A fight and near-death experience

Jinx blinked open her shocking, light blue eyes. They were almost too light blue for a ferret, especially an Underground Ferret. She noticed a white light falling from the thin opening to the outside.

Of course she would notice the light as her small den was right next to the opening. There was a cold draft coming from there too. Perhaps it had snowed. Jinx curled herself tighter and sadly looked at her twisted back-leg.

Jinx was a defect, a rather small ferret for her age with a twisted leg that made her trot more of a limping gait. A defect ferret was looked down upon by the entire colony, and her birth-mother had been banned from the colony for fear she would bring more defected kits into the world.

But the day Jinx opened her eyes everyone was immensely ruffled up. There was a prophecy made long ago that a kit with blues would do miraculous things, but it was never stated that it would be a defect! So the Queen of the colony, or Maradak took her in and nursed her herself.

But she was such a queer kit, so odd in fact, that many called her a curse instead of a blessing. So the Maradak named her Jinx and left her alone.

Her only friend was a dark brown ferret named Dirt. He was born to a ferret who had done something embarrassing in the colony. So the colony named him the most humiliating name ever. So he understood Jinx's pain of being mocked. Just two outsiders trying to fit in.

Jinx finally went to see why it was so cold out side, but when she poked her head threw the slender gap, all she saw was a blinding whiteness.

"Of course! Silly me, it's winter! After all, I do have my winter coat for my fur!" She shook her head, and squeezed the rest of her shaggy body outside.

Jinx was an odd ferret for another reason. All the other Underground Ferrets had dark brown or black fur but her fur was a nice caramel brown. "Such a beautiful snowy morning!" she thought as she trampled through the snow which was almost past her neck. "How can the rest of the colony sleep during a beautiful winter like this!"

"Jinx!" She stopped and turned her head. Seeing her dark best friend she called "Dirt! Isn't it simply gorgeous!" Dirt sneezed and shook snow off his head.

"I guess so. It came early this year. It's freezing out here!" He looked enviously at Jinx's warm winter coat. "You're lucky you got your winter coat. I'm still growing!" Jinx shook her head in disgust.

"You think I'm lucky? That was just another reason for the colony to trample me," She said coldly. "Do you really think I am lucky?"

"I'm sorry Jinx. I meant lucky as in snow…and cold…" he trailed off and looked feeble. "It's okay Dirt." she said quickly, readily forgiving him.

Jinx turned and started limping away, and Dirt followed. "So, where are we going?"

She pointed her nose to the left and turned. "To see if the Thunder River froze up," she said her blue eyes sparkling. "I bet it is, it is so cold out here!" He shivered. She stopped and Dirt ran into Jinx.

"Oofa! Worms and beetles warn me next time Jinx!" he rubbed his black nose with his paw. "You can go back Dirt if you are cold." Dirt shook his dark brown head and plodded on.

"No it's alright, I'll go with you. Anyway no one would notice if I died. I'm lower than dirt in this colony. No, probably lower than Fox scat-" something slammed into his back and he went sprawling into the snow.

Jinx was on his back snarling. Dirt's fur started to shrink as he tried to grovel in the submission position. "You are not lower than Fox scat. Perhaps you are not as high as some of the stupid 'higher' ferrets, but do you want to know who is lower than Fox scat? Me!" she bared her sharp teeth.

"You are lucky-" Suddenly Dirt exploded out of the snow and bared his teeth. Jinx shrank just a bit.

"You think I am lucky? No Jinx! I have the worst name in the entire colony and I get mocked-"

"YES! You are lucky! I am a Defect Ferret! I don't even know my birth-mother! You do! I have a twisted leg! I can't fill my digging quota! I hobble and limp! You have four perfect limbs and a strong body! You have a family! You-"

"Jinx I am not-"

"LISTEN TO ME YOU MUD PUDDLE-!" Jinx roared, but she had gone too far. Dirt leapt forward and grabbed Jinx's scruff. She kept on screaming at him.

"DIRT-WORM! INSECT-SUCKER! PILE OF MUCK-SMELLING DIRT!" Dirt shook the small ferret in his jaws and flung her to the side. Jinx hit a pile of harder-packed snow and slumped.

Dirt staggered and gasped. "J-Jinx? Oh no! Jinx I-" She sat up and glared at him. "Perhaps you are lower than Fox scat!" She said icily. He looked shocked then mad.

"I was trying to apologize!"

"Well it won't work Rat pellet! Now go away!" He staggered, shocked that Jinx had used the worst insult at him!

"Fine Fox scat. I really just believe that you are wallowing in self-pity! Well, fine. I'll let you do that on your own. Perhaps I will hibernate instead!" he shrieked.

"You better eat a eat a whole rabbit, cause you're all bones Rat pellet!" he wheeled around and marched off towards the opening of their home. She stood up with difficulty and hobbled as fast as she could towards the Thunder River. When she got there, she sat on her rump, listened to the river's roar, and cried oily tears until her muzzle was completely wet.

Something patted her rump and she jumped. Looking wildly around she saw nothing. But a voice softly came right next to her. "I am right here, dearie."

"Where! I don't see anyone? Wait-" the outline of a ferret moved, and beautiful black eyes stared at her warmly. Jinx gasped.

"Oh my! A Snow Ferret!" The Ferret made an odd purring noise in the back of her throat. "Oh my! A Defect Ferret like myself!" the pure-white ferret began to groom her bad leg. Oh how good it felt.

"You're, a…Defect Ferret? How?" Jinx looked over the beautiful ferret and saw no oddities. The Snow Ferret made another purring sound. "It may not seem like it at first, but listen very closely to my voice." The Snow Ferret began to talk, and Jinx heard it.

"Your voice…isn't right." The other gave a whistling, chuckling noise. "That is the nicest way anyone has stated that to me! My voice chords are twisted. My name is Curse." Jinx shivered despite her warm coat.

"What an awful name! Why couldn't it be…I don't know, Snow or Unseen, even that's better than Curse!" Curse sighed. "It does fit, because of my voice, being a defect among my colony, and my black eyes." She blinked them at Jinx. "I think they are lovely! My name is Jinx." Curse shook her head.

"An unfitting name for a beautiful Underground Ferret. But tell me dear one, how is it that your coloring is different?" Jinx shifted from paw to paw. "That's one of the odd things about me. Nobody takes me for an Undergrounder until they smell the earth on my fur."

Curse nodded. "Ah, that happened to me too. But no matter, you are an Undergrounder as you say. Now tell me friend, why were you crying?" Suddenly Jinx couldn't hold back the nasty, untrue things she said to Dirt. Sobbing, she told her new friend all she had said to him.

Curse looked thoughtful as she listened. "It sounds like you and your friend were rude to each other. Why?" Jinx gulped. "Because-Because….I thought I had more a reason to be bitter than him." Curse wagged her head.

"We all do. Why, you have a perfectly fine voice."

"But your bigger, stronger and have four perfect limbs!"

"Exactly my point. We both have it worse, but he is only a paw-step better than you! Dirt, I would rather have the name Curse than Dirt!" But Jinx sighed gloomily, licking a tear off her nose. "He won't forgive me."

"Just give him a chance to feel guilty. You did say some pretty mean things to him." Jinx nodded.

Suddenly, a piercing shriek came out of nowhere. Jinx jumped, but Curse sighed in an irritated way. "Goodness, if I have told her once, I've told her a million times! That screech hurts my ears!" padding noises came, and out of the white, the most haggard and thin ferret Jinx had ever seen came into view.

She was gray, with thick fur in some places and thinner in others, as if she had gotten into a fight and the hair had never healed properly. Her gait was uneven, and her ears drooped, and didn't look like they could stand up.

"Is she a Defect Ferret?" Jinx whispered to Curse. Curse nodded, and whistled "That is Rouge. Mind your Ps and Qs with her." the ragged ferret came over to Curse first.

"Lo' Curse! I found a perfect place for huntin' some Hares. "Y'up for it?" Curse purred but shook her head. "Not today Rouge. I want you to meet someone." Rouge turned her battered head towards Jinx.

"Oh goodness, not another one sufferin' as well!" her voice had softened, as she peered at her twisted leg. "Undergrounder?" she sniffed at Jinx's caramel fur.

"Humph, well y'don' look like one. Well young'un, what's yer pathetic name?"

"Jinx," the gray ferret snorted. "Yer the Jinx of yer colony, just like she is the Curse of her colony, and I," she paused and sneezed.

"Sowry, and I, was the Dismay of me colony." Jinx blinked at the odd ferret. "You're name was Dismay? And how are you a Defect?"

She gave Jinx a hard stare. "Dearie, do these ears look like they can be lifted?" Jinx shook her head. "Nah, they decided I couldn't hear as good as the other high-and-mighty ferrets. Taunted me a good deal 'fore I got my wits and left."

"You left your colony!"

"Do I look like I'm goin' tuh sit by and let the taunts come? Nah, I left." Rouge turned back to Curse.

"So, 'bout those Hares?" Curse's eyes twinkled and she gazed at Jinx. "Want to come?" Jinx nodded, noticing how nice Curse's grammar was compared to Rouge's.

"Sure, though I have never hunted in the group of hunters, or Cardrach." She admitted. Rouge snorted, and looked at Jinx. "Well there's always a a-come on before my dinner runs away!"

...

Dirt shrieked in anger and attacked the wall he was digging. His Birth-Mother decided that their whole in their portion of the ground was too small to accommodate the next litter of kits. This was the perfect task to let out his anger at her! How DARE she call him Rat Pellet! Mud Puddle! Dirt-Worm! Insect-Sucker! He let out another piercing shriek and dug furiously.

"Hey Mud Puddle! (Grr!) Where's your lame mate-friend!" a snide voice called from behind Dirt. He instantly new who it was.

"Harder, you think you wouldn't be able to even get a insult past the rocks in your brain!" Dirt said loftily, turning to face the black muscular ferret. He knew it was wrong to insult someone 'Higher' then him, but he was too angry at Jinx to care.

"Ooh! You dare insult me Rat Pellet!" Dirt knew Harder's Birth-Mother would clean out his mouth with dirt if she heard him talking like that, even to Dirt.

"Oh, hello Sunup-Mya!" Dirt said in a falsely cheery voice to no one behind him, making it look like Harder's Birth-Mother was right there. Harder's fur paled, and he whipped around. When he didn't see her, Harder turned around to give Dirt the bite of his life, but he wasn't there.

"Pincers! Where did you go Mud Puddle!(GRR!)" Unknown to Harder, Dirt had made side tunnels that led to the opening to the outside.

As he trampled through the snow, Dirt thought of the things that Jinx had said to him. But anger no longer swept through him. Now he felt enormously guilty of the things he had said to her. Dirt knew that Jinx was ridiculed a lot more than he was. She had more reasons to be bitter with the colony.

Now Dirt wondered if Jinx was still at the Thunder River. He turned in that direction and ran towards the big river. He was very close when he heard a crack and a two loud shrieks. Dirt ran faster and skidded to s top when he saw Jinx and a white ferret clinging to a branch in the icy cold water.

...

Jinx desperately clung to the log and Curse was doing the same. Suddenly, the log detached from its place and started to float down the river! Jinx was vaguely aware of the freezing water lapping up her legs. Jinx's paws skidded across an icy patch on the log, and she sank under the water. As she felt the chilling liquid float around her, she thought to herself

"I guess this is it for little me. Not like anyone will miss me." and with that her world went black.