July 7, 2017 | Posted in WooFPAK Heroes

The car doesn’t stop, not for what seems like a very long time. WooFDriver is determined to get the baby deer somewhere safe – somewhere that can help – and the rest of the humans are also on board. They’ve passed the little deer around some, as their arms started to get tired. For the most part, Kilah just lays there, limp, unmoving, and so terrified that her fear scent floods up the Jumbo Jet.

Zarro is restless. There’s been plenty of time for resting and catching up on sleep, but he can’t get himself to drift off. His mind is a spinning, whirling, whipping mess of thoughts. Across from him, Chase is curled up on the bench seat, one paw over his muzzle.

No one moves when Zarro stands up. No one says anything. Carefully, he walks over to the window on his side of the bench seat. It’s starting to get light outside. The sun is just starting to rise up above the line of the trees, casting a pale orange glow over the world.

It’s almost pretty.

“I’m scared,” says Kilah, softly. It’s the first thing that the deer has said since they left the train tracks. Chris has pulled off of the main road. The small, dirt path is uneven. The wheels of the Jumbo Jet keep catching on divots in the ground, making the whole thing bounce and shake. “I want my momma, and my daddy.”

“You’ll see them again,” says Zarro. The words sound hollow, even to his own ears. This is new territory. While he knows that WooFDriver won’t let anything bad happen to the deer, he’s not sure if Kilah will be able to get back out to the wilds, or if he’ll be able to find his way back to the forest that Veran calls home.

The thought of never being able to find part of his pack again makes Zarro uncomfortable. He shakes his head, hard, like he might be able to shake off the worries.

It doesn’t work.

Zarro repeats himself, more firmly this time, “you’ll see them again.”

“I’m so scared,” says Kilah, with a sad sounding sigh.

Before Zarro can struggle to come up with more placating words of comfort, the car makes a quick turn. A small, wood cabin appears in the distance. Zarro’s ears perk up. “There,” he says. “This place is going to help you! This place is going to fix your leg, and then everything will be okay again!”

From the front seat, WooFDriver asks, “what’s her name again?”

“Donna,” says Rhett. “Donna Wilson. She said to just honk when we get here and she’ll come out, check out the deer.”

Chris pulls into the driveway. The front yard is over grown with weeds and gardens that look more like miniature jungles. When Chris opens the door, the heady scent of herbs – basil, chamomile, lavender, coriander – assaults Zarro’s nose. He sneezes, twice.

“It’s going to be okay now,” says Zarro. “I promise.”

Donna Wilson is a tall, broad shouldered woman. Her hands are tough from years of hardwork, her skin dark from so many days spent out in the sun. She is weather worn and older than anyone in the Jumbo Jet, but her smile is that of a young woman and her eyes shine with a friendly light.

The deer is taken into a back room of the cabin and she doesn’t come back out for a very long time. The WooFPAK are allowed to wander freely in the house – and the property, though WooFDriver is far more hesitant to let them go outside unsupervised.

A small white rabbit sits on the counter in the kitchen. Her name is Bluebell, and her long ears twitch and swivel with every sound that the dogs make. She frets, “my oh my, I hate when my darling hooman does this. She just lets all manner of riff raff into this house! It’s unbelievable, the things that I have to put up with. Deers and rats and birds – and now wolves! Wolves in my house! What is that crazy hooman thinking?”

Zarro gives a low, rumbling chuckle. “We’re not wolves. We’re huskies. Dogs, from human towns.”

“A wolf is a wolf is a wolf is a wolf,” says Bluebell. She shakes her head and her ears flop this way and that. “I know a wolf when I see a wolf, and you are wolves! My hooman must have gone completely insane! I knew it would happen one of these days, but I didn’t think it would be in such a horrid way. Wolves! Wolves!”

“We aren’t wolves,” insists Zarro.

Princess snorts. “Don’t try to reason with the rat. She’s not going to listen.”

“Rat? Why, I never! I’ll have you know that I’m a rabbit,” huffs Bluebell. “And you have no manners! My hooman hasn’t just let wolves into the house. She’s let rude wolves into the house! Unbelievable! Unrealistic! Unimaginable!”

Princess rolls her eyes. To Zarro, she says, “just ignore her, Zarro. You can’t reason with prey animals like that. She’s not going to believe anything you say, and we’ll need to listen to her rambling and raving all night. Ugh! I can already feel a headache brewing!”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author