The River

by BlackSnowyOwl

One Last Dream


The berries were always delicious.

By the riverbed, everything tastes better. It all grows easier. I love it here.

I'm not greedy, I just like to go out of my way to get the better food. And so I slowly trot alongside the empty riverbed which was full of large, smooth rocks and boulders, I'm swinging my head back and forth near the ground, peeking for ripe bushes hiding away their luscious treats under logs.

In slightly-building boredom, I begin to playfully nudge the river's rocks aside, merely hoping I might find something under them, but I'm just kidding myself.

I gently bite down onto a bushy leaf, tasting the fuzzy texture before spitting it out. It isn't bland or raunchy like most would be, but still, I'm a mare who loves quality. I sigh and trot onwards.

My ears perk up in surprise as they catch a small whimper. I immediately turn and run the other direction, the sound appeared to be of distress, and I am used to hearing those. It is probably just another bunny caught up in a tree root.

I love helping animals, so I quickly clamber over the loose riverbed rocks, shifting my weight as they tumble and turn, still slippery from the rainstorm that happened a couple hours ago. I could see the forest's large wooden reservoir off in the distance, it is what blocks the riverbed from overflowing during fierce storms like earlier.

Although my throat is rather parched and I wouldn't mind if it spilled a little water down for me to drink.

I finally reach the source of the sound I had heard, dropping down over a particularly large boulder and looking down at the strange sight. By what I can tell, it seems to be a small wolf pup, and it is laying there in between a few small and large rocks on its side. I don't understand.

I swiftly trot over, looking down at it. When I get closer, it hears me, suddenly jerking its body and whining quietly. I stare confusedly.

"What's wrong?" I ask it, mostly talking to myself, as I know it cannot speak. I peer down closer and see the issue. Its hind leg is caught under a very large boulder. It doesn't look very good.

Oh no... I think to myself as I kneel down and place my hooves beside the pup. His eyes peek up at me, I look back into those large brown jewels and feel his worry. He is stuck, and it is hurting him very badly.

I reach down and grab onto his leg very gently, it is tiny in my hooves and that only makes it all the more difficult as I slowly and tenderly give it a small pull.

I cringe as the sound of the pup's howls reach my ears, and I immediately release him. I realize his leg is certainly broken, twisted under the rock deep, and every movement would be excruciatingly painful to him.

His small fore paws lash out at me and try to scratch me. I understand that, he thinks I tried to hurt him.

"Do not worry, I will get you out of here." I place a hoof against his weakly slashing paws and hold them down, looking into his large eyes with sincerity. It hurts me to see them wide with fright.

Unsure what to do, I lean forward and gently kiss his forehead, hoping it will prove to him I mean no harm. His whimpering quiets slightly, so I smile.

I tell him I will be right back as I bolt up. But something stops me.

My eyes widen in horror as I turn, hearing a sudden crack.

It is the wooden dam. It is full of water from the recent storm, and I had just heard a part of it break. Sure enough, I can hear the gentle spilling of water off in the distance as it splashes down through the rocks. I try to put it out of my mind as I turn and trot off.

Reaching the edge of the river, I quickly locate a small tree and clamp my teeth onto a branch, swiftly yanking it off.

When I return back to the wolf pup, he has continued to squirm helplessly against the rock, eyes watering slightly from the effort. I watch for a moment, emotions hurt as I watch his useless attempts. It was only causing more pain for him.

I walk forward and speak to him gently, stroking a hoof against his side and assuring him not to worry. I realize he was struggling because his ears must have picked up the flowing water that was quickly approaching.

It is much quicker than I previously thought, when I feel my hooves suddenly become wet, and a glance downward assured me the water had reached us, and it was flowing fast. Another loud crack in the distance did not help my worry.

I move quick, lodging the branch under the large boulder holding his leg, trying to gently wedge it between and push it as hard as my weaker muscles can accomplish. It doesn't move an inch.

I try to ignore my aching muscles as I continue to roughly push it, wedging it further and further, but the rock was simply too heavy. And the water was getting higher. The pup was shivering and squirming desperately as the water was slowly soaking him and rising above his tail.

I let out a whimper of annoyance when his tail flicks up water all over my dry coat. The pup was afraid, and I could do nothing.

Slowly getting angry and desperate, I back up and ram my body against the boulder. It doesn't move.

My heart sinks and I feel a small tear coming on as I realize there's nothing I can do. The water was getting higher.

"Please...don't worry." I softly coo to him, kneeling down and stroking a hoof across his neck, attempting to assure safety somehow. But he is too scared to listen, his chest is submerged already.

I curse as the thundering sound of another sharp crack rings around the river. He howls and whimpers, thrashing his paws helplessly. I do not try to stop the tear that gently fell from my eye. There is no way he is going to make it out. And the water is not going to stop.

There is only one thing I can do. Wiping away my tear quickly, and laying down next to him in the rocks, I begin to softly talk to him, telling him quiet, sweet things. He cannot understand me, but my gentle voice is helping to soothe his worry.

I gently hold my chest against his, softly rubbing my hoof along his submerged back, his head is the only thing above water now. He looks into my tearful eyes and lets out a quiet whimper.

I swallow, leaning forward and kissing his nose gently, whispering soft, gentle lies.

"Everything is going to be okay...we're just going to take a nap."

The water is getting higher.

"Just imagine a soft waterfall, pouring its sweet, gentle stream. That is what you hear."

I tenderly cover his eyes with a hoof.

"Imagine a soft, warm blanket, holding you tight as you drift off to sleep. That is what you feel."

His ears are covered before he can hear the thunderously-loud crack that tells me the entire dam had just shattered to oblivion.

"Sweet dreams, little one."

I close my eyes with a gentle smile as the wall of water crashes down and thrusts our world into darkness.