Kallik

The four bears headed towards the trees, following Toklo. He stopped suddenly, gazing at a stone cave several bear-lengths away. Toklo's eyes were grief-stricken and filled with pain. Lusa immediately hurried up to be closer to him, to comfort him.

"Toklo? Should we shelter in that cave? It's beginning to get dark," the small black bear asked, trying to distract him.

Toklo was distracted and hardly heard her. She pressed her fur into his side. He blinked as if he had just noticed her presence,"Did you say something?"

Kallik thought she saw a glimmer of hurt in her friend's eyes. "I asked if we should shelter in that cave because it's almost dark," Lusa replied, somewhat angrily.

"NO!" Toklo roared. Lusa backed away nervously and bumped into her. "O-okay." Ujurak's concerned look echoed what she felt. Why had such a simple question provoked Toklo's reaction? Lusa was still hiding behind Kallik. "Don't worry, I'm sure he didn't mean it. Try talking to him after he's calmed down a bit," Kallik reassured her friend.

Lusa looked away, not meeting her gentle gaze. "I-I don't think he likes me. Maybe you should try. Or Ujurak."

"Just try when he's in a better mood. That's all."

"Just do it. For me." The smaller bear's eyes filled up with tears. She buried her muzzle into Kallik's thick white fur. "Shh-hh. It's okay."

"Are you coming?" Ujurak called. The two female bears turned and hurried towards him. "Try not to bother Toklo. He's not in a great mood right now," he said in a low voice.

She stood on her hind legs. Toklo was angrily muttering something to himself and looked back at the cave. Toklo shivered and quickened his pace. Kallik hurried after him.

"Tolko..." she began. The older grizzly's eyes were cold. "What?" he growled in annoyance. She dropped her gaze. "Should we...umm... hunt or look for a place to sleep?" Kallik asked.

"Why don't you?" Toklo said. Is he challenging me, or just tired she wondered. "Okay, then," she answered uncertainly. Lusa caught up to her.

"What were you talking about?" Lusa asked, her black eyes glittering anxiously.

"I asked if him we should hunt or look for a place to sleep. He was still upset and told me to do it," Kallik replied. The black bear let out a small sigh of relief. She glanced back at Toklo. He wasn't doing much, just sitting there staring at a strange flat-face thing. His pained expression showed how much he was hurting inside. Kallik nudged her. "Look," she murmured, pointing with her tail. Lusa looked troubled,"I wish he'd let us help." Ujurak appeared holding a huge trout in his jaws. He looked at the two bears, then at Toklo and chose to go towards him.

"Come on. We should hurry or they might finish eating before we get there!" Lusa said. She began running with Kallik right beside her. Before they came, Toklo left to catch more fish, and to be alone. Ujurak looked up. "Here, you can eat. I'll catch some more later."

"Okay, but we can help with the fishing too!" Kallik said indignantly. Lusa had already bent down to eat. Kallik tore off a bite of trout. The three bears quickly finished off the fish. With a twitch of his ear, Ujurak told them to follow him. The bears obliged and soon found themselves by a small stream full of fish. "You both know how to hunt, don't you?" Ujurak asked.

"Of course," replied Kallik.

"Kinda," Lusa muttered. Kallik's eyes widened in surprise. "Really? I'll teach you." The little bear nodded happily.

Hi! Can you guess where they are? Or maybe why the stone cave made Toklo remember? I just read three of the books and am gonna finish the whole series soon. And Lusa will be in charge after this. 'Cuz poor Toklo won't be able to stand it.