Chapter 1

I do not own 'Ice Age'. I only own the characters you don't recognize from the movies.

A single deer stood in the woods casually eating blades of grass and leaves, not even realizing the danger it was in. Some feet away, hidden in the bushes and trees, was a sixteen year old boy with a bow and arrow in his hands as he quietly stalked the deer. As soon as he was close enough, the boy raised his bow and arrow and aimed at the deer, ready to shoot. But just as he let the arrow go, a voice called out in the air.

"Roshan! There you are!" a young female voice called making the boy miss and instead hit the tree right next to the deer. The deer instantly looked up and spotted the boy, Roshan, and took off through the woods and Roshan let out a very annoyed sigh as he stood and turned to the owner of the voice. The voice belonged to a girl the same age as Roshan as she casually skipped up to him.

"Hey, Roshan." the girl said.

"Milanaka, what are you doing here?" Roshan asked, a little annoyed, "I was trying to hunt!"

"Well you obviously weren't doing so well, you missed."

"That's because you distracted me! You made me miss!"

"Sorry, jeez you don't have to be grumpy you know."

Roshan silently growled in his throat, how many times has this exact same incident happened? Way too many times for Roshan to count. Almost every time Roshan went out to hunt or something, Milanaka usually showed up at the worst possible time. Why couldn't she go and annoy one of the other boys who actually liked her instead? They obviously wouldn't mind her being around them. Milanaka was rather pretty but it wasn't her looks that Roshan was interested in. In fact, he wasn't interested in her at all! She just flat out annoyed him! Roshan had no idea why Milanaka even bothered to be interested in him at all; he always thought she was just a brat. Whenever she was around bothering him, Roshan was usually attempting to tell her off and to stop bothering him but nothing seemed to work, she always came back.

"Why don't you just go back to the village?" Roshan suggested, "Maybe go do something useful for once instead of bothering me. I have some hunting to do."

"Oh c'mon" Milanaka whined, "I came all the way out here to see you and now you just want me to go back empty handed?"

Roshan thought for a second, "Yeah, that's pretty much it." He said, "Now can you please just go?"

"Ugh, okay fine! Just because you said 'please', I'll go. You're no fun."

Milanaka turned and walked off and Roshan watched her with a disgusted look on his face.

She'll still come back whether I'm no fun or not. Roshan thought She always does.

As soon as she was long gone and out of sight, Roshan sighed one last time before turning and heading towards the tree where his misguided arrow had hit. Roshan took hold of the arrow with one hand and pulled the arrow out of the tree's bark and placed it back in the holder strapped to his back with the other arrows. Roshan looked around the area for a few moments, trying to decipher where the deer had gone before continuing on his way through the forest hoping to try again to bring food to his village. After what felt like the longest time, Roshan was only able to find and hunt two raccoons which wasn't much of a hunt but at least he had something. Barely satisfied with his hunt Roshan headed back in the direction were his village was, cursing to Milanaka in his mind for causing him to loose a prized catch. He soon made it back to his village and immediately headed to his and his father's tent, avoiding all possible contact with anyone as much as possible. Roshan pushed open the flaps of the tent as he walked in placing the two dead raccoons and his bow and arrows on the floor. His father was already inside, sharpening his spear and he looked up when Roshan walked in.

"Not a good hunt today?" Roshan's father asked as he spotted the two raccoons Roshan had brought in.

"Of course not" Roshan replied as he sat down near his father, "Milanaka followed me again and made me loose a deer in the woods. I'm getting sick of this."

"Again? Roshan, this girl can't keep doing this, she's made you loose six hunts in the last couple of weeks."

"I know… and no matter what I do she just keeps coming back. I can't take this anymore, father."

Roshan's father sighed as he set down his now sharpened spear, "Look, why don't you go talk to the head elder woman, Emele, and I'll take care of the raccoons you brought in."

Roshan nodded as he stood and headed back out of the tent and headed in the direction of the head elder woman's tent. Emele, the head elder woman, was the oldest and wisest member of the tribe and, to Roshan, she seemed to know the answer to almost anything. Out of everyone in the tribe, Emele seemed to care more about Roshan than anybody which made Roshan feel both happy and awkward at the same time. Happy because she was the only mother-like figure he ever had since his own mother died when he was just a baby. Awkward because some of the other young children and teens in the village teased him about being the elder woman's 'pet'. Nevertheless, Roshan continued to visit Emele as she had no children of her own anymore and was always delighted when Roshan came to visit, whether there was a problem or not. Roshan soon made it to Emele's tent as he found Emele sitting comfortably in front of her tent with a few fur cloaks around her to keep her warm and she spotted Roshan.

"Roshan, my little sparrow, what a surprise." Emele said.

"Hello, Emele" Roshan replied as he bent down and briefly kissed Emele's cheek before sitting down beside her. "How are you?"

"I am fine, dear; I'm just enjoying the day while it still lasts. How did your hunt go today?"

"Not so good actually."

"No? Why is that?"

"That's actually what I kind of wanted to talk to you about. You see, Milanaka keeps following me and so far she's made me loose six hunts plus today as well. I keep telling her to leave me alone so I can have a successful hunt but she just doesn't get it, I'm out of ideas. What should I do, Emele? Is there anything you can do?"

Emele thought for a moment and then smiled, "Roshan, my dear, you have come to me with the same question at least twice before. I am quite certain that no matter what I say or do, there is no stopping that girl. And I cannot solve all of your problems, Roshan; some must be solved yourself."

Roshan thought and then nodded, "I'm just getting sick of her following me every time I go out hunting. She never follows anybody else, just me. Every time I loose a hunt, I feel like I'm being useless to the whole tribe like I'm not trying to do my part every time I return with hardly anything to show for the village."

"What did you bring in today?"

"Only two raccoons, Emele. Hardly worth anything to the village."

"Two raccoons aren't so bad, raccoons are fairly large."

"Yeah… but it still isn't enough with the winter coming soon and all."

"Don't worry, you'll get the best hunt yet just you wait and see."

"Not if Milanaka keeps following me everywhere I go."

"Now, now, stop thinking like that. She can't follow you around forever, can she?"

Roshan thought for a moment and then nodded and Emele smiled. "Good" she said, "which also reminds me." Emele reached underneath one of her fur cloaks and pulled out a small drawstring package and handed it to Roshan. "Those raccoons will taste rather dull if you don't use a few pinches of these herbs I just ground up today. I know how much your dear father likes them."

Roshan took the package from Emele, "Thanks Emele, I'll let father know to use it."

"Now run along, I'm sure your father would like some help with those raccoons of yours."

Roshan nodded once again as he stood and hugged Emele before turning and heading off back towards his own tent, the small package of ground herbs in his hand. Roshan soon returned to his tent to find that his father was outside of the tent as he was skinning the two raccoons Roshan had hunted.

"Hi father, I'm back." Roshan said and his father looked up.

"Hello, son" he replied and he spotted the small package in Roshan's hand, "What do you got there?"

"Oh, Emele gave me some of those ground herbs you like to go with the raccoon meat."

"Ah yes, she sure does know her herbs and spices, sweet lady."

Roshan smiled as he handed the small package to his father and headed inside the tent. Within a few hours, the sky darkened and it was soon time for everyone to retire for the night. Roshan's father had finished skinning the two raccoons and had wrapped up the meat to be cooked for another day. Roshan laid down a pile of furs for him to sleep on and so did his father as Roshan set up on one side of the tent and his father was on the other and within a few minutes, father and son were soon fast asleep.