Today's Prompt - You are an animal. No, you ARE an animal. Select an animal and write about a day in the life of the animal.
While I didn't get a whole day in, I did get about 1000 words written. And while I didn't have a picture I had taken of my animal, I did select and play with a picture which went along with the story.
The pale morning light barely reached into the back of the cave, but it was enough to let me know it was morning. This was the first year in many I was not awakened by hungry mouths to feed. This year it was just me I had to worry about. Lifting my large head I took a quick sniff of the cool air. When I didn’t smell anything which shouldn’t be there, stretched first my hind legs and then my front legs, savoring the pull of strong muscles. Rolling over from my back, I heaved myself up onto all four legs. Lowering my head, I gave my large body, covered in thick fur, a shake.
Massive paws carried me to the entrance of the small cave. Blinking in the morning sunlight, I stopped and listened. All around me, birds were staking their territory for the breeding season, their voices telling me there was nothing I should worry about in the area. Raising my nose again, I took a deep breath, reaching with my scent glands for anything which shouldn’t be here. A second breathe let me know, at least in my immediate area, there was nothing I should be concerned about. My main worry would have been if there had been a male in the area I needed to discourage from being here.
Padding forward, I walked quietly through the woods surrounding my cave. Despite my size, I can move very quietly through the brambles and undergrowth. Reaching a large pine tree I stopped. Already there were gouges on the tree from my claws, letting others know this was my land and to stay away. Raising up on my back legs, I stretched high over my head and dug my long, black, thick claws into the tree and pulled down. Another set of grooves were etched into the wood of the tree. Turning around, I squatted and relieved myself, leaving a second warning to those who should not be in my forest.
Now that my morning rituals had been completed, it was time to start looking for something to eat. While I had started replacing weight I had lost over the winter, I was still far from being full and ready for another winter. It was too early for berries which dotted the hillside just at the edge of the woods. Ambling down a narrow path I headed for the small branch of the river which would have a selection of trout for my breakfast. They were a fairly easy way to start the day of foraging for food at this time of the year.
After a quick sniff to check the air, I left the protection of the woods, heading across the rock strewn hillside to the water. I could hear rushing in the distance as the early spring run off of melting snows from higher up the mountain sped down the mountain. Swinging my large, grizzled brown head side to side as I walked, I made my way to a favorite spot on the river. Here the water pooled and swirled before continuing down. Here also was where large trout rested and made for an easy morning repast.
Stepping carefully into the rushing water, I made my way across to the pool. The cold spring runoff barely penetrated my thick fur. Rocks on the bottom of the river were smooth and firm beneath my feet. Reaching the edge of the pool, there was less of a tug on my body by the river trying to carry me along on it’s race downhill. Giving a slight wiggle to my back feet, making sure they were planted firmly, I rose up on my hind legs and looked down into the pool for my breakfast. Sure enough, several trout of various sizes were swimming around in the water which was quieter than the main channel.
Focusing in on one fish in particular, I lunged, sinking my head beneath the water, mouth open, snapping thick teeth together. This morning I was lucky and had my teeth in a large trout on the first try. Keeping my jaws tight on the struggling fish, I pulled my head out of the water and turned back to the bank to eat my breakfast.
Reaching the side of the river, I pulled myself up onto the grasses edging the bank. Dropping the fish onto the ground, I placed one large paw over the fish. It had stopped wiggling, but I wanted to make sure it didn’t flop back into the cold water. Lifting my nose into the air, I checked to be sure I would be eating this meal undisturbed. Satisfied I was still alone and wouldn’t have to be defending my meal, I sank my large, yellowed teeth into the cool, firm flesh of the trout. Pulling a mouthful away, I slowly chewed and gulped down the mouthful. A few mouthfuls later, my breakfast was done, leaving only a few drops of blood on the ground to show where I had been.
The one fish was not enough to satisfy the morning hunger pangs. Turning back to the river, I repeated my early attempt at catching a fish. This time, the fish were a little more wary and it took several tries to land another fish. After finishing off three trout, my exercise of catching and consuming breakfast had taken it’s toll. By this time the sun was up and shining warmly in the spring coolness on my fur.
Turning, I made my way up the hillside to a large outcropping of rocks, already warming in the sun. Pulling myself up on the rocks, I sat down on my hind side, sniffing the air, checking for other bears in the area. Still alone, I stretched out on the rocks, the sun warm on my thick fur. Closing my eyes, I dozed in the sun for a bit before heading out to look for more to eat.