May 30, 2020 | Posted in WooFPAK Heroes

Princess isn’t surprised when they’re left in the car, but she is irritated over it. They pull into a small, rural vet clinic. The signs are big and lit up, despite the time of day. A few other cars are in the parking lot, most of them empty and turned off. An older man sits in the driver’s seat of one vehicle sleeping.

Princess paces in the back seat.

Chase asks, “why does this bother you so much? We’ve found hurt animals on runs before. Remember that raccoon? And the squirrel?”

“I know,” says Princess, barely keeping the growl from her voice. “But I feel like this one is different. It’s – there’s something strange about it. I knew that we had a problem way before we found the bird.”

Jag suggests, “the problem could have just been that the bird was hurt.”

Princess shakes her head. “No. That wasn’t it. It was actually something. I think it must have to do with the fact that the bird got hurt.”

Jag says, “I think you’re reading too much into it.”

Maybe she is.

Princess supposes that could be a possibility. She could just be reading too much into things. So she forces herself to lay down, even as unease clings to her heart.

Eventually, the humans come back out, without the bird.

Chris gets into the driver’s seat in the middle of a sentence saying, “can you imagine that? I wouldn’t think hunting on a trail like this is allowed.”

“I don’t think it is,” says WooFDriver. “But I can’t think of any other reason someone would be shooting at birds.”

Chris asks, “can you even do anything with a bird like that? I don’t think there’s enough meat on them to warrant hunting them.”

Princess growls out, “I knew something was wrong!”

Zarro says, “we’ve met hunters before. Some of them are nice. That one guy gave us deer. Maybe he didn’t mean to shoot her?”

But Princess knows there’s more to this story. She can tell. It’s a truth that sits at the back of her mind, a reality that makes her blood rush faster through her veins. The engine flutters to life, the humans discussing where on the trail they’re going to pick things back up.

Princess sits down in the back seat, resting her muzzle on her paws. It’s easy to brush this off, to say that Acorn was just hurt by accident. And maybe she was. But there’s something about this that’s still setting off warning bells for Princess.

Her instincts have never been wrong before, even if it sometimes takes her a while to figure them out.

So there’s something that’s still happening here. Something strange.

And Princess swears, she’s going to figure it out.

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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