A mother black bear lumbered toward her winter den, the cold swirling around her thick, coarse black fur. She stopped and swung her head around and bellowed, a wailing groan followed and a black bear cub raced after its mother. Nuzzling her son, the mother continued on, heading to a frozen river to cross over and get to her den. It was simple to do, and all she needed was to keep her cub next to her.

But her young cub, being overly excited, took off onto the ice, ignoring his mother's panicked, bellowing cries. The bear cub squealed and rolled around the ice, sliding across toward a swallow pit in the ice, falling in, disappearing under the water.

Its mother bellowed in fear and panic and charged forward onto the ice, pawing at the patch, trying to dig up her son.

The mother bear stalked toward her den, head bowed, heart grieving for the loss of her son, when a faint wail reached her ears. The black bear raised her head and lumbered toward the sound of the wail, stopping suddenly. In front of her lay a tiny bundle, shivering violently from the cold. Picking up the bundle in her maw, the mother bear raced toward her den, curling into a large ball and warming the little, squirming bundle at her belly, holding it with her large paws.

"Eris!" The black mother bear bellowed, calling for her foster daughter who was still sleeping inside the winter den. "Eris, come here!"

The small kitten shifted and stretched, yawning. Once the eight moon old kitten got to her paws, she shook her white pelt, racing out of the den and to her mother. "Coming, mother," she called and padded over, blinking up at her mother, Chara.

Chara smiled and leaned down, rasping her large tongue across Eris' head and back, making the kitten squeak. Chuckling, Chara rumbled, "Come along, Eris. Today, I show you how to fish."

Eris reared on her hind legs, balancing perfectly as she stood there, gazing around with her sharp red eyed gaze. Her mother, Chara, was sitting by a berry bush, stripping the lush fruit off of the branches. She bent down, placing her front paws on the lush grass of late spring and headed toward the river to fish.

Her movement matched that of a bear, the same lumbering gate. Eris could also stand on her hind legs and move around for very short amount of time, when she scented the air, she used her nose, Eris could also go into semi hibernation, but will wake from time to time, and she can eat berries, nuts, fish, and the normal bear diet. Plus, she only spoke bear, so if another animal of her species saw her talking, they wouldn't understand a word, just hear light pitched growls, barks, and rumbles. She was also well muscled from the training and from helping aid Chara's hunt.

Eris hesitated and waded into the river, which was running smoothly and lazily, and waited for a fish of some sort to come swimming toward her upriver. As if on cue, a salmon swam forward and Eris immediately took action. Parting her jaws wide, she swung down her slender neck and snapped the salmon's head in her jaws, shaking the fish and throwing it onto the shore. Smiling, she ran her tongue around her muzzle and lowered her head, waiting for another fish. A trout saw that thing snap up the salmon, so it swam around, debating on what to do. Being an animal of low intelligence, it shot forward and leaped out of the water into the air, aiming to fly above the small albino animal.

Eris' head shot up and she twisted her body, grabbing the trout in the air and violently whipping it from side to side, throwing it onto the bank with the lifeless salmon. Wading back toward the shore and climbing on it, Eris grabbed the fish tails and dragged them toward the place she saw her mother at proud to have caught them prey by herself.

The medium haired albino she-cat dropped the fish by Chara and rumbled, "Mother, I caught two fish!"

Chara turned her head and saw her foster daughter standing by two plump fish, a trout and a salmon. Her mouth twisted into a bear grin and she bellowed softly, "Very good, Eris! You are becoming a strong Spirit Bear." Eris' chest puffed out in pride, knowing that any white bear was called Spirit Bear, but she also knew to be called Spirit Bear in praise was rare, for her white pelt made her stand out.

Nudging the trout to her mother, Eris tore into the salmon ravenously, relishing the delicious flavors.

As spring turned into summer, Eris was growing older as well as her mother, who was growing more restless because the males would start roaming again and Chara feared for her foster daughter's safety.

"Eris!" Chara bellowed and watched as the albino cat turned away from the blueberry bush and streak toward her. Remorse and regret twisting the black bear's heart, as Eris slowed her gate and lumbered over, stopping and blinking her red eyes up into Chara's beady black ones. "Eris… it's time you… time you leave."

Eris blinked, startled. "But, Chara…"

"No," Chara growled, narrowing her eyes. "You must leave before you are killed. It's for your safety, Eris."

Eris sighed and reared up, tilting up her sleek head and touching her tiny nose to Chara's large one. "I understand. I'll miss you, mom." Chara nodded and watched as Eris got to her paws and lumbered off, heading to the trees.

Total words: 943 words.

Ursus Cat = Bear Cat in Latin.