Otatso Wetlands 2 "if only the day would linger."
Wild Fauna

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Limit Two 
Finding the way out of the valley had been tricky. Grandmother had to build up the nerve to move during the day rather than in the total darkness of night.

It would have been easier with a guide, she thought. Better, though, to go without. The only beasts she had made contact with so far were the resident rabbits... And that hadn't planned out for her.

The last tendrils of daylight were receding quickly now. The wet smell in the air reminded her of spring showers, except stronger. The further she went the softer the ground felt, until she was palming watery mud.

Grandmother blinked her beady little eyes and then rubbed them with her fists, as if that might remedy her piss poor eyesight, and then with a frustrated huff she began to gallumph towards the nearest dark shape.

It wasn't moving from what she could tell, so good chance it was a patch of woodland which would suit her fine as a hideaway.

The faster she went the more pronounced her scowl became, until the final lurch caused her to slip against the mud and go flat on her face with a squelch.
*Low Speech (that of lesser creatures) denoted by 《these》!
Lone Wolves

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Oh gosh, had Dragonfly seen Grandmother's mud-eating flat-face fall he would have probably laughed like a slap-stick figurine and given her TEN points for the free fall. Then he would have checked to see if she was okay (or get his nose bitten off instead), which was also quite a possibility due to his naive and often over-friendly spirit.

And, in fact, that nose-biting could still happen...

"Y..hello...?" Dragonfly said, slowly, softly like a whisper as somehow, in someway his curiosity had gotten him into trouble (yet again). There he was all alone inside the wetlands, a spooky place where nobody with a faint-heart should wander. Only afterwards did he wonder if it was truly a very smart thing to call out anyone because who knew what stirred in these forsaken lands?

His call was answered when he heard sounds from nearby. His ears twitched to listen closely as he was sure the sound wasn't originating from any wolf. It was -- at that moment in time -- Grandmother fell with her face flat in the mud. From a short distance, however, the movement and the sounds startled the alabaster-white wolf. Sadly he hadn't seen the action or knew the sound originating from Grandmother. Instead...

protectively he tried to look as fierce as he could. Trying to ward off whatever monster this was, he began to speak with a shaky voice. "D-don't eat me. I taste like dandelions that withered off last spring. Yucky. Slimey. Gooey. G-go away."
Wild Fauna

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Poor Grandmother. She was stuck against the ground. The mud cuffed her cheeks and went up her nose. When she did finally pry her face up and away, the mud was everywhere. Her black mask was now brown and it extended across the whole of her pointed little snout.

Another push and her chest was free. She felt the softness of the mud give between her digits. The black of her hands and wrists now became shiny and brown to match. The plush fur of her belly was reduced to a skin-tight cling, giving her the look of something flattened, at least on her ventral side.

Grandmother tried to blink the mud from her little eyes, to no avail. Then she rubbed at them with painted fists, teetering around on her hind legs, propped up by her thick-set tail. Grasping at air. When a voice came booming from around her she did not stop. She had been alive for many seasons and she had yet to meet a friendly dog, or to learn its language.

In her state of defilement the raccoon looked more like a bog monster's baby. She could not see where she was going, and so she waddled with arms reaching, straight in to the path of the wolf. As she reached and grasped she hoped to find something to use as a cloth, and grasped at something soft that draped from above — this, she promptly dragged across her face.
*Low Speech (that of lesser creatures) denoted by 《these》!
Lone Wolves

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Basic survival skills 101.

There was this ..this ..by his mind dubbed as THE THING coming at him! In what kind of horror movie was he stuck? Oh dear. Well, he could have been a good dear-look-alike as he gasped, shocked and looked like a dear blinded by lights. This thing, it slowly started to come at him, closing the distance and stepping forward while a mud-mummy with waddling arms. All that this mud (grand)mummy missed was a knife, a fork and a spoon for it felt like was next on the menu.

What could he do? WHAT could he do? His heart pounded in his chest, kaboom, kaboom, kaboom. While every second counted, his mind froze and many options ran out of time. His mouth remained closed even if he wanted to scream, he couldn't. Maybe he should have said something along the line of being poisonous as it was a good nature to fend off predators. It was doubtful that that would work though.

Was he about to fight? Naw. Flee? No, nope. Freeeeeze? Nope, nope, nope. There was only one thing he could do, Dragonfly figured; if you can't beat them, join them. He would become a zombie, mud-monster THINGIE. And thus, stepping slightly backwards and creating more distance between them -- the once white wolf began to roll through the muddy wetlands ground. Dirt, mud, and everything dirty clung to his fur like a moth to a flame. All sticks, muddy and stones while barely any bones (or so he figured). The only thing he lacked was some kind of soft cloth to stick to his face. But those paws ...man, they began to waddle.

If something would have looked silly, this would be it.
Wild Fauna

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The kerchief she thought she held was pulled from her grasp. The momentum of the shifting body made her teeter all over again. First forward, stooping, and then backwards as she tried to right herself. A slap of her tail kept her from falling over but only barely. Her arms wheeled out on either side until finally, Grandmother found a solid base with her bottom planted in the mud.

She blinked her eyes again. Balling a fist, she rubbed the bits of mud away. The drapery she had used had been a sheet of coarse fur - not that she knew this - but it was gone now. Before her eyes a white shape fuzzed in to being, but it was recoiling from her, then rolling in the mud.

Grandmother could not believe what she was seeing. Mostly because she could barely see it to begin with - her peepers were decidedly not great for distance - and with the patchwork of mud upon its body, the dog did not look so much like a dog anymore.

《Whozzat?》

She snorts, and a fat wad of mud shoots cleanly from one of her clogged nostrils. As she sucks in a fresh breath of air she puffs up a bit, but does not rival the size of the not-dog.

《Can you at least point me at a bit'o water? Dontcha have any heart, creature!》

But, Grandmother knows better than to wait for help. Stand yourself up by your tail-stripes, as her mother used to say, and all that. She waves him off and turns to find her own way, except that her tail doesn't move much, and that trips her up good.

Down she goes, again.
*Low Speech (that of lesser creatures) denoted by 《these》!
Lone Wolves

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#6
Maybe, just maybe monsters weren't scary; they were simply misunderstood creatures who favored the shadows as a place to dwell in the darkness. Maybe, just maybe all those scary stories told to us by (grand)mothers weren't true. Monsters were to be cherished, albeit from a slight (and safe) distance of course. Just this one time he would be one of them, a monster (and a cuddly one at that). Pshaw.

Like Grandmother, Dragonfly could barely see what was going on. It was impossible to grasp the situation with a clear and understand mind. What he did see, this muddy (grand)mummy monster trying to keep her balance as bits and pieces of dirt flung off her into every direction, like a water canon that couldn't miss. It appeared as though she too was trying to make sense of it all. Maybe, just maybe monsters favored shadows because they couldn't see clear during daylight and the rays of the sun were too bright. His train of thoughts were lost however once..

SNEEZE.

His ears flung backwards and he yelped for a second, trying to figure out if this was a monster ATTACK. But it wasn't. In fact, it even appeared as though the muddy monster was about to leave when she tripped once more and fell. His heart cried for a second as he felt the need to help (even if she might not feel the same way ..and there was a chance his nose would be bitten off).

Moving towards her gently, Dragonfly's urge to help out caused him to bent his mud-stained neck downwards into her direction. With his dirt-covered nose he tried to touch the muddy monster, as if offering his assistance in case she needed it. And then, just then, before giving her a choice to react he gently nudged her with his nose.

It was almost as if saying: okay, I am not scary.

Those next moments counted. How would she react to this act (of kindness)?