Note: Before you read this, you might want to read Cassipaw's
Cassipaw dejectedly packed her suitcase and sighed. She
couldn't believe she had to leave her pack! She had always thought she could
count on them. They had been there for her through thick and thin, and her them,
but befriend a Chia and they forget it all! Cassipaw miserably looked out the
window into the rain. What an injustice! It just wasn't fair.
She put some furniture onto a large cart she
had fashioned. It was a broad maple slab with handles and round rocks attached
as wheels. Crude, but it'll work, she thought. She didn't load a whole lot of
her stuff on, though, since she had no idea where she would live. If she had
enough room, she figured she'd come back for the rest. She draped a sheet over
the top of the cart.
Obviously, she couldn't live in Jackie Jo's village,
because most the Chias there wouldn't come near Cassipaw, unbelieving her attitude
had changed and saying it was a trap. Only Jackie Jo's closest friends ever
talked to Cassipaw, and even they were cautious. But it was a nice little place
and the Chias there weren't so snooty as city Chias usually were… but no.
I can't turn the Chias against Jackie Jo like that, Cassipaw told herself.
They'd naturally blame her for me living there.
So Cassipaw packed up her stuff in boxes (putting
some of it into a little pack) and loaded them onto the cart with the furniture.
She put the pack on her back and took one last look at her house before turning
off the light, sighing once more. She pushed the cart out the door.
Cassipaw could feel her pack's eyes on her as
she pushed the cart down the path. There was silence except the rain falling
and the howling wind. She walked out of their territory without looking back.
The wind and rain had started to die down as Cassipaw wandered around, back
and forth, but could not find anyplace to stay. Sure, Lupe forest is a gigantic
place, but Cassipaw just couldn't bring herself to leave the area she had grown
up in. She went even outside of it a few miles, but couldn't find anything.
As she looked over the forest, it grew darker and darker.
Finally Cassipaw had had enough and decided to
make a shelter to spend the night in. She pushed the cart up to a huge pile
or rock and boulder and took a corner of the sheet on top of it and tucked it
under a rock near her head, kind of like a fort little pup might have made.
She took another blanket from a box on the cart and put it under her 'fort'.
She laid on it and faded into sleep.
Cassipaw woke up to the sound of a Peadackle call. She yawned and stretched,
then folded up her blanket and put it back into her cart. She took down her
'fort' and got ready for another day of home-searching, but heard someone calling…
"Cassipaw! You out here?" It was Jackie Jo!
Cassipaw stiffened, but shook herself out of it and hid the cart. If Jackie
Jo knew Cassipaw had been kicked out of her pack because of her, she would insist
Cassipaw move into her village, and that would just get Jackie Jo in trouble.
After Cassipaw had hidden her cart satisfactorily,
she came out and called, "Over here!"
"Hey, so what's up?" Jackie Jo asked.
"Oh… not much…"
This went on a few days. Cassipaw would sleep outside in her makeshift tent,
then hide it and spend the morning with Jackie Jo, using the rest of the day
to look for a house. But eventually, Jackie Jo realised something was up. So
she decided to investigate…
"Bye!" said Cassipaw.
"See you tomorrow!" Jackie Jo called back. She
walked behind a tree and out of sight, and watched.
"Hmmm… here we go!" Cassipaw said as she got
her cart out from a little rut in the ground. "Now, let's see...." She looked
around, and pushed her cart near a river. "It would be nice to live near some
Live near some water? But… that meant she
had nowhere to live! No, that's ridiculous, Jackie Jo told herself.
Cassipaw's pack would never abandon her. Unless…
"No," Jackie Jo whispered. "Cassipaw!" she called.
Cassipaw froze up and looked behind her to where the noise was coming from.
"Um, I'm just, heh, ummm…" Cassipaw racked her
brain for an excuse.
"I know. But it's my fault and--"
"No, I can't," interrupted Cassipaw. "It's not
your fault. It's their fault that they can't be more accepting of Chias like
you and your family. And all the other Chias in your village!"
"Well, I guess Chias aren't always accepting
either. Only a few of my friends will even come near you!"
"Most your village already ignores you just
for the fact you're friends with a Lupe. So if you want to help me, help me
find a new house."
Jackie Jo looked at her strangely. "What, don't
you like the cave?"
Cassipaw's eyes widened. "Cave?"
Jackie Jo laughed. "What, don't you even realise
where you are? Remember?"
"Remember what?" Suddenly it hit Cassipaw. The
river nearby, the cave--the pile of rock she had been camping on! It was the
entrance to the cave she had been trapped in! "Oh, you're right! But it's blocked
"Except for the tunnel, and I can get some Chias
to help break through where the rock-slide was." Jackie Jo smiled. It would
be great! She had been in the cave before too, and knew it would be just right
for Cassipaw. "Well, let's get you unpacked!"