Braxis woke with a great gasp. His nose covered in sand and dirt, his entire frame cold and wet. Lying on the bank of the icy river, his body throbbing in agony, he crawled forward, dragging his heavy torso up onto the dry ground and out of the lapping ripples that swirled over his back and legs. How long had he been lying here? He wondered. Turning his stiffened neck sideways, he glanced upwards to the sky that was beginning to darken, the caked dirt that clogged his fur slowing his efforts to swivel himself around. Shaking as furiously as he could, he managed to dislodge much of it before sinking back down into the grass below. He would have to wait it out. Once the darkness and the shadows that were growing longer each moment passed over him, his energy would be renewed, and the flesh wounds inflicted by the pestilent little rebels would heal.
Out of the corner of his bloodshot eye, he saw a muskrat, furry and soft, creeping toward the riverbank to take a drink under the protective dim light of sunset. It hadn’t noticed the large, mountainous beast that lay still and cold on the ground beside it, and Braxis quickly decided that this would be to its peril. With quick reflexes, he snapped his paw down on top of his evening meal and, as he did so, it let out a high-pitched squeal. Closing his claws around the furry mass, he brought it to his mouth and without hesitation, tore its head from its limbs, swallowing it whole. Almost immediately, he felt some strength return to his body. He quickly swallowed the remains, letting the tail slide slowly through his teeth with utmost pleasure. As soon as he regained his strength he would rise and return to his search. In the darkness the trail wouldn’t be hard to find, and then to follow his target would be effortless. They would not be expecting him.