Jun 11, 2022
Dewdrop had died defending them. If Froggy and his siblings had known how to defend themselves, then maybe... Just maybe their mom would still be here. Guilt weighs heavy on his heart. The thought of if only circles around his head. He couldn't make the same mistake again. He would learn how to defend himself and his siblings... somehow.

For now, he's taken to practicing with a ball of moss. The tortie point crouches a few mouse-lengths away, pale eyes staring at the mock enemy, his brows creased in concentration. Bunching his muscles, he springs towards it. However, he's misjudged the jump. His outstretched claws sail past the moss ball, and the kitten ends up tumbling in a flurry of flailing mottled legs and tail.

His rump bumps against someone's leg. Froggy startles, scrambling to his paws as fast as he could. "Sorry! I was-" His wide eyes meet Spring's temporarily before he glances away with a nervous puff. "I was... practicing." He glares at the moss ball lying a short distance away as if it was the reason he'd fallen into someone.

( ) spring has known the marsh group all of his life. the cats who live here for the most part have been his family since the beginning. as he looks around at the camp, he can't help but feel a wave of sadness cascade past his heart. so many lives that he's known for all of his short one, have been snuffed out. gone, as if they never existed at all. everywhere there are little markings of what those cats have done for the clan- the tumbling kittens of the nursery, the sturdy dens fixed by countless cats, even the trails in the forest. all are reminders that once, there were more marsh cats. once, they didn't live each day mourning a tragedy.

he finds solace in these little signs, allows his memories to soak up the good things and lets cobwebs obscure the rest. his group is recovering, regaining their strength so they will be as unbeatable as ever. spring feels pride among the sorrow. the marsh group does have a future.

as he sits beside his den, chest heaving with breath, the boy takes a small break from his busy routine. with so much changing, there is an ever growing list of tasks that the group needs to complete. he's worked hard this morning. he feels he deserves just a moment. his gaze scans the area, noticing through soft eyes the hunter's crouch of a kit. amusement welcomes a smile to his face as he notes the kid before turning his senses elsewhere.

he doesn't notice the pawsteps of the kit until he's been stumbled into. blinking a bit in surprise, and feeling embarrassment flood his face as he lets out a soft exclamation, spring recognizes froggy, the dappled child who has lost so much in such a short time. offering the young one a grin, the older tom nods. "hey, it's no big deal! you're working on your pounce then?" over his shoulder he can see the offending moss ball, still sturdily in place where the kit has put it. "i saw the crouch you did. that was pretty good. you're on the right track." ears flicking, spring tips his head. "do you want some tips?"
Froggy smiles sheepishly, nodding with a nervous laugh when asked if he was working on his pounce. "Yeah, uh... I'm still getting the hang of it." The tortie point ducks his head to groom down the ruffled fur on his chest, but he nearly chokes on a mouthful of fur as Spring admits that he'd seen him. "Y-You did?!" Froggy blurts out, a little too loud. He squeaks and covers his mouth with one paw. Oh, stars. He couldn't believe that Spring had seen the whole embarrassing spectacle! How many more of his clanmates had seen it?! He glances furtively around the clearing, his cheeks burning.

Spring tells him that the crouch was pretty good, and Froggy perks up. "It was?" Then, with a purr, his tail lifts from the dirt. "Y-Yeah, it was, wasn't it?" His smile turns genuine, lifted by the warmth of approval. "Thanks." He couldn't forget to be polite; his mother had taught him better.

The light in his eyes dims a little as another thorn pierces his heart. His mom... Would she be proud of him, too? Froggy glances to the sky. I hope you are.

The mottled boy blinks, shifting his sight onto Spring once more when the older tom asks if he wanted some tips. "Oh, uh — yes! Yes, I do!" Having one of the cooler, older kids teach him some tricks? It sounds like a dream!