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The winds whipped across the northern lands where two snow leopards found themselves. They were not native to of this northern area they found themselves in and wished to get turned around. It appeared to each that the wind and the terrain separated them from their sought after home.
Now these two snow leopards were from the same area of the world. They actually knew of each other, but they were not together. Actually they were not even friends. Ice Lynns was a beauty. She had a beautiful white coat. Ice Lynns was very aggressive and kept her welfare above all else. Jasmine, however, was more friendly. She had mothered several young cats in the past. Her coat was not a beautiful as Ice Lynns, but she prided herself on being fair. Neither of them could roar, but they did manage some hisses, chuffing, mews, growls, and wailing.
Now by a freak winter storm they found themselves trapped in this land of isolation. But as they traveled around aimlessly to find their way home they saw something unique. There were two lands of the north that were connected by ice during the coldest part of winter. It was at this time that the two snow leopards made their way over the icy bridge to a land not known to them.
Once the snow leopards arrived to the other side of the ice bridge, they met creatures new to them. As they hide in a snow drift, they watched as these local animals interacted. It became apparent that the varied lives of these native animals did not make them all friendly to each other.
Chardon was an arctic fox. Not being a very large animal, he was very flexible and would pounce on small animals that moved under the cover of the snow. But he was not the only creature that loved small game. Sophia would swoop down from the air. Because of her mostly white feathers, she would come almost unseen until she grabbed her prey and flew away to consume it. Sophia was an arctic owl. Many times Chardon would find his meal only for Sophia to snatch up right from him as he brought it out of the snow.
Other animals of this area, new to the leopards, were a wolf named Qwade and a polar bear named Madina. Now this wolf usually travels with his friends but the same winter storm had separated him from his pack. Qwade’s ability to hunt caribou was severely limited by him being alone. He would have to build an alliance with someone to hunt with.
Ice Lynns and Jasmine observed the fox. He followed the great white bear who was strong, large, mean, and loved the seals that she caught in the cold icy waters of this region. At first Madina, the polar bear, kept turning on Qwade as he tried to follow her into her hunt. But as long as he feed on what was left after she moved on, Madina seemed to tolerate Qwade.
Ice, wind and snow did not bother any of these animals. Not even the creature called a guard. He was also separated from his own kind and looked so very cute, but was so very mean. He had sharp teeth to capture his meal and did not care much what that meal was. His name was Connell.
Now after the snow leopards observed these animals of this northern land they had traveled too, they set their plans in motion. Ice Lynns was out for herself and left Jasmine on her own. She traveled down to align herself with one of these animals. At first she tired to befriend Madina, but the polar bear was already tolerating Qwade shadowing her, so she became very upset when Ice Lynns tried to join the caravan. Then she stalked Qwade at a distance, but always kept the guard in her view. Ice Lynns whispered, “Both these animals can suit me for my hunting. They both seem to be out for themselves as I am. This is a good start.”
Jasmine liked the same food, but was not willing to start a confrontation for it. She decided to slowly befriend Chardon. Although his food target was much smaller, she could satisfy herself with it without starting any kind of fight. It seemed that all of the animals were all wary of each other.
As these animals found a comfortable tolerance of each other, a new interest and different animal approached the area. She was quite dark brown so she could not hide in the snow drifts. When she approached she let out a great roar and show her nasty teeth. But this brown bear was completely out of place, even more out of place than Jasmine. It was Jasmine’s decision to try to befriend this bear. It would not be easy, but she could use her powerful muscles to help her find larger game. So to that end, Jasmine went over to the bear. First she approached very cautiously. As she approached, it was obvious to her the bear was very scared and knew how conspicuous she was. Jasmine reached out, “Hi brown bear. My name is Jasmine. What is your name?”
The brown bear was tentative. She replied, “I am known as Izzy.”
Jasmine inquired, “You don’t look like you are from around here. Neither am I. My home is far far away and I need a friend. You look like you need a friend too.”
Izzy replied, “Yes you are right, I do not belong here either. I am a small female grizzly and don’t fit in with the others. I am small for my kind and don’t seem to have that mean characteristic that others of my kind have. Finding an area that I can fit in has been hard for me.”
I will stay with you for now to see how we get along if that is ok with you?”
Gratefully, Izzy responded, “That sounds like a good idea.”
Now during the long day of this area, animals still needed their rest.
During this rest something unexpected happened. The snow started to fly up in the wind with a great deal of force. Sometimes hurting as it touch the animals, it was blowing every which way, making it impossible to see. Izzy laid down and Jasmine covered them as best she could with her furry tail. Ice Lynns and Qwade ended up curling up together to brave out this strong wind. Madina didn’t care and just kept to herself. There was no sight of Sophia who was probably finding shelter elsewhere. Chardon found himself snuggling up with Jasmine and Izzy. Connell, the guard, had no problem with this weather as Madina didn’t and just kept his squited eyes open.
When the wind settled down, in the mist of them was a dead caribou that the wind had uncovering in its fury. Immediately Madina took it over. Qwade, Connor and Ice Lynns tried to gab some of the meat for themselves.
Madina stated with a roar, “This is my caribou. I will not share until I have had my fill.” Madina tried to keep Qwade the wolf, Connell, the guard, and Ice Lynns away. As hard as she tried, it was impossible to keep track of all three as she ate. Although she tried her best to dominate the caribou, it was impossible to keep them off her prize all of the time.
Sophia returned to pester Chardon for his tasty finds beneath the snow.That left Izzy and Jasmine starving with nothing to eat.
Out of the shadows of one of the mountains nearby came a very strange sight indeed. There was a snow sled that was slowly coming closer. It was moving to slow for a pack of dogs to be pulling it and the sled was weighted down with something. Jasmine watched Madina. Just as she expected, Madina was keeping her eye on this new prospect of food, but was unwilling to leave her current feast. Next Ice Lynns and Chardon also took notice. They could smell what was the in that sled, more caribou. Jasmine new this was trouble. She ran over to the sled and saw that a man was pulling it himself.
She announced herself saying, “Hi, it would seem you have brought yourself into danger.” By this time Izzy was next to her.
The man yelled back, “Yes I can see that. I was hunting and my dogs were caught in that storm with no shelter. I’m afraid they did not make it, getting buried in the snow. I don’t know you, but the rest of these animals would be happy to take my caribou off my hands. They would probably like to take a taste of me as well.”
Jasmine offered, “My friend here will not hurt you and we both can protect you, but we are hungry too and would like some of your cargo. We don’t want you to get hurt, and will protect you to the best of our ability if you let us feed or not.”
The man responded with a question, “Why would you do that for me?”
Jasmine and Izzy answered together, “Because it is the right thing to do. You are an innocent in this food war that seems to be going on.”
Qwade and Ice Lynns were approaching the sled from different directions. They slowly made their way making a path of a circle, pacing around and around the man and his sled. They were waiting for the right moment to attack. Soon Connell decided that this looked like fun and joined the group. Sneers and growls came from the three attackers.
Qwade said to his fellow attackers, “This feels like when I would hunt with my extended family of wolves. This is great!”
With all the notice and tension surrounding this scene, Madina decided to leave her dinner and watch as this attack unfolded. She spoke out loud to herself, “I wonder who will be left after the fight. Surely I can take some of this for myself”.
Once Madina started to pay attention, Chardon turned his attention to what was going on. It seemed to be two against three with the polar bear waiting to be backup on her own behalf no matter which way things went. He found a way in to Jasmine and Izzy and said to them, “I am little and can’t do much, but I will help you defend this man.”
Izzy and Jasmine nodded to acknowledge Chardon joining them.
It seemed that the fight was about to start. There were many places for the attackers to get to the sled and the man. Ice Lynns made the first move. She moved closer to the man and started her attack saying, “I can take this group, all of you, on my own. I need no help.” Then she pounced on the man.
Immediately Jasmine leaped into the air to put herself between Ice Lynns and the man. The two snow leopards started to fight each other with all the force they had. This left Izzy to take on anyone else that choose to attack. It was soon Izzy fighting Connell and Qwade. Chardon tried to help by nipping at the feet of the arctic wolf and guard. He did what he could.
This attack grew loud as the fighting became even fiercer. Jasmine seemed to be getting the better of Ice Lynns, but in one move this good hearted cat was put down, bleeding from her belly. She could not get up.
Madina was thinking of grabbing the caribou while every one else was busy, and drag it over to the other one that she had been feeding on. There she could defend all the food for herself for days, but there was no opportunity for her to do so.
It was at this very moment, when the fight seemed hopeless for the man, Izzy, Jasmine, and Chardon when over head you could hear Sophia. Of course she did not like Chardon much. Nor did she care who came out as winners in this fight. But all this noise disturbed her peace and quiet. As long as this stupid fight went on, she would not be able to hunt or sleep. Sophia shouted, “You all need to stop!”
Ice Lynns looked up and responded, “How can you, a mere bird, stop me, a mighty snow leopard, or an arctic wolf’s cunning. You are helpless.”
Well Sophia was not put off by these words of defiance and responded with confidence, “I am not a mere bird. I am an owl. Just meet my friends.” The skies filled up with owls and all other kinds of birds that lived in this region.
The birds were all tired of the land locked animals’ arrogance. All the birds snipped and pecked at the attackers with great frequency, weakening the fierce snow leopard and arctic wolf and guard. Even though the guard had done much damage to the man and the grizzly, it did not seem to be enough. Connell had thought this would be a short and victorious fight, but now he was changing his mind saying so that Madina could hear, “It seems that this battle is turning out to be more than it is worth. I am going to turn away. This is not fun anymore.”
With that Madina and Connell returned to the dead caribou to eat. This made Ice Lynns mad and she shouted sarcasitcly, “You gutless animals. How can you give in so easily? What happened to the great force of the polar bear?”
The polar bear responded, “I don’t care right now, I have all the food I need right here.”
As this was going on the attackers got caught up with themselves. The man emptied the sled of the caribou went to Jasmine’s aid. He had a first aid kit and was able to stop Jasmine’s bleeding. The man even managed to clean and close her wound. The he lifted Jasmine into the sled, with Izzy’s help. The man pulled and Izzy pushed trying to get Jasmine away from the fight, leaving the caribou behind. The man said, “Nothing is worth this. I will feed my family in another way.”
Qwade and Ice Lynns just stopped. They had had enough of the birds lead by Sophia. It was just too irritating to continue. They let the man move away with Jasmine and Izzy. Instead of feeling defeated they just started feeding of the second caribou that the man had left behind. As the noise stopped, so did the attack from the sky and Sophia, along with her friends, flew away.
Now Chardon did not know what to do. All was calm, so he decided to just pouncing again on mice that he found under the snow as if nothing at all had happened, Chardon did mutter to Jasmine, “I hope you get better.” Other than that, Chardon just kept to himself doing his thing.
It did not take long for the man to direct the sled and his new companions to his camp. There fire and water were available, and everyone just stayed quiet and rested back to health. Of course Izzy was not injured that badly. So after a day the grizzly disappeared from camp. Everyone was sleeping so much they really did not notice. The next morning Izzy returned with a large caribou that she had found. All three feed on it and soon the man took his share and returned to his family. He was very grateful to have survived and to be able to bring food to his family
Izzy said to Jasmine, “We make a good team. We are both away from home. Maybe you would like to travel a bit south of here and find a place to call home with me. What do you think?”
Jasmine answered “Yes, I would like that.”
So when Jasmine was able to travel, the two new friends, with very full stomachs, traveled south and found a forest that suited both of them. It is said that anyone who travels through this forest can hear them hunting and playing together. They take care of each other without hurting any one or anything with out cause. Some say they hear in the forest Jasmine say, “Hey Izzy where are you? Let’s go over to the lake for a drink?”
Then Izzy would be heard responding, “Ok, I am always thirsty and like the fish that live in the lake too.” No one actually saw the snow leopard and the quiet grizzly, but everyone knows they are in the forest and offer no danger to anyone that travels that way.
It is also said that Ice Lynns found her way back across the ice bridge the next winter and made her way home. In any case, she was never heard from again.
By D. Scozzari