Arrow Lake Deerly Departed
All Welcome  April 14, 2018, 03:09 PM
Wild Fauna

         It had been an unexpectedly bountiful day for sharp-eyed little weasels.
         The treacherous freezing fogs that had stolen upon them in the night did not seem a very auspicious beginning, but although Nynka had grimaced and hissed to herself as the weather wormed its way past the front door of her burrow, once she had slithered out and gone bounding across the landscape she had been able to keep warm enough. It didn’t do her nose any favors, still, but she made up for it with the sharp, darting glances she shot all about her as she trampolined across the landscape at a brisk little pace. Most of the other small animals were huddled safe and warm in their burrows still, however, and at first Nynka had thought the morning was a bust. She’d begun to toy with the notion of heading home and curling up for a refreshing nap herself.
         But her luck had very definitely turned, if at the decided expense of another unfortunate creature, as was so often the case. It was rare for a little weasel to get more than a small taste of the larger prey available in the environment, a couple scavenged mouthfuls stolen from insufficiently attentive larger predators. Nynka had mainly been keeping a lookout for such portable creatures as rodents, small birds, …even a torpid lizard or snake might do, though it seemed unlikely any were stupid enough to leave their hidey-holes this morning. But imagine her glee when she rounded a corner and instead saw below, in the bottom of a smallish ravine that was the furthest, smallest finger of the looming mountains above, the pristine carcass of a small deer, one that Nynka didn’t have to fight off anyone else for at all.
         This was not, however, likely to remain the case for long, so Nynka descended at a heedlessly headlong pace down into the craggy bottoms, skipping nimbly around the curves of a small stream sluggishly trickling through and its skirts of crumbling ice. The deer had likely been quite young, and stupid and incautious itself; one leg was crumpled under it at a fearsome and unnatural angle, as was its neck. It hadn’t been dead very long, but the cold water had both helped to preserve it and make it more difficult for interested parties to smell. Nynka bounded eagerly over and gave the carcass a once-over. The leg was more than broken, in fact; it had caught at a most unfortunate angle on a rocky protrusion, and the ligaments and muscle of the underside were nearly torn away entirely. Unfortunate for the little deer, that is, but very lucky indeed for the weasel who had stumbled upon it first… This particular confluence of events was not one she was likely to see in her life again, she figured, and so without hesitation she seized upon this opportunity whilst it remained.
         Quite literally. The ice was extra-cold and a little slippery under her feet, where it creaked ominously, but she was on it for barely a moment before skipping agilely to the nearest snow-glazed rock instead. She perched there with her back feet and with forefeet and teeth seized upon the nearly-torn leg. She gave it several mighty tugs, at last flinging her whole body whiplike up into the air in the effort, and the last piece of connecting tissue started to tear. Even so small a deer has a leg a few times her size, of course, but that wasn’t going to stop Nynka. Several more vicious yanks, and the leg pulled free, sending her tumbling end over end backwards into the powdery snow as it flew up and away. Nynka righted herself in a flash, leaping up and grabbing the leg between her teeth more firmly yet somewhere roughly in the middle. It stuck out ridiculously long to either side of her mouth, and wobbled somewhat precariously, but she didn’t give it an opportunity to fall again before she was bounding off back toward home with her newfound loot. She moved swiftly and smoothly enough back up onto the ridge and along the open fields, though bobbling a little bit side to side herself with the weight of it, but when she got a little ways into the scattered trees was when she began to encounter more trouble. The limp hoof thonked into its first tree and arrested her momentum. She dug her teeth in deeper, jinking sideways and then forging determinedly forward once more. This course of action worked well enough until she ran into two trees in short succession, bringing her up indignantly short. She squealed in muffled frustration as she tugged hard upon her prize, but the trees fought back, this time: the stupid haunch of meat had wedged itself there pretty solidly. Not fair! Nynka battled with the woodsy betrayers in rising anger: no way she’d let them win this tug-of-war!