Ivy wearily poked his head out of the hole that he had spent the past five days lying in. Even though he was over a year old, Ivy felt as if he was a few week old youngster looking outside of his burrow for the first time.

After looking around for a few moments, Ivy pulled himself out of the burrow and hopped over to a small patch of grass. He began to eat hungrily, but a voice stopped him.

"So you're finally out of that burrow," said Flash, "at least you're going to survive."

"What do you mean by at least I'm going to survive?" asked Ivy, thinking back to the horrible battle that had occurred six days ago.

"Well, we're not sure if Thistle and that other fellow are going to survive," said Flash rather sadly, "Thistle looks pretty good, and he's been out a couple of times, but he might have caught an infection."

"So Mallow hasn't even come out at all?"

"So that's his name. No, he hasn't even gotten up. He's so weak that he can barely eat anything."

Ivy gasped. Just the thought that his longtime friend Mallow would probably die almost put a bullet in him. "He was fighting the lead weasel alone."

"That explains it," said Flash, "that thing put up one hell of a fight after you and your two other Owsla members fell."

"Did you kill it?" Ivy asked hopefully.

"Yeah, I got him wit a fantastic head butt. You should have seen it. I literally spun around I the air and sent that weasel to hell. I even heard his skull crack."

"That explains the scar," Ivy said flatly, "you just did that a few minutes too late."

"Look, take it easy," said Flash, "I know that your friend will probably die, but these things happen. The Owsla goes through extra and even dangerous extents to protect the warren. Their chances of death are very high. Mallow here might be just one of the many that perishes in the fight to save the others."

"Yeah, but when he could've been saved-"

"Keep in mind that we weren't even planning to help you. My buds and me were just trying to save our own skins from a fox, not trying to save someone else. If Splotch hadn't decided to put his own life on the line to check out where your squeals were coming from, then we'd have never found you, and all three of you would've been dead. You should be thanking me every time you see me for the rest of your life."

Ivy just nodded. He knew Flash was right. He was lucky that he and Thistle were still alive and getting better, even though Thistle might still die.

"Keep in mind that Mallow still might not die," said Flash, "he is still alive."

"Of course he is," said Thistle as he pulled himself out of the hole, "what's your point."

"Flash here thinks that Mallow's going to die," said Ivy, "he also said that one of your injuries got infected by a mosquito or something."

"Infected... infected, if I was infected, then I'd be dead right now," said Thistle, "Flash, I didn't think that you were that stupid."

"Well you came out of the burrow every day for two days, and then you stopped, what were you expecting me to think?"

"I just thought that I needed to rest a little more. I might have gotten infected if I kept on coming out in my weakened state."

"I never thought about that," said Flash.

"Back to Mallow's possible death," snapped Ivy.

"Mallow's not going to die, why would you think that," said Thistle, "when I woke up and saw that you were gone, Mallow was sitting up and eating some of the grass that Splotch brought down there."

"I still stand by my decision," said Flash, "he might be feeling better now, but there's still a chance that he'll catch a fever or something and start to feel worse. That happens a lot to injured rabbits."

"I guess your right," said Thistle. Just then, Snowfoot and Horace came running across the field towards them. Flash ran out to meet them. Snowfoot and Horace then took off but Flash ran back to them.

"I'm gonna go on a patrol with Horace and Snowfoot," said Flash, "I'll tell Splotch to look after you, okay."

Ivy and Thistle nodded and Flash took off towards where Splotch was eating grass farther out in the field. The two injured rabbits sighed and went back into the burrow to get some more rest.


6 days before

Dogwood charged through the forest as fast as possible with blood dripping from his various wounds. He had no idea what had happened to Ivy, Thistle, and Mallow, but he didn't really care at the moment. All Dogwood wanted to do was get back to his burrow to rest.

As he ran through the forest, Dogwood realized that he had no idea where Corona was. For all he knew, the only other surviving member of his patrol was also dead.

As Dogwood ran, he came upon another weasel. It hissed at him, but Dogwood dodged around it and continued running until he ran straight into a tree. Dazed from the hard hit and hallucinating do to blood loss, Dogwood stumbled and collapsed onto the floor. Then, he passed out.

Dogwood woke up an hour later and began to head back to the warren. He didn't run as fast this time, not wanting to run into another tree. But as he continued his slow pace, the blood on his fur attracted elil.

Dogwood hadn't taken many hard hits from the weasels, but most of their attacks had made him bleed. Even though most of the bleeding had stopped, Dogwood had a couple of cuts that continued to bleed as he made his getaway. Though the bleeding stopped while Dogwood was passed out, the rather large rabbit's fur was somewhat covered in blood.

A fox, not Red Rage, was the first member of the elil family to come after Dogwood. Dogwood ran as fast as he could, but he couldn't escape from it. He eventually hid in a bush and the fox walked right passed him. Then a weasel came, then two stoats, then a cat. Dogwood, however, used all of the tricks that Winters Wrath had taught him to get away from the predators.

Eventually, Dogwood jumped in a small brook and washed the blood off of his fur. He also took a drink, and the helped him gather enough strength to finish his journey back to his warren. He looked happy when he walked through the trees that separated his warren from the forest. His smile faded. He saw no one.