The strange contraption carrying a passed-out Trixie came to a firm halt. Inside the silver bars that imprisoned her, the vixen stirred and perked her ears up immediately. Her father had told her of the dangers of human traps and now she was astonished to see his words come to life. The winter cold feel of the human trap against her backside, animals which humans made and controlled. A loud whine sounded and the slam of an object made her jump. Breathing fast and thinking faster, Trixie smelled the front of the trap. The winter hide had a tongue that fastened it's mouth shut and she nosed it open with a hard push.

"Sorry guys," she lamented to the other trapped animals, "I don't have time to…" their whines and cries caught her in a stranglehold of guilt but before Trixie could act, stones crunching underneath hard feet made her pause. "If I free you," the fox turned to look a twitchy raccoon in the eye, "you have to free the others while I create a diversion, kay?"

It nodded.

When the poor man unlatched the lock on the truck's backdoor, fur and fangs flew all over the place. Trixie slipped away undetected. Her paws lightly treaded the gravel as though this was a normal thing, the fox looked around for her father and Peter. Surely with Todd's knowledge of the human world the two had escaped. She was starting to grow a bit worried when suddenly the sight of a hound dog made her stop. The hunter was only visible by his pants leg and boot, but the papa dog from her childhood stood looking across the way at her with wide eyes. Trixie turned tail and ran from Copper.

"Wait, wait!" He called out to her.

She didn't wait and she didn't stop. Trixie barreled through the forest at full speed. It couldn't be possible, it just could not be so! The fox felt tears fill her eyes at what had possibly happened to her family. Finally she slowed, taking a few moments to try and allow her heart to stop racing so fast. Her cheeks became damp as she panted heavily. Trixie looked over her shoulder and let her ears droop. She was alone in a part of the forest she had never been. The vixen pointed her nose down and started dejectedly on.

Trixie couldn't go back, wherever her father and Peter were…

"HA-whoo!" The sound of a hound pierced the silent forest. Birds took flight and this caused the fox to run headlong into the woods again. Several seconds into this blurs of pursuing animals appeared at the side of her eyes. This only caused Trixie to speed up.

She didn't know how much longer she could keep up running when suddenly a pair of jaws snapped at her heels. Trixie gave a little shriek and turned back to look. A young hound was baring it's teeth at her, another one wasn't far behind on it's right side. The two were trying to steer the fox into a section of woods where they could finish her. It was this sickening conclusion that caused Trixie to bare her teeth in aggression. Taking the offensive, the vixen lured the two hounds to a pile of nearby logs. She scaled up one in particular that lay slanted against another. The lead hound dug his claws into the bark as it tried viciously to get at her. Trixie went to the end of the log and hopped around. She was waiting for the right moment as the dog slowly prowled up the fallen tree, situated with all her limbs spread out. It came closer… closer… then suddenly the log rose. Trixie kept her weight centered and balanced out. The hound was left stupefied as she veered the log over to the end of a small brook. Leaping from her place at the end, Trixie stopped at the lower base of the pile to listen as both dog and log went splashing down. She was about to turn around to face down the other when a white hound with brown spots came nose-to-nose with her. Trixie gasped and scampered off instead. The hound raised it's head to call out:

"Wait, come back!"

Little did the fox know, the second hound that had chased her was assisting it's leader.

This was a new one entirely.

To be continued…

~ Lavenderpaw ~