I opened my eyes and gazed at the sleeping cub curled up next to me. Koda snored softly. I gently eased myself away from him, and went outside of our cave to look around. They dark sky was just starting to lighten in the early morning. I closed my eyes and listened to the unmistakable sound of the chirping of the birds, and the muffled sound of a roaring waterfall in the distance. It was spring. I took a deep breath of the scent of pine needles and gazed at the landscape before me, that was slowly sprouting to life, for the first time in six months. I stretched myself and yawned, cramped from my hibernating, watching the Northern Lights of the Equinox dance in the sky, knowing that Sitka was somewhere up there, watching over me. I don't know how long I sat there, dazed, but it was already morning when I heard what sounded like crying behind me.
"Kenai!" Koda cried. Getting more worried and louder each time. "Kenai!"
"I'm right here Koda, calm down." I walked into the cave and dragged him outside. He looked extremely happy to see me.
"Kenai! At first I was like, whoa, where is he? But then I was like, whoa, and then I was like, whoa." I laughed at Koda's weird style of speaking.
"OK buddy, lets go find something to eat." I walked away then stopped, waiting for him to follow, he jogged to me, and together we both walked through the forest, our paws making crunching sounds on the snow, taking in every sensation of the soon coming spring.
Koda begged me to play tag with him and I finally agreed, we splashed through rivers, jumped over logs, and ducked under pine tree branches. I watched like a worried, hopeful, parent as Koda crossed a fallen tree log, trying to balance. He almost made it too, but he turned around to see if I was watching and slipped on some ice. He was hanging upside down on the log, screaming when I caught him, making him giggle, and continued out journey. We were walking again when we saw two familiar faces running towards us, shouting excitedly, no other than Rutt and Tuke.
"Look out! She's after us, eh!" Rutt shouted, running behind me.
"Oh, gee, you gotta help us!" Tuke screamed, his eyes wide with fear.
"Yeah, you gotta hide us eh!" Rutt replied, trembling. Koda and I looked at each other confused. What?
"Like, here she comes!" They shouted and jumped into the bushes behind us. Confused we turned around to see who they were running from, but didn't have a chance as they pulled us in by our collars after them. Through the leaves of the bushes, we saw her, and she was one pissed-off, babe. She snorted, looked around for us, then trampled off.
"I told youthat was no moosette." Tuke cried angrily.
"Well she looked liked one from behind." Rutt defended himself. I watched the two brothers argue, an amused smile displaying on my lips.
"Hey, what's gotten into you two?" I asked, stepping out of the bushes.
"Well it's that time of year, eh." Rutt said smugly.
"Spring Fever man." Tuke remarked.
"Spring...What?" I asked, not bothering to hide my disgust.
"Well you know like.....the birds..." Rutt read off.
"Yeah, and .......the bees." Tuke added, they both looked nervously at Koda.
"And the moosettes, if you know what we mean by, moosettes." Rutt stated smugly, wiggling his eyebrows. I tossed Koda on my back, and laughed.
"Yeah, well, don't look now, but your girlfriend's back." I smiled at them screaming and we all started to run as the 'moosette' came charging back.
"Oh geez." Tuke screamed.
"Uh-oh, bye!" Rutt yelled to us over his shoulder. We laughed and jumped onto a hill, sliding on the snow towards the bear river. Koda covered my eyes with his paws, making it difficult to see, and increasing my fear of hitting a tree. Amazingly, we made it to the bottom unscathed. I fell on the ice, and Koda proppelled himself off of my head, under Tug's legs, into a young couple who managed to dodge him, screaming, and right into a pile of snow.
"Hahahaha! Awsome! Let's do it again!" He giggled. Tug and I chuckled at his average, childlike, behavior.
"Hey, Kenai!" Tug stalked over to me.
"Hey, how are ya Tug?" I asked him.
"Where are ya'll off too in such a hurry?" he asked with a smile. I sat up.
"Crowberry Ridge." I stated, catching Koda as he slid past me and putting him on my lap.
"We're gonna get dibs! There's elderberries, raspberries, thorn-berries, candle-berries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, huckleberries...." I watched Koda count off the species of berries on his paws. Tug cut in.
"Hey, slow down now, that's alot of berries." he laughed.
"Yeah! There's plenty! You wanna come with us?" he asked innocently. We turned into the direction of a she bear, who was shouting Tug's name and waving her arms.
"Tuuuug!" she sang.
"Haha! Well I'd love to Koda, but, you can't keep the girl's waiting." he chuckled.
"Aaah, who needs girls." I laughed as Koda made a face like he just ate some rotten berries. "We're just a couple of guys out in the country.
"That's right!" I interjected, so sure of my self. "Kenai and Koda. We don't need anybody else." I walked past him but he stopped me, grabbing me by the shoulders.
"Okay but, you can't run from love." he warned, then added in a whisper. "It has a way of tracking you down."
"-Tug." again he was interrupted by the she-bear. He let go of me and walked over to her. Koda and I laughed as we listened to him call to her.
"Oh, uh, hiya, Huna, you look mighty lovely today." he talked slowly and nervously, trying not to mess-up. Koda and I erupted into laughter, and continued on our journey.
As we walked away from the river, Koda was still laughing.
"Did you see the look on Tug's face." I smiled up at him, nodding. He made a kissy face and a high voice, a poor imitaion of Tug, but still."Can't keep the girls waiting." he mimicked, making me laugh. I stopped under a fallen tree trunk that I thought would be good enough shelter for the night.
"Alright, how about we get some rest." I told him, prying him off of my neck.
"Rest!" Koda protested. "We've been hibernating for six months! Who needs rest!" he said, disgusted.
"A couple of bears who are gonna beat all the other bears to Crowberry Ridge." I persuaded, raising my eyebrows, finding Koda awfully amusing.
"And...and..we're gonna get first dibs on the berries right?" he asked hopefully. I patted his head.
"You bet" I said, and he laughed. "If, you promise to go to sleep." I added, lying down.
"Okay! Okay! Okay!" he shouted excitedly as he curled up next to me.
"I know all bears like berries, but I loveberries." he said, practically drooling, I smiled at him.
"Goodnight." I replied softly.
"Are you a berry liker or a berry lover?" he asked me.
"Goodnight, Koda." I was getting annoyed. He sensed that, and stopped talking, falling asleep quickly. I looked at him, satisfyed that he was actually sleeping, I drifted off into a deep sleep. Again I dreamed that dream of a memory coming back to haunt me. Nita.