The powerful wind blew the snow against me as I made my way through the frozen field. It was around nighttime and I hadn't found any shelter. I knew that I would probably die if I didn't anytime soon.
Now, you're probably wondering why I'm outside at nighttime during the ice age. Wondering why I'm not in a cave or a hollow tree with my family, instead of being out in the cold, all alone.
Well, my name is Silva and this is just my life, I guess. Being without shelter isn't anything new to me. Living alone and being a raccoon isn't the greatest life you could have.
First thing is that being alone means that you have to take care of yourself and find food yourself. It also means that you have to be on the lookout of predators all the time, since there's no one else to do so.
Second thing is that raccoons aren't really all that welcome because they have a reputation for being thieves and treacherous. So asking someone for shelter would just be a waste of time.
Okay, the first of those two things is actually true. When I can't find any food and if I grow desperate enough, I steal. Well, not on a daily basis, but, as mentioned, only when I grew desperate.
"Why didn't I just sleep in that old tree?" I muttered to myself as I moved forwards through the deep snow. "Well, sure it was inhabited, but at that old owl could have shared."
The snow almost reached me to the chest. If I had been a hairless raccoon I would have been long gone, but luckily I wasn't.
Finally I saw something through the blizzard – a cave.
"Awesome," I muttered. "Shelter…"
And what if this is inhabited too? a voice said in the back of my head.
"They can share," I muttered through the blizzard.
What if it is by a predator?
"Who cares? I'll take the chance." Yes, sometimes I argue with my brain as a result of being too alone.
I finally made it to the cave. If I was lucky it would be a stone cave, instead of an ice cave.
Of course when I got inside it, I saw that it was an ice cave. But to my luck, it wasn't inhabited by anyone.
The floor, the walls and the ceilings were made smooth, bright blue ice in which I could see my own reflection. Due to being an ice cave it wasn't really all that cold. Well, that means that it was warmer than outside.
The cave was big and didn't seem to be inhabited, lucky for me. The cave seemed to be very big, but I was too tired to check it out. I laid me down on the cave floor, but soon realized that the ice was impossible to sleep or even feel comfortable on.
I sighed deeply at my bad luck and turned to my right side… So typical! I turned again and saw something I hadn't noticed before: A crack in the ice, actually a rather big one.
The crack was very close to my face. In fact, it seemed to start from under my head. And what was that weird sound…?
Once I finally figured out, it was too late. The ice under me cracked and just then did I realize how thin the ice had been; two centimeters or so.
I expected to fall into some water or something, but I wasn't wet at all. Actually, all I felt were warm gusts of air blowing against my entire body. I realized that I was falling through the air and that there was green, lush forest far under me. The air that blew against me made it hard to breathe, so I couldn't scream – even if I wanted to.
I remember stories about that you could go to the other side of the world from when I was a cub, but this was crazy!
And if I were, then why was I falling down? If I really was on the other side of the planet, I probably would have been coming from the underground,
I knew that the impact with the ground would kill me for sure, so there wasn't much hope for me.
Why didn't I just stay at home? I thought to myself as I kept on falling.
You don't even have a home, the voice in my head spoke. And what did I tell you!?
First up, it was a rhetoric question! my thoughts growled. And…!
My little mental argument was interrupted when I suddenly hit a treetop.
"Urgh! Argh! Ouch!" I fell down through the leaves and branches. I kept my eyes shot, since I didn't want to end up blind.
Finally I hit the ground hard, not hard enough to kill me, but it was enough to knock the air out of me.
After some time I regained my breath and got to my feet.
"My life sucks," I muttered as I started to remove twigs and leaves from my fur. I then took a look around. I had no idea about where I was.
I was in some kind of forest, but I didn't know any of the plants and trees that grew here. I looked upwards. The sky had no stars and I couldn't see the moon.
What was this place? And more importantly where? And how would I get back?
I had to find a way, but it was late and I was tired. I had to find another place to sleep. I could always think about this stuff later.
Since I was unfamiliar with this place I had to be extra careful. I didn't know what predators lived here, so one wrong move could end it.
Ah, finally: A hollow tree! After very little effort of climbing the tree I looked into the hole, while standing on a branch right under it.
There were all sorts of items inside the tree: a square shaped stone in front of the hole, a bunch of flowers and an acorn. Then I saw who lived there: a little squirrel.
I was pretty sure that I wouldn't be welcome, so I decided to just sleep on the branch – besides; the hole was too small for me to get inside. I picked a big leaf from the branch and used it to cover myself as I leaned against the tree.
I sighed. It felt as if I was in another world when I couldn't see the moon and the stars, like I was so used to. I felt so separated from the life I knew, which I actually kind of was.
If I was lucky, then tomorrow I'd wake up and find out that it was all a dream. Well, if you haven't figured out yet, then my luck isn't even good enough to find an available place for the night!
The next morning I was woken by a long series of squeaky sounds. I opened my eyes with a yawn and discovered the source of the noise: On my chest stood a little squirrel. She wasn't really all that big and her fur was different shades of red and also a little bit of brown. The thing that I noticed right away was that she didn't look happy.
In fact, she looked rather angry for some reason. Maybe it was the fact that I had slept in her tree without any permission. It kind of annoyed me, but at the same time I also knew why that was the reason why she had a freak out.
I didn't quite understand her, but I was pretty sure it was something like "Get off my tree, you stupid raccoon."
"Relax, just let me…" I started and stretched my arms. This just seemed to make her even angrier.
"Okay, okay. I'm leaving now," I said in a very annoyed tone. Obviously this wasn't a very hospitable neighborhood, if you'd like to call it so.
The little squirrel seemed satisfied with my answer and I left. I jumped down on the ground and suspended the terrain.
The forest was lid up by strong sunlight, which came down from the sky. Now, this seemed a little illogic to me. Last night I had figured that this cave was somehow in a cave deep underground. Like that wasn't weird enough, lots of weird and disturbing sounds came out from the thicket of the forest.
I had absolutely nowhere to go, but I guessed that I had to head out either way. I took my first few steps through the thicket. The vegetation made it really hard to move forwards, but this far it was going good; I mean, I hadn't run into any predators.
After some time I finally got out of the thicket and into some kind of valley. The valley was bathed in strong sunlight and as I looked up I saw that it shone through some kind of thick barrier, which I assumed was ice. Somehow the sunrays seemed to get stronger when they shone through the ice – why else would it be this hot, and how would the plants be able to grow this big?
There were a lot of trees and bushes in this big valley, but then I noticed one of the inhabitants of the valley.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw the big, bluish, scaly body, the bulky beak and the big thumb-claws. It was a dinosaur.
Weren't dinosaurs supposed to be extinct? I wondered in my head. This time – luckily – my head didn't answer me, since that would be a little inappropriate.
Once when I found shelter in a mountain cave I had seen some kind of print on the wall – a fossil. The fossil had been of some kind of large animal. This dinosaur seemed to be very similar to that fossil.
Soon a lot of other dinosaurs entered the valley. They had different sizes and looks. Some of them were huge and it looked like their tails and necks were gigantic snakes; some of them had a huge sphere-like head; some had big plates on their backs.
I'm a raccoon, so I was already a pretty small animal, but now I felt like an insect – no offense to insects.
Soon the dinosaur I had seen first noticed me. He looked way down at me from way up there. He seemed to be just as hospitable as the little squirrel from before.
He growled at me and barred his teeth. I felt a little more relieved when I saw how flat his teeth were since it meant that he was a herbivore, which meant that he wouldn't see me as a potential meal.
"Uh… hi…?" I tried, but whatever I tried to do, it didn't work. He growled at me again and I started to back a little away.
Suddenly a loud roar filled the air of the valley. Then the sound of heavy footsteps and the sound of more roars filled the air, but those were roars of horror. I turned around and gasped at what I saw.