Toad's Prowl

ShadowClan Warrior
Jun 7, 2022
Mist swirls through darkened evening air as the shadowy haze of a long dusk spills through pines to splatter marshy earth with a flickering, void-like shade. Tabby striped legs bring a beast through the murky depths of the fog, his figure shrouded within the falling night, and within his vice gripping jaws, the limp and bloodied frame of a large frog. Minutes ago, it had breathed it’s last croak into the humid air, now so eerily silent, its flesh pierced by ruthless fangs. Toad’s Prowl is just pleased to have found something substantial to eat. His olive eyes glow dim in the shadows as he creeps into his group’s camp, ears flared and pricking to hear the chatter of his comrades lurking within. The evening was early, and many would soon set off on their fruitful night hunts, for so long as the nights remained warm, prey would be easier to find.

Toad's Prowl steps into the clearing, his tail raised and his features firm, sharp eyes scanning those who dwelled within. Finally, his gaze finds a quiet spot to settle, and so there he goes, padding upon sheep white paws to his nearby destination. He takes a seat in falling darkness, drops his still damp frog to the soil, and swipes a barbed tongue across his maw.​
╰☆☆ Flicker had never tasted frog before wandering into the marshes and being assimilated into Briar's group of rogues. The idea had, at first, horrified her. She vaguely remembers daring her sister Fern to eat a frog, and Fern had barely touched her tongue to it before exploding into squeals of laughter.

But after all that had happened to her--all she had lost--the type of meat that fueled her body had seemed pointless to be pedantic about. She remembers how big and round her eyes had felt in her face as some cat had lowered a limp, slimy amphibian towards her face. She'd waited only a heartbeat before tearing into the soft flesh of its belly. After days without prey, it had tasted like the finest, juiciest mouse.

She now considers herself a connoisseur of all things marshy. Frogs, lizards--it doesn't matter to her. If it moves and is edible--and she can catch it--she'll eat it without complaint. Sometimes even if it doesn't move, she'll eat it. The carrionplace seems like such a waste to her.

Angling her ears, she hears the barest suggestion of pawsteps against the soft earth. A tabby, face set like a weathered stone, makes his way into the small clearing they call home. Flicker's eyes settle onto his prize as he drops it. She leaps to her paws and sashays his way, voice trembling with a purr that only meant mischief. "Say, that wouldn't happen to be for your favorite cat in the whole marsh, would it?" She licks her lips, and almost simultaneously, her stomach grumbles with hunger.
He was about to dig in, to lean down and strip flesh from thin bone, but another's presence casts shadow over his meal, and the vocals of a youthful she-cat slide into pricked ears to drag his focus away from the dead frog. He lets out a sigh, allows his hazel vision to dance across Flicker's form. She wanted his meal? He had caught it, but... well, he supposed he didn't mind sharing with someone in his group. Flicker wasn't family, but they were allies, thorns on the same bush, as it were. In any case, he could hear the grumbling of her stomach. She was hungrier than he was, given his skill at night hunting. Toad blinks at her, grunts, and then leans down to snatch his teeth into the flesh of one of the frog's legs. Planting a sturdy paw upon the back of the creature, he works at tearing the leg free, and then nudges the rest of the body toward his fellow feline.

"It was for me, but I will share it." Toad speaks behind the tattered frog leg, before he quickly crunches down on the meat to swallow it down. Some cats didn't like the slimy taste of frog, but Toad was quite fond of it. He swipes a barbed tongue across his muzzle with a quiet hum of content. Flicker could have the rest, it wasn't the first frog he had caught that early evening, and it wouldn't be the last.​
It was relieving to see some of her Clanmates enjoying a meal together, especially when things had been so scarce recently. Newleaf and greenleaf usually brought an abundance of prey, but unskilled hunters now taking over the territory to the south were chasing off all the good prey with their poor hunting skills and horrendous tinkling bells that they paraded around on their necks. Kittypets. The word felt sour on her tongue. It was the less than affectionate name their colony had given to cats who depended upon humans for their survival. Those cats had no reason to be in the forest as far as Briar was concerned, not when they had a warm bed to sleep in at night and a twoleg to give them enough to fill their bellies throughout the day. Briar's group had to work to provide a comfortable lifestyle and with more and more cats moving into the forest, she knew that once the cold weather set in, things would be worse than they were now.

"Should any more cats start settling into the forest, we'll likely have to start sharing every meal," she told the two felines as they shared the frog that Toad had caught and was sharing with Flicker. She watched him pass it to his companion. Frog legs had never been a favorite of hers. She personally preferred the critters with fur, but she'd eaten her fair share of reptiles and amphibians to grow an acquired taste to them.