Broken Antler Fen It's much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poise and rationality
Brecheliant
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All Welcome 
A rabbit had her sole focus. It had rushed from a secret thicket near the den and sparked an unavoidable need to chase within the naive girl. It was an instinct she knew little about—she couldn't harness it or use it to her advantage; she was only under its control and she propelled herself forward after the creature.

She pushed her muscles harder than she ever had before, begging them to carry her faster across the fen without any idea where she was actually going. All she could think about was the fuzzy white tail of the rabbit a short distance ahead of her.

It ran for its life, and she followed closely behind, the pair moving across the imaginary border. But then the creature disappeared as if by magic. Hymnal skidded to a stop, her sides moving in and out frantically as she tried to catch her breath. She moved slowly with her nose to the ground, hugging the border but still just outside of it. She would find the little rabbit again—for some reason, she just had to.
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Apparently Bridget had disappeared. It was so abrupt that it seemed wrong, but Maia also did not know the other medic all that well. She was pretty outgoing... maybe she'd just gotten bored here. That was a pretty rude way to leave, if she had, though... and Maia was annoyed by it. It would have been nice for Eljay to be able to have a break without needing to worry about no medics being here. At least they had the Caldera to fall back on if anything really went wrong.

Anyway... there was a trip to look forward to. Maia smiled thinking about it, though she hated to leave the children, even for....

Hymnal sped past, in the distance, flashing by and breaking that train of thought. She was on the heels of something. Maia sprinted forward to try and catch a glimpse, but by the time she had gotten there, her daughter was sniffing at the border. Wow!! You were flying! It was amazing she hadn't caught what she was chasing! Seeing her in motion was like watching Wraen run. Maia had never been able to catch her either.
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Her focus immediately shifted to her mother when she heard her voice, and she trotted over to her with a grin and a waving tail. I was trying to catch something, mama, but it got away. Her face crumpled a little with obvious disappointment. It was faster than I am. 

She gazed up at her mom, curiosity filling her wide eyes. What's the fastest thing you've ever caught?
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Oh, Maia was caught by the crushing disappointment in Hymnal's expression. Then her eyes widened. Oh!! Oh, honey, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to mess you up, if I... you know. If she'd realized that Hymnal was trying to hunt she would have definitely kept her distance!! She should have assumed that probably from the chase, but she... didn't know what she had been thinking it was, actually.

You had to have been close! I... Actually, she wasn't sure. Maia thought on it a minute before continuing. She wasn't really much of a runner or a hunter, so combine those two and you had a pretty bad time for her. Deer are pretty quick, but when you have a group, it's not really about catching up. So I guess, maybe, a rabbit? She looked over the border, where Hymnal was looking a few moments ago. Was that what that was?
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Hymnal quickly shook her head. Oh no, don't worry, mama, it wasn't your fault, the girl assured her. I was close for a little bit, but it was too fast for me. Maybe when she was older and had longer, stronger legs.

Mom began to tell her of deer. How they were fast and required a group to catch them. Hymanl's eyes widened in wonder. I want to see deer! she exclaimed. They sounded cool. And she wanted to be able to catch them with a group someday. 

I don't know, mama, she replied when asked if it was a rabbit she was chasing. What do they look like? she was impressed that mom had caught a rabbit before, maybe that meant she would be able to catch one eventually.
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Oh, that was a relief! Hopefully Hymnal wasn't saying that just to make her feel better, but Maia saw nothing but open honesty in her reply.

Rabbits are the ones with the long legs and ears. Occasionally they'd have them, and Maia was surprised by the question before remembering that they hadn't been eating that way for long. Sometimes it felt like they were growing too fast and sometimes it felt like they'd always been this grown up.

They're almost impossible to catch just by running. It's easier with a partner, so you can corner them. Or if you can find a warren. Actually.... she wondered if the old warrens near the eastern border were still a thing? She hadn't attempted to hunt a rabbit in a long time, it felt like, since fish had been easier and closer to home. Maybe she could show Hymnal.

I might know a place, if you wanted to see? Hymnal was faster than she was, and if she could get one running, maybe her daughter would be able to intercept it. It'd be good practice either way!
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Long legs and ears. Hymnal thought she remembered her parents bringing them something like that to eat sometimes, but she had never really known what to call them. Ohhhh okay, she said, nodding her head. 

Mama went on to explain that they were fast and usually required a partner to catch. This sounded like a lot of fun. Hymanl wished she could do that right now, or that she had a partner earlier when she had a rabbit in her sight. 

So when Maia mentioned that she might know a place they could find more rabbits and asked if she wanted to go, Hymanl jumped up. Yes, please mama. I would love to. The words came out in an excited rush, and she could barely stay still in one place.
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She was so glad she'd thought of it! Her delight mirrored Hymnal's, but then she remembered that she'd actually have to find something and show her daughter how to catch it. Both of these things were wayyy harder than they seemed and she... was just going to try her best.

Yes!! She hopped up and waited for Hymnal to join her, then began to jog in the direction she remembered the rabbits to be. It's kinda cold, but there were warrens all over this hill. Maybe we'll get lucky.

She was only lightly winded by the time they reached the spot, but she took the opportunity to walk a small circle and try to spot out any burrows. There! See that spot? It's kinda easy to miss, but there's one of the burrows. It was a subtle hole, partially hidden by the undergrowth, but it was a good example of what to look for. Wonder if there's anything in it.... She looked at Hymnal encouragingly, her smile a little playful. If she wanted Maia to be the one to dig, that was totally fine, but this was her hunt. Maia was here to offer pointers but she wouldn't take a job her daughter wanted.
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Hymnal trotted excitedly at her mom's side as she led them to the place where they might find more rabbits. She could hardly contain her excitement; she felt like she was actually starting to get to do adult stuff. And who better to teach her than mama. 

When they arrived, the area was heavy with the scent of rabbit. She recognized it from the one she had chased earlier. Hymnal wondered if this was where the creature had escaped to?

She looked where her mother directed. Yes! I see, she told Maia. When coaxed to check it out, Hymnal trotted over to the hole and immediately stuck her dark muzzle inside. The scent of rabbit was so strong that she could only think about gaining access farther down. So she dug and dug, flinging dirt and mud behind her, making quite the ruckus. She had no idea how to go about this, but it was really fun.

Eventually, she dug a hole so big, that she could fit the front half of her body inside. She couldn't quite get her hips in despite how hard she tried. So she finally gave up and decided to regroup with mom and see what else she could do. Only, when she tried to back up, she couldn't. She was stuck. She pulled so hard that it started to hurt her ribs, and then she started to panic a little. Mama! she cried out, although it would be muffled by the ground around her. Mama, I can't get out. Tears burned her eyes. She was sure she would be stuck here forever.
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At first Maia stood back and watched, but as she began to dig deeper, she began to circle around just in case something came out of either that burrow or one nearby.

As soon as she heard Hymnal yell, though, she was on her way over. What was happening!? Was there something else in the burrow?! Oh no...

It took her a panicked moment to find out Hymnal was simply stuck. Oh, honey, hold on! Just... just try to stay calm and just breathe. I'll get you out.

She'd have to be a little careful, but she started in by coming up behind and trying to clear out the dirt at her sides to give her some room to hopefully pull herself out. If she loosened enough she might be able to help! But she definitely didn't want to hurt her in the process.
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It took her a few moments to register her mother's words but when she did, she took a few deep, shaky breaths and forced herself to calm down some. 

She felt movement at her side that startled her at first until she realized it was mama trying to help her get out. So as Maia dug, Hymanl tried to wriggle free. Eventually their teamwork paid off, because she popped out of the hole and back onto her butt with a thud and a grunt. She panted for a few moments, her front half covered in dirt and mud. The she looked up at her mom. Her expression was unsure for only a second and then a grin spread across her face. Hymnal started to laugh. I got stuck, she said when she took a breath, and then she was laughing again.
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Maia tried to stay calm as she dug, but Hymnal's panic was rubbing off on her and making it hard. What if it collapsed? What if she was, for some reason, stuck in there for good? What if something came up to hurt her and Maia couldn't get at it? What if she couldn't protect herself? It wasn't hard for her mind to go in a thousand different worst-case scenarios. But she managed to pace her digging because the thought of somehow, by accident, hurting her daughter was way worse and way more likely.

When Hymnal finally popped out, Maia fell back and out of the way too, sitting down with a light thump on the dirt next to her. She immediately looked over and was ready to get up, but in an instant, Hymnal's expression went from surprise to laughter. Maia couldn't help but match her with both the smile and a light laugh.

Are you okay? She still asked, reaching over to brush some of the dirt out of Hymnal's thick fur.
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When she had stopped laughing long enough to take a breath, she beamed up at her mother. Yes, mama, I'm okay, she assured Maia. Hymnal leaned into the dusting her mother gave her fur. 

She got up and bounced around a little, her tail wagging behind her. So this is where rabbits live? she asked. I think I may have scared them all away, she added, her expression dimming a little. Sorry, mama.