Hope I'm doing this right. I did instead of metamorphosis “Sprout” and “Plant”. I'd like to do the cherrywood path please!
@Mist For clarity, week 1 is 1 - 5, with the 6th Feb 11:59pm Server Time as last time to submit for week 1. So there’s a generous over lap to account for time zones and late entries.
Week 2 is day 6 - 12 with last time to submit being 13th Feb 11:59pm server time. So on and so forth.
All posts up to here are caught up on the Submissions form (bar email entries)
@Ruby @Lunar Kay @Mist @None @Abysea
Changes have been made to Lorch due to late comers and critique.
Week 1 Deadline has been moved to Week 2's deadline as the announcement has brought a wave of new people who wish to submit posts but only have 1 day. All other deadlines are the same.
Word limit has been reduced by 20% down to 200 Words for writing submissions.
@Quiche So basically, we have week 1 and 2 to submit entries for weeks 1 and 2?
@Mist Just the 2 submissions per week for the Cherrywood/Willow Path. You can always backdate for the Spring Crown.
Day 4 Substituting Wonder for Bloom
Celestia lay in the grass watching as her three pups romped and played around and pestered their father with a myriad of questions about the world around them. This was their first spring, so it didn't come as any surprise to her that they found everything unique and new and wonderful. Truth be told, she remembered when she was like that, when she herself was a pup. She remembered thinking that every flower of spring was the most beautiful thing she had ever witnessed. She remembered looking at the snow of winter and how the light sparkled off of it made it look magic. She remembered chasing fireflies in the summer and wondering how it was that stars could come down to Earth. She remembered looking at the frost, tracing the leaves of early autumn mornings and digging it so incredible that they could turn silver.
But that was something that was often lost whenever a wolf grew up. A wolf had to learn, to hunt, to survive. Many adult responsibilities. Everything that being an adult required. And the pup side of them would go slumber deep inside. Every now and then it would wake up and looked around when she happened to catch a particularly beautiful sparkle of snow. But then it would go to sleep again. She knew her mate Lunan was much the same. For him, it seemed that his internal pup would look up and stir whenever he saw a beautiful sunrise or sunset or see the stars in the moon. He was attracted to the sky.
But having pups awakened the internal pup much more than anything else. It reignited the sense of wonder as it allowed both of them to see the world through a different pair of eyes. Even now, watching them chasing butterflies and exclaiming over their beautiful wings she could see her mate giving she did have to muse that the change of seasons and the shifting of the world truly was something wondrous to behold. No matter what, it was constant. No matter what changed in their lives, such as now traveling to join the Goldsea Pack spring followed winter, summer would follow spring and fall after that. She laid her head back down, giving a long yawn, feeling very satisfied. What a wonderful time to be alive.
Day 5: Scent
Lunan crouched down, looking at his three pups.
"Alright," he instructed, "what can you smell?" Perhaps the pups were a bit young for a real hunting lesson but this preliminary exercise might be within their ability. Three noses pointed skyward, then all around.
"Lots of flowers," Winter Sky answered.
"And I smell mother," Dusk Eyes added, turning towards where Celestia was taking a small nap beneath a flowering tree. Snow Pine sniffed, then blinked, then sniffed.
"Bird!" he answered. Lunan himself had scented all these things, did so with every breath, so he knew they were accurate.
"Very good," he praised. "Alright, now, smell these three rocks." He pushed a small rock before each pup with his paw. "I've rubbed a flower over each one. I want you to use your nose and bring me the flower on your rock." He'd been very careful to only rub the inside of the flowers and leave no petals behind that might give a clue. Obediently the pups smelled the rocks. Snow Pine sneezed from the lingering bits on pollen. "Do you have a good scent?" His sons nodded. "Good. Now go!" Eagerly the three darted off. Lunan moved over to sit behind his mate, watching for trouble while his offspring 'hunted.' He made sure all the flowers were well within sight but it never hurt to be extra careful.
"How are they doing?" Celestia asked, clearly not quite as asleep as he'd thought. Lunan couldn't help but huff a chuckle. Trust a mother wolf to never be inattentive when her pups were away from her side.
"They're going well," he answered, laying down and resting his head across her shoulders, watching his offspring. Winter Sky was going in the general direction of his target, while Dusk Eyes was being slow but careful as he scented both ground and air in turns. He was somewhat surprised and very pleased to see Snow Pine making a bee line for his target.
He took a deep, sighing breath. Laying beneath the blooming tree and in a bed strewn with petals that had fallen from the breeze, he noticed Celestia had picked up some of the flowery scent as well. He gave her ear a lick and she flicked him with her tail.
It took about ten minutes. First Snow Pine ran up with his flower, a red rose. His brothers were right on his tail, Winter Sky clutching a daisy in his teeth and Dusk Eyes with a dandelion. They set the flowers in the grass before their parents as Lunan sat up and Celestia opened her eyes, gazing up at their father with eager eyes and wagging tails awaiting either praise and confirmation or the word that they'd failed their task.
"Well done," Lunan praised with a proud flick of his tail. "These are all the right flowers." At hearing that the three pups, even Snow Pine, began bouncing and yipping and wrestling. Satisfied with this 'hunting lesson' Lunan lay back down to let them burn some energy and relax in the flower-perfumed plains.
Day 6: Eggs
Celestia was very aware that her pup Dusk Eyes had a very keen sense of vision. He was the first one to open his eyes of his brothers, after all. So it came as no surprise that he was the one who found the a new discovery within the cleft of two stones. The mother wolf had just been about to call the pup to continue their journey when she noticed that he was peering over a rock seeming very intent on whatever was on the other side. So of course she had to go and investigate what trouble he was getting himself into while her mate Lunen was wrangling the other two pups.
"Dusk eyes, what did you find?' She asked. The pup looked over his shoulder at his mother, tail wagging eagerly.
"I don't know," he answered. "Look!" He pointed his nose down. Putting a paw on the large rock so that she could look over her son's shoulder Celestia saw that what he was looking at was a collection of sticks, bits of grass and leaves, and feathers all twisted together to line the gap between the stone that the pup was on and its neighbors.
"You found a nest," she told him.
"A nest?" he asked
"Yes. It's a bird's nest. They take leaves, sticks, twigs, feathers from their own bodies, bits of wolf fur if they can find it, and put it all together to make a safe place to lay their eggs."
"Oh, so those round things must be eggs?" The pup gasped. Sure enough, there were three roundish eggs inside.
"Those are eggs," Celestia confirmed.
"Can we eat eggs?" Dusk Eyes asked.
"Well, technically we can," Celestia told him. "But eggs are often a lot more work, in my opinion, than they're worth. They're very messy and sticky and get everywhere. Even just to break the shell gets them all over your muzzle and face." For a moment she saw that the pup looked very interested, as all young ones did when they found that there was there might be a chance of getting into a mess, especially whenever their parents couldn't really get mad at them for it. "And of course," Celestia went on, "if you did get into an egg and got its insides all over your fur then I would have to give you a bath." At that word, Dust Eyes looked significantly less impressed with the egg.
"A bath?" He questioned.
"Yes, probably a very long bath because as I said, it's very sticky, especially after it's dried. Now come along. I believe your father is about to go hunting and we'll get something that tastes much better and we can let the mother bird come back and take care of her eggs." She picked up Dusk Eyes by the scruff of his neck and carried him over to join his siblings.
As the family walked away, a mother bird flew down and seated herself back onto her nest.
Day 7: Affection
Most wolves who met Lunan got the impression that he was a serious, no-nonsense wolf who kept everyone else at a foreleg's length. When he was younger this was actually rather true. After he left his birth pack to strike out on his own he kept to himself. His mate Celestia was the first wolf to see past his exterior to the warm male within. She realized that not only was he more affectionate than he liked to let on he was protective and a provider as well. Nothing pleased him more than being able to bring her prey from his hunts. He learned her favorites and when she was carrying their pups he brought her tokens like flowers. When she was birthing he paced back and forth outside the den, constantly checking in to see if she needed his help and when three little voices were whining and squeaking he about tripped over his paws scrambling to get in to see them. From that first instant he was wrapped around their little paws.
Now, however, the lone Machaira that had crossed paths with the wolf family probably would've have believed it if Celestia was in a mood to tell them. Lunan snarled viciously and snapped his teeth, lunging around swipes of the feline beast's claws to make attacks of his own. There was no sign of gentleness or affection in the male wolf now. Celestia crouched protectively over the pups who hid beneath her belly. While she was ready to jump in should Lunan need it she didn't believe it would be necessary. Already her mate had delivered several punishing blows into the Machaira's fur. Another few moments and the Machaira ran off squealing in defeat. Lunan glared after it, snorting once in disgust and giving his fur a shake before turning to his family. The mates exchanged nuzzled then the male wolf bent his head to lick his pups reassuringly. Within a few moments the three youngsters were romping around his paws and yipping excitedly about his battle, making mock attacks against their father as they imitated him. Indulgently Lunan tumbled onto his side under their blows.
Yes, the fearsome, loving father wolf.