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Moon Shadow shook the harshest of the white winds off with an afflicted whimper. Her paws—icicles lined with nails—winced in their impending numbness. Still, Moon Shadow ran forward. In the distant echo of dreams, she remembered what it was like to live in the world before the end of worlds. An illegally smuggled Arctic white wolf, Moon Shadow knew the love of her former masters before the new age. The tiniest of the humans reminded her of her own pups, tiny balls of white fur that she hoped to coddle until it was their time to hunt. Yet, the same masters took her pups from her, putting them up for the highest bidder to steal. Even after seeing more of the great North American continent than she had ever dreamed of in her life of relative leisure, Moon Shadow had seen no sign of her pups. She wondered if they were now grown with pups of their own. In her heart, she knew it was unlikely that they survived The Rapsys, or Opening of Eyes, as the street dogs of her former town rather poetically referred to this massive change that shook the very marrow of their bones.

While Moon Shadow considered herself a peaceful wolf by nature, a woowen-ken, or one who walks with nature, she had killed. Before her blue eyes locked on their prey, a rather pushy raccoon that threatened her masters with snarls and claws had its neck torn asunder in her mighty jaws. The occasional wild cat that crossed her path had fared no better. But when Moon Shadow killed, it was never in fear. It was always with purpose. The Harkening, or Great Slaughter, had come upon her with more robustness than the pups that ever so briefly sought her milk before they disappeared. Trusted masters everywhere turned their pets into authorities, and from even the most distant howls, whinnies, neighs, and hisses, Moon Shadow knew what the rulku, or killers, were capable of. Her eyes met her master’s and even as their little ones cried, Moon Shadow knew. Her fur stood on end, and in a brief moment, she saw the eyes of the rulku in her masters. She snarled, biting hands that no longer fed her. One of her former masters, the mother, no less—the one who, unlike her, had not lost her pups—screamed at the authorities. They turned their sights on her. Moon Shadow ran through the killing fields, making eye contact with the vacuous eyes of a falling prize filly as it crashed to the earth. She saw the ravens and vultures circling before flying off. And she heard the thunder of the crackling sticks the rulku held before she felt one of her legs give out in wordless pain beneath her. Had the filly not fallen when it did, had the whimpering, betrayed house dogs not collapsed behind her, the rulku would have killed Moon Shadow then and there.

Link: https://www.dantocking.com/2020/11/war-of-animals-pdf.html

- Hỗ trợ Dân tộc King -

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