Wheeling Gull Isle A measure of memory
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All Welcome 
The waves helped her heart beat as they broke upon the shore in rhythmic pulses. The pulsing winds filled her lungs, billowing her sails. Thresher had returned to her homelands, and tasted the salt that was infused with her blood from birth. 

Wheeling Gull Isle was her birthplace- and to it, she had returned. 

The landbridge was apparent, and she crossed already knowing others had taken up residence in her homeland. Their scent was there, she would never have been surprised to see her homelands claimed in her absence. 

When she reached the island, she lay upon the sand, felt the cool winds tussle her fur, and she began to wait for a patroller to come along.
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she was familiar.

in the sense that she was wolf but not. his gaze examined her carefully as he approached. noted how casual she seemed. was that reason for concern or a cause to relax?

she did not seem like she had been tossed ashore or sent their way in a frenzy.

blessed day, traveler, he greeted with warmth. regarding her as he would any.

what has sent you to sweetharbor?

a smile settled upon his narrow face.
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The man who approached her had a long, calm stride. Everything about him, in fact, seem long and calm, save for the wavy curls that perhaps had been shaped by the sea air, though Thresher had never seen any with quite so much curl to their fur. There was a wholesome gleam to his goldenrod eyes. A faint smile was coaxed from her, and she bowed her head in greeting as he came to meet her. 

"Peace be," her response genuine and sweet. "I am Thresher," She explained, "I was born here. Wheeling Gull Isle, it was, Undersea was my pack." She spoke fondly, as though reminiscing about her birthplace. "My family left long ago to live inland...The rest be long story too...But I have come here looking for  home once more." She said. She knew- as someone familiar with pack protocol, that he would want to know her skills, next. "Can fish. I do know island very well. And weather." She said.
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the arrival of this one was not shrouded in mystery.

thresher, another who once knew this isle to be home. he listened with the attentiveness of a star student. even as she seemingly felt the need to sell herself to him further.

he laughed, but it was a warm and delighted sound.

i would have welcomed you, fisher or no. sweetharbor is a safe haven, built upon my religion, but open to all. he tilted his head softly. an invite for her to come with if she so wished. i would like to learn from you. if that's agreeable with you?
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The man was warm and welcoming, and it made Thresher pleased to see that kindness and compassion were still valued by the wolves who lived on the island. She sensed he was humble, meek- he had a religion, one which he offered, but did not seem to force upon his packmates. She found this amenable to her tastes, and contemplated the name for a moment. "Sweetharbour. I like this for home." She gave him an appreciative, winsome smile. It was good to be welcomed back to the island, by those she felt she could happily dwell with. 

"I am happy to share," Thresher volunteered, as she made to follow him, wondering if he intended to walk her along the beach or take her further inland. She gazed up at the trees and smiled. So much taller, and the brush so much thicker...The island had grown up, and she looked upon it like a proud mother. "Island has many secrets, many treasures." She praised.
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and i, bartholomew, its leader.

a soft smile remained.

home she called it already.

he warmed to her without hesitation, prepared to lead her to the greenhills. that way they may look out upon the island together, as one. perhaps she would enjoy seeing what had become of her once home. perhaps it would give her further insight into sweetharbor.

your knowledge of the weather would be invaluable. he admitted softly. it will be my first time wintering upon the island.
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"Bar...tolomew," It was a name she had never heard before. Thresher had been shy to speak for quite some time- and still struggled occasionally with new words. But she was comfortable with her error and smiled. "Bar..tholomew. Better!" She said, with a somewhat surprised laugh. She whispered the name once more, under her breath, without hesitation, and then smiled. She could say it now; she would not likely struggle with the leader's name again. 

It excited her to be speaking of her birthplace once more, and to be sharing its secrets with him. She took note of their direction, and smiled faintly. He would want to see the corners of the island from those hills- but there were some things she knew that might be missed even from that vantage point. Things that could only be glimpsed from the right angle, from the right entrance, at the right time. Perhaps the pack had already discovered the island's greatest secret, but perhaps they had not. 

He was right to be wary of winter weather on the island, but she took his apprehension in stride. "The weather gives us warnings...The colour of horizon, of sunset and sunrise, the pressure inside our own heads, too!" She explained. "Certain types of frost, the direction of wind...There is so much to hear when listening to nature." She said, and fixed her eyes on the hills that rose up and away from the sandy beach. 

She frisked sideways and tossed her head. "To the top, let's run!" She said, bounding a few steps forward to see if he would pick up his pace as well.
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he encouraged her trying. seeing no such shame. he knew his name was odd, a mouthful compared to most. he was willing to guide her had she not succeeded herself.

a bright and shining star she was. blessed were they to have her return to the island.

now he listened to her teaching. how she discussed the sky. its colors, its pressure! already he knew he would have much to learn from her. he cherished her presence almost as much as all others of sweetharbor.

she engaged in a run and he thought of the sylph he had set his eyes upon. but this was not the same. not at all!

so he took it for what it was.

and began to bound on willowy limbs, prepared to take the paths that had become softly worn into the hills.
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No matter who it was that claim the island as their home, Thresher still felt it was an important part of her, having been born there and learned the harsh ways of the ocean as she grew through her childhood. She smiled as she ran up the hill.

She glanced over her shoulder- a habit, and for a moment she forgot who she was glancing to see. Often she’d raced with her mate, and had thrown him glances like this- but when she looked back, it was the quiet, solemn Bartholomew who bounded after her. 

Her smile became shy, and it faded when she turned her face to continue winding her way up the hills. 

The wind tousled her thick coat, as it whirled and soared around the hills seeming to lack direction with each mercurial gust. She breathed in the humid air and came to a stop when she could take in the view of the majority of the island from there. 

Still, even within sight, she knew it had its secrets. 

She turned to the forest and uttered a relieved sigh when she saw the tallest of trees, an ancient, weathered blue spruce, peaking high above the others. ”Oh look there! It is the Mother tree! Beneath her roots is a den; it is a good place to find shelter in a storm. Her roots run through the entire island,” She said with breathless fondness.
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they reached the top.

his own fur was tussled by the wind, curled further by it. he had very much become part of the island during his time here — and it had become part of him. he had stayed here before sweetharbor. when it had been empty and hollow. now he had helped it flourish once more.

the returned face by his side was proof of this.

she pointed out one of the grand trees of the island.

he had no clue of its reach and power. he had often sheltered in the forest for the worst of weather but he had never been in the den of mother tree as she called it.

the entire island? his voice held gentle disbelief. yet he could imagine it so clearly! shall we call it Mother Tree from here on out?

he gave her this honor.
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Thresher nodded. "Her roots run deep," She said smilingly, glad he seemed to believe her. As far as she had been told, that had been the case- and now, several years later and many feet taller, it seemed unimaginable that such a fact could be wrong. She tilted her head to the side when asked a question- a dog thing, likely- and nodded happily to his suggestion. "Yes, please; it is her name, Mother Tree," She said, looking fondly toward it. She remembered how the winds howled from the hollow at its base, there the roots, thick as birch trees themselves, arched around and disappeared into the ground. 

She gazed out, and found a familiar darkness to the Southwest and she smiled. The deep chasm in the earth- she would be surprised if he knew its secret. "Have you found the labyrinth, yet?" She asked.
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he was charmed by this as much as he respected it.

we will tell the others. so that they may all know of this grand Mother Tree, and thank God for placing her upon their isle. he knew that multiple new things to be grateful for today had come to the island.

the next word she spoke was not entirely unfamiliar and yet —

ah, the...cave? it is not a place of joy for us, unfortunately. we have named it the lion's den.

his voice remained soft. prepared to discuss this further. especially if her history was a different one with the cave.
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The cave. She smiled. Of course, she couldn't have expected the same names for landmarks to have transcended the years. But with this name came the delightful potential that she would yet again be sharing another secret of the island. To the eye, it was a cave- but given the fact that Bartholomew didn't seem too keen about going near it, she suspected that the pack had not yet discovered its true form. 

But while she had her own experiences with the underground system of tunnels, she was curious to know why it now had a negative association. "Why do you call it lion's den?" She asked, tilting her head to the side, doglike.
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it is a story from my religion — and it is a place of secluded healing for those who need it among us. he explained kindly. hoping that she might be open to the new things of the island.

a bit of give and get.

it holds great importance to us, either way. good or bad.
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The lion's den- a place of healing. She supposed it could be such a thing, so long as no one wandered down the wrong tunnel and got lost. She wondered if they were in fact talking about the same place; but she would find out later, she thought. 

"Can you tell me the story?" She asked, a willing lamb, new to his flock.