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.