Stone Circle Why is the [water] gone?!
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#1
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Steph had gotten up early that morning and gone on rounds to help protect and mark the border. She had gotten into a routine of patrolling at least once a day, but not usually at any particular time. She didn't want anyone to be able to predict when she might be at the borders.

Thirsty, she headed into the heart of the territory to the main river. When she got there, her brows furrowed as she looked at the level of the water. It was noticeably lower than it had been the past week. She stepped down into the muddy bank that was usually submerged and lowered her nose to the water to see if she could detect anything different.


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#2
Merrit had gone to the river today with plan and purpose in mind. Ma had told him that father was sick, which meant he had to spend a lot of time resting, and a lot of time holed up and confined in the safer areas of the pack.

Today, he wanted to find a way to cheer his father up. Merrit had seen an interesting quarry the last time he'd come to this stretch of the river, and that was what brought him here now. The heavy stench of mud and fish lifted through the cattails, and he wound through their thick stalks until his paws grazed the slick ground on the other side. He readied himself for the shock of water, but instead his found his toes gracing - 

Mud? He furrowed his brow. Hadn't the shoreline lapped with water right up to the river reeds? A dark stretch of sodden dirt separated him from the river's edge, and he turned and meandered down the riverside, his prize momentarily forgotten as he surveyed the thinning stream.

Eventually, he picked up his sister's familiar shape bent low in the bank. He hopped down and joined her, lowering his neck to mimic her movement and sniff at the mud himself.  "Why's th'water nah'here?" he queried, and expected that she would have the answers, like adults always do.
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Valette had been rather worried when Brynn had told her about the level of water of their main river. Valette wanted to check it out herself. As she got closer to the river one of the little side streams was not more than a tickle. The female frowned as she stepped into the mud. The stream was never really big but not it was non-existent. The female quickly trotted up the stream to get to the river. There was luckily still some water but not as much as there had been a week ago.

Valette sniffed the water. It was less but the quality was still the same. The mother lifted her head when she heard Merrit. The alpha female trotted downstream towards the sound of her son's voice. She found Steph and Merrit. They seemed confused as well. "Brynn was right. The water level is quite low," she commented to the both of them. "It has not been raining for a while but that couldn't really be the cause of this. What do you guys think?" she questioned. She knew Merrit was still young but she wanted to involve him into the conversation.
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#4
Merrit's form distracted her for a moment as she turned to face him. But, it was too obvious to hide the fact that the stream was low, and he picked up on it immediately. She frowned as she looked back to the water and shook her head.

Her head swiveled when she caught sight of their mother. It seems they weren't the only one that noticed. She took a deep breath as she looked up river, thinking about Valette's question. Her wheels were turning, trying to figure it out. They'd had lack of rain before, but it never caused this. You think maybe something is blocking the river up stream? she asked, turning her head back to Valette and Merrit.

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone ~Geothe
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#5
Merrit tipped his head at Steph's lack of knowledge, surprised that she didn't have an answer. Even mother didn't bring a reason for the water's sudden decline, yet at that, he paused. He had begun to realize that sometimes the adults asked him questions they already knew the answers to, and he wondered if his mother was doing this now. That had to be it, and Merrit quietly tracked Steph's glance up the river.

His sister gave a good thought, and slowly, he nodded his agreement. "I made water stop," he mused, remembering when he'd stepped in a small trickle of rainwater and had caused the water to pool around his toes instead of carrying on downhill. Maybe that was happening now, but surely no one's paw was big enough to stop a whole river! He narrowed his gaze, and thought out loud. "Maybe a bison fell asleep in the water." But he couldn't remember if he'd ever seen a bison in the forest before, and his thoughts fished elsewhere. "Or... maybe Greyback," he said slowly, and turned to find his family's approval. Yes, that felt a lot more satisfying. The large man was probably almost as big as a bison, after all, and more than capable of blocking a river.
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Valette nodded at Steph when she spoke about something that might be blocking it. She thought about that herself. Merrit joined and gave his opinion as well. Valette's brows raised when her son told her that he made the water stop. She wondered where he got such ideas or how he would even manage to do so. He didn't seem to elaborate. The mother chuckled when Merrit thought a bison might have fallen asleep in the water. Valette smiled. That reasoning was adorable. Valette laughed when Merrit changed the bison idea into Greyback.

Valette could imagine how big a bison and Greyback would look for the child. "Merrit," she chuckled. Though she realized that her son wasn't making a joke but was quite serious about it. "I don't think Greyback would make the water stop," she then spoke. He would be too kind for that. 'But good thinking, Merrit! Perhaps we should follow upstream to see if Greyback is really there sleeping?"
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Steph couldn't help but snicker when Merrit suggested that Greyback was the one who was blocking the flow of water. He certainly was big enough. Though, it was more plausible that it was a bison. The wolves seemed to take care of the old and sick, so Steph wondered what could have caused it to fall in the first place.

Her gaze moved to Valette's when she suggested that they move upstream to see exactly what the cause was. I think that's a good idea, she agreed. She turned to head in that way, her gaze waiting to see if Merrit was going with them.


The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone ~Geothe
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#8
They laughed at him as he spoke, and Merrit frowned. Laughter hardly seemed the appropriate response; as far as he could tell, this was serious, and nothing worth laughing about. Was the situation actually funny? Or were they laughing at him? He found himself chilled at his mother's praise, and offered her a hollow stare. If she didn't think Greyback was in the water, then why were they going to check for him at all?

He stayed by the riverbed as his family moved upstream, until he caught his sister's glance. Only then did Merrit rise to follow, letting the coldness roll from his shoulders, but neither taking back his suggestions nor amending them. So what if he was wrong. They would find their answers soon enough.
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#9
Valette noticed the frown on her boy's face. It didn't seem to reason with the boy that they were laughing. The mother hoped he didn't feel too bad about it. Valette started to walk upstream but the river stayed rather the same. It wasn't really improving as they walked further. Valette's frown deepened. The alpha female started to trot a bit faster as her nerves and curiosity grew. She noticed that they were getting closer to their border.

"It must be outside the territory," she spoke as she stopped by they scent markers. She looked a bit worried to Steph. Because she was not sure how much they could enforce outside their territory. Valette's eyes then fell to Merrit. She didn't really want to continue further as she wouldn't want him outside of their territory being this young.
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#10
Steph's laugher faded as soon as she realized Merrit wasn't laughing along with her. Was he seriously concerned that Grayback was blocking the river and that something had happened to him? She dropped her muzzle in an attempt to nudge him. I didn't mean to laugh at you, she said softly, hoping he would forgive her.

Steph turned to follow Valette, but she looked back to make sure Merrit was coming, too. She stopped alongside her mother, mirroring her concerned look. She understood the look to Merrit, too. He was too young to go outside the borders. I can stay here if you want to go look, she offered, hinting that she would stay with her brother.

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone ~Geothe
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#11
Though Merrit was a headstrong child, and more removed from his emotions than others his age, he was not unforgiving. When wrongs were admitted, he much preferred to let things lie than to dwell on things that made him and others feel bad inside, so he received his sister's apology with an open heart, even if his only visible display of reception was a gentle bump in return.

They moved all the way along the riverbank until they reached the invisible divide between the familiar and the foreign. Here they stopped. The river continued unobstructed for miles, but visibly low, and even when he squinted he could see neither bison nor Greyback blocking the stream. So he had been wrong, but that left him unfazed. Now that they were here, his defunct theory paled beneath the mystery of the unknown that lay before them still. "I wan'ta come," he said with a firmness to his words and looked to his mother, then to Steph, hoping for their agreement.
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#12
Valette shook her head to Steph's suggestion. Valette wouldn't want to go alone to head out to this problem. She would want Steph to go with her, but Merrit was too young. Too much could happen to him. She would go later with a group of other wolves to find out what was wrong with the water. "No, we know it is outside of the territory, so let's find others to go with us," she spoke technically to Steph.

Valette smiled at Merrit. "Look at you tracking with us," she praised. "It is getting late, we should head back," the mother decided. Valette already decided to head out tomorrow, and make sure there was a good babysitter with the pups. She knew Merrit was probably not going to like that but it would be for his own safety.

Everyone make a last post so we can wrap this up?
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It seemed Valette would not being going at the moment, and Steph frowned when Merrit said he wanted to go. She hated seeing him turned down, but understood it was for his protection. That was something he might not learn for a while. She made me stay at home, too, when I was your age, she admitted to him, though her tone was not cross. She hoped Merrit would realise that he wasn't alone in being made to stay, and maybe that would make him feel better.

Valette suggested that it was late, and to head back. Steph turned to do so, and then suddenly attempted to bump her nose against Merrit's shoulder. Race ya! she announced, hoping he would be up for it.

When they returned to the den, Steph would likely sleep out under the stars.

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone ~Geothe
Sunny is allowed in all threads, open or private, created by Steph