. “I’ve been so worried.”

Carrow didn’t answer and Jansa noticed that he had something in his mouth. He stood in the far corner of the den and furiously shook the water from his crimson fur. Then he walked over to his mate, dropping the tiny bundle of fur and feathers from his mouth. The little Eyrie hit the ground with a squeak, rolled head over tail a couple of times, and landed just in front of Jansa. Carrow came and stood over it, and then said a bit sheepishly, “I found something.” Jansa just watched in amazement for a moment as the little Eyrie, obviously already attached, nuzzled up against Carrow’s big paw.

“Oh my goodness, Carrow! Where are his parents?” she asked. At hearing her voice the hatchling looked up from Carrow’s paw at her curiously and then darted over to meet this new Lupe

Carrow lowered his voice. “He was alone Jansa. There were Monocerous tracks, and...” he trailed off, knowing that he needn’t say any more for Jansa to guess at what had happened just as he had. “I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t just leave him--”

“Of course not,” Jansa said, already licking the tiny Eyrie clean. She paused and then continued, “We’ll have to keep him.”

The look on Carrow’s face was exactly what she had anticipated. “Jansa, you know we can’t do that! He’s an Eyrie. They’re dangerous.” Jansa looked at the sweet baby Eyrie whose eyelids were beginning to droop and then gave Carrow a skeptical look. “What about the pack Jansa? They’ll think I’ve gone crazy. They’ll never accept this.”

“The pack will understand Carrow. You’re a good leader. They trust you.” She looked at the Eyrie again. “Besides, even if his parents are still alive, they won’t take him back after he’s been touched by a Lupe” She looked up at Carrow, seeing in his eyes that he was beginning to resign himself to her decision. “You wouldn’t have brought him here in the first place if you didn’t believe it was the right thing to do,” she finally stated.

Carrow sighed and smiled a little. “You’re right. I just needed you to tell me that it was,” he said, bending down to nuzzle her nose. He scooted the now-dozing Eyrie over next to their three pups against Jansa’s warm mustard-coloured fur. Then he circled around behind her and lay down, resting a paw and his head on her shoulder so that he could look down on his new family. Though he still felt some apprehension about their latest addition, he couldn’t help the feeling of contentment that washed over him, and just before he fell asleep, he heard himself murmuring, “We’ll call him Stranger.”

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

The Strangest Lupe: Part Two

The Strangest Lupe: Part Three

The Strangest Lupe: Part Four

The Strangest Lupe: Part Five

The Strangest Lupe: Part Six

The Strangest Lupe: Part Seven

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