Chapter 6

Mathew had been searching for his missing son everywhere. He checked all of Seamus's favorite hang out spots and anywhere else he could think of. After an hour of searching the cold snow covered camp, he headed back home.

The hut was still full of relatives all enjoying their precious stews. Some had wolfed it down in one swallow while the more daring ones were savoring each spoonful for minutes at a time. Brendan had finished his stew already and was talking to one of the other cousins. Mathew walked up to his nephew. "Brendan, where did you find Seamus and that rabbit?" the worried father asked.

"In a little hole in the forest. Why?" replied the skinny teenager. No one noticed Seamus's little outburst amongst all the conversations and celebration.

"When we tried to give Shay a bowl of the stew he got all upset and ran off. I can't find him anywhere."

"Do you think he went to the hole?" asked the newly worried cousin.

"Maybe, I've looked everywhere else. Do you think you could show me were it is?"

"Yeah, sure, no prob."

The two men left the warmth of the family gathering and headed off into the cold gray forest. As they approached the hiding spot they could both hear the sobbing little boy.

"Son? Are you in there?" a concerned father asked the hole.

"No", came a pathetic whimper from the void.

Mathew turned to his nephew and said, "Thanks Brendan, you can head back now. I've got it from here." As the teenager left, the older man got down on his hands and knees and peered into the burrow. "Son, I just wanna talk to you. Can you come out? I can't fit my fat ass in that hole of yours." In reply, he heard a stifled laugh between sniffs and then he heard movement. Mathew moved back to allow room for his son to come out. Seamus crawled out slowly and moved next to his father. They were both sitting in the snow, leaning against a nearby tree.

Mathew looked down at his son and said, "Seamus I'm sorry we had to kill Spooky. It's just the way of life. I wish it didn't have to be, and you could have kept him as a friend, but we're just not that lucky."

"I know Dad. I just miss him. I didn't worry when I was with him. I just petted and played with him and all my worries went away...like magic", Seamus said while looking down at his fidgeting hands.

Mathew drew his son into a hug, kissed the top of his head and said, "I am sorry."

"Thanks *sniff*", Seamus said weakly.

"I have something for you. Something so that you'll always have Spooky with you. Something that might one day bring you the luck we don't have right now." With that, Mathew pulled out from his pocket a little white rabbit's foot on a chain. "I saved it from when we killed him", Mathew added quietly.

Seamus looked up at his father and the rabbit's foot. New tears filled his eyes as he reached up and took the foot from his father's hand. The fur was just as soft as he remembered it. As he rubbed the foot, he felt his worries begin to fade a bit. Not as much as before, but again, anything is better than nothing. "Thanks Dad, I'll keep it forever", he said as he hugged his scrawny father again.

"Now let head back to camp, get you that bowl of food your mother has been guarding with her life and dry off my butt from sitting in this snow for so long." stated Mathew in order to hear that famous giggle from his son.

Seamus did reward his father with a weak giggle as they both got up. Mathew started walking as the boy quickly attached Spooky's foot to his pants. As he petted the foot he said, "I'll always remember you Spooky. Thanks for everything." With that, he ran after his father and headed back towards home.

The End