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Heart-pounding, paws racing, lungs burning.

Woodkit sprang out of a clump of sweet-smelling heather, sand-colored Dashkit and gray-and-white Minkkit hot on his heels. Terror plastered their faces when they heard the deep throated bark of the dog that was chasing them.

"I told you this was a bad idea!" Minkkit panted from behind him. "We should have never listened to him!" Dashkit agreed hastily. Woodkit let out a short hiss, cut off by his heavy breathing. His siblings acted like they hated doing this stuff, only coming along because he forced them to, but in reality they begged to go with him.

A sudden loud snap jerked him back to the race for his life. He risked a quick glance over his shoulder. The dog, a huge brown best with a ridge of darker fur along it's spine, was right behind him, the hot breath touching his fur made him sick.

His surge of terror gave his limbs new strength. He flattened his brown ears and pushed his way forward, his siblings racing beside him. The moor stretch out ahead, the pale milky sky showed that it was nearly dawn. They had left at moonhigh, hoping to slip back in camp before morning so no one would ever notice they had left. That clearly wasn't going to happen.

Woodkit stopped so suddenly that his brothers shot past him without even noticing. He heard the dog pounding closer and closer with each heart-beat, with each breath. When the barking was deafening and he could feel the thundering paws beneath his own, he let out a courageous snarl and spun around.

The dog was a mouse-length away. Woodkit sprung away to one side. As quick as lightning, he whipped back to his attacker and lashed out with a powerful forepaw, he unsheathed his claws, and raked them down across the beasts' ear.

The ugly thing howled in pain and fury and turned on him. It snapped it's jaws a whisker from his ear, but he pulled away just in time. He sprang onto the dogs' back and began ripping out clumps of shaggy fur.

The dog quickly flipped over onto it's back. Woodkit let out a yelp of surprise, which was cut off as the breath got knocked out of him. The dog leaped back up to it's paws. But Woodkit couldn't hear it anymore. An earsplitting ringing was raging through his head. He staggered to his paws and tried shaking it, only making it worse and falling back onto the ground of tough moorland grass.

Everything was hazy, double-vision and a blur when he opened his eyes, and he started to drift out of the waking world. The last thing he saw was the creatures jaws lunging for his leg.



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