two is a crowd // ash


They Will Be a Legacy!
Jun 7, 2022

It was a rather warm green leaf afternoon. Sunlight streamed through the pine branches and decorated the ground with a soft, golden light, and the young she-cat had been grooming herself comfortably by the prey pile. After her little mishap with Toad's PRowl, Sandra had decided to take a break from hunting. Maybe she need a refresher course on how to hunt again from Flint or something. The skill was just not clicking for her, and she wasn't sure why. Sandra was so sure she was doing everything right! Walking quietly, crouching, and then pounce! Seemed simple in words but harder to do in action. The thought made the cinnamon tabby sigh and stop her grooming with a small flick of her sleek tail.

It was so annoying! She just wasn't good at anything! Not hunting nor fighting, and she could hardly call herself a warrior at this rate! Sandra had joined the group in hopes of something new, something more than herself, and yet she felt stuck. Stuck in a place of no skills nor connections to others in the group- an outsider from the looks of it. Another sight left her golden maw and Sandra moved to lay down with her head on her paws; maybe she just wasn't cut out for being part of a feral group? Maybe she should return back to her kittypet home and forget all about this.

Then again, how could she leave behind Flint? The things they built together? Just abandon him? She couldn't even begin to dream of doing such a thing, and she pushed the thought from her mind. She would just have to work harder! Do more hunting or something!
[ I Use To Hear A Simple Song ]
His mother had fed him today, and Ash felt horrible about it. Everyone is beginning to go hungry. He ate the lizard she'd offered him, all the while aware her eyes were burning with her desire to taste the meat. But he'd been too hungry to share; he'd eaten it almost before he could stop himself.

Twilight had only smiled at him and offered to groom the scales from his whiskers, but Ash had been horrified to realize he could see the beginnings of her ribs under her dappled coat.

It was then that he realized he could no longer leech off of his mother's hunting abilities. He's eight moons old now, almost grown, and he has to learn how to hunt for himself.

He frowns at the idea, though. He had asked Willow, although reluctantly; especially after the incident in the oak forest, the cream tabby terrifies him. Soot had offered after dragging in an impressive owl, but Soot is almost as scary as Willow. He just doesn't feel comfortable taking them up on their offers.

Yellow eyes scan the camp and spot golden fur near the measly prey pile. He knows her a little--she's friendly, Flint's mate. Ash has never spoken to her before, but her face is not set in a perpetual scowl like so many others'. He begins to tentatively pad towards her, tail limp behind him.

"S-Sandra?" He hesitates, looking at his dirty-looking flecked paws. "I. Are you going out hunting today? I-if you do, can I come with you? I promise I... I won't mess you up."

He swallows against the lump forming in his throat. Twilight needs to keep her catches for herself. He needs to do better. Needs to be self-sufficient. "Maybe... maybe you could show me how?" His ears flatten a bit, but he does not back down.

The approach of a young cat wasn't something that Sandra had expected, nor from a cat she didn't really know. Okay, she knew of Ash as he was Twilights' son, but that was as far as her knowledge of the tom went. Though the poor thing looked ready to burst from his pelt with how much hesitation lingered in his voice and showed in his posture. Was Sandra going to go hunting? She wasn't sure, she hadn't fully thought of going back out to hunt again, but the young cats' words wavered her.

How could she say no to such a thing?

Though teaching was a whole other thing, Sandra could barely hunt herself! Maybe this would be a good way to work on her skills? Showing another cat how to do it could benefit her? The cinnamon tabby was desperately unsure of her abilities to teach, but she was more than happy to take Ash out for hunting. "Sure, Ash! I'd love to take you out hunting," Sandra found herself agreeing with the young tomcat and stood up from her position of laying on the ground, "I think we could learn from each other how to hunt, whatcha say to that?"
[ I Use To Hear A Simple Song ]
Black ears flick with uncertainty. She's agreed readily enough, he thinks, but he is a bit perplexed by her wording. What could he possibly have to teach her? "Oh. Um. Okay." He drags his gaze upwards to meet her face. "I... I've only caught a frog before," he admits. Shame burns the skin under his black and white coat. "A-and Mother had to help me with it."

He senses, though, that Sandra won't taunt him for this. Most of the adults in the group seem to be above that, at least. It's why he prefers their company, after all.

He begins to pad to the marsh beyond their camp, dark tail limp behind him. He's not excited about failing in front of her, but he's the one who approached her, so...

Ash tastes the air once they're a safe distance from the bulk of their groupmates. There's nothing out of the ordinary here to him; even the frogs and lizards they eat tend to blend in, scent-wise, with the environment. To him, at least. He thinks it will take him some time to master discerning those scents. "Can you scent anything here?" He turns to ask his older companion, nose creasing with his anxiety.

"Catching a frog is impressive, even if you had help," She assured him before getting up onto her paws to follow after the black and white tomcat. Wondering why he seemed to afraid? Like there was a lot of anxiety in his tiny body that it made him walk with ears back and a limp tail? The ground underpaw was mushy and damp from the marshes known puddles or even ponds, and Sandra found herself shaking a front paw to dislodge mud from it. Watching Ash for a moment as he scent the air before turning back to her to ask if she could scent anything.

The cinnamon tabby lifted her nose to the air, then down to the ground under their paws. Picking up a faint scent of water vole from the stream to which she informed Ash of such a thing, "Theres a water vole scent, its kinda hard to pick up cause of the wet ground," That and also prey was becoming harder to find with the invasion of the Pine group, "Seems it was coming from the stream as well, perhaps we should follow it?" She looked to the young cat with a warm smile across her maw.
[ I Use To Hear A Simple Song ]
The cinnamon-colored she-cat reassures him, tells him his catch was impressive. He smiles, and although it is a self-conscious and bashful smile, it is sincere. She scents the air and tells him there's water vole here that seems to lead alongside the stream.

"Sure," he says, and he begins to lead the way, though his heart beats a bit quicker as his paws carry him through the marshy growth. The stream is quiet, a whisper in the gloom, and he has to admit he finds the sound soothing.

He tastes the air again. He can detect something now, something that might be a water vole. A little thrill runs through him. Could they really be successful?

Ash looks back over his shoulder, eyeing Sandra curiously. "Who taught you how to hunt?" He asks. He'd always thought it would be Twilight who would hone his skills, but his mother had not balked at the idea of him approaching Sandra. She wants him to make friends and get to know others, after all. But he wonders if most cats learn from their parents or someone else.

Sandra was hoping she was right in the fact that there was something like a water vole, because she wasn't entirely sure herself. The scent had been stale, but the duration of sale wasn't determined with how damp the ground was. Things always seemed to muddle here with wet ground and the like. Seemingly enough, however, Ash seemed to trust in her abilities and they headed for the stream. A little wooshing sound came through the silent forest like a ghost whispering to oneself. The stream was always very calming place to be, and a place many cats saught for in times of termoil it felt like. Well this was where she had gone when things got tuff or she needed to be alone with her thoughts; even if that wasn't ever a good thing.

Ash speaking pulled Sandra from her innerworld of thoughts and she gave a bright smile in return, "My mate Flint did! Or well he tried to, he is a very busy man," She answered his question with an almost giddy tone talking about Flint. He had been the one to find her in her twoleg house, brought her to the Marsh Group not too long ago and she has been here ever since. It has only been a couple of months since joining, but she felt like this would make a good home! If she ever got good at fighting or hunting of course, which could be never, "Though I think here parents usually teach kits to hunt right? I haven't seen much of training," She gave a meek smile and a small shrug.
[ I Use To Hear A Simple Song ]
Ash gives a little nod. Flint. He has seen him around. He has no opinions on the handsome gray and white tom. He seems to care for Sandra, which he finds himself glad about. He likes her. He finds her easy to talk to, almost as easy as it is to speak with his mother. He blinks at her in appreciation for this, even if the thoughts are in his own head.

"He does seem busy," Ash concedes. "No one really trains. Unless they feel like they need to. Mother would have taught me more, but..."

Yellow eyes skim over the surface of the river. He ponders its gleam for a moment. "She wants me to make friends," he admits. He curls a jet-black tail over gray-cast white paws. "I don't really have any."

Perhaps it's a pitiful thing to admit, but he almost feels relieved, like he's lifted a burden from his chest and shoulders. Maybe he can concentrate on finding that water vole now. He rises, tail unfurling behind him, and tastes the air again.

Ash furrows his brow. It's still there, that scent, but it's becoming... is it stronger here? "How.. how do you stalk a vole?" He asks in a whisper. He doesn't want to accidentally startle it if they're close.

Sandra felt her heart wrench slightly in her chest at Ashs' meek words, and looked at him with compassion and concern in her amber gaze. He had no friends? How could he have no friends! That wasn't right for any young kit to have no friends! So, the cinnamon tabby made a promise softly to herself that she'd always be there for Ash; no matter what may happen to him. He would be her friend, maybe even son like if they got close enough. She'd enjoy that, she felt he could use someone to be close to and comfortable around. Though Sandra didn't voice this out loud as Ash got up and started heading down the stream once more.

Then a more difficult set of words left the young black and white cats mouth, how to stalk a vole. Sandra could feel herself start to sweat in nervousness and uncertainty; she knew how to do it sort of? Not as good as any of the other feral cats out here, but she managed her best. "From what I do understand, it is sort of something like this?" The short haired feline then crouched low to the ground with her weight balanced some what, but her tail stuck up straight behind her. The correct way would be perfectly balanced with the tail low to the ground and relaxed.
[ I Use To Hear A Simple Song ]
Ash watches the cinnamon femme intently. She drops into a crouch, and although something on her face communicates she is nervous, Ash is impressed by her stalk. The tail standing straight up is a nice touch, though he doesn't understand the purpose of it.

He follows suit, trying to balance his weight as Sandra is doing. Though he's a bit lopsided on his left side, he is more or less distributing his weight evenly. Yellow eyes glow with pleasure at his estimation of Sandra's estimation. "Am I doing it?" He asks.

The scent of water vole caresses his gland again, and he furrows his brow in concentration. With a few delicate pawsteps, he creeps forward, tail like a dark banner behind him.

The water vole emerges from a crack near the streambed. Fat, but perhaps a bit brain damaged, luckily for Ash and Sandra. He stills, struggles to center his breathing, and then he lunges forward.

The plump, dull creature gives a squeak as Ash grips the thing in his claws. Out of nothing but instinct and hunger, the black and white tom bites it's neck, and it emits a dying squeal. It's over. He turns back to Sandra with an expression of amazement.

As her mouth opened to agree that he was doing it right, or from what she understood was right, the black and white kit moved along on delicate paws. Venturing towards the water vole with intent to which Sandra moved from her crouch to standing watching with wide eyes. Was this actually working? Did she actually teach someone something? Even if she thinks it is mildly incorrect way of how to do it.

Ash leaped for it, the vole cried out before the young cat took it down with a bite to the neck. The dying squeal had Sandra waving her tail in excitement, she did! She did teach Ash to hunt! Holy acorns! "Holy moley there Ash! You caught it!" She gave this bright grin and bounded over to him in her joy, "That was amazing! You catch on super quickly," Though she might have to talk to Flintfur about tail placement and what not to see if she was actually doing some good or not.
[ I Use To Hear A Simple Song ]
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