[P] take a stroll to the nearest water’s edge
#1
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Water lapped gently over the silt and pebbles on the shore, glistening blue to pink to gold beneath the setting sunlight. Under the watchful gaze of their father, two puppies scampered across the beach, leaping over the exposed roots of trees whose colorful crowns dropped leaves with each breath of wind. There was a lot of the lakeshore to explore, and many interesting treasures to find.

Calhoun jumped at a gnarled root and struggled to clamber over it, his hind legs kicking uselessly as he tried to heave his pudge to the other side. He landed with a tumble and chased after his sister again, his tongue lolling and his eyes bright: a turquoise halfway through its messy transition to green. He got distracted along the way, dropping his snout to snuffle at pinecones and decaying needles and things, until he heard Luciana's yap.

He galloped with a bark of his own, trying his best to catch up – but the big paws that would be a boon once he grew into them made him falter. The chubby coyote pup stumbled and rolled almost to the water's edge, and when he jumped back up again, he landed on rocks.

A sharp pain sliced through his paw pad, and Calhoun yelped loudly, staggering around in a circle with the injured foot raised.

Ow ow owwowwow!




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the graveyard's full, we're running out of earth
but we can use the bones to build another church
#2
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And the stars will be your eyes, And the wind will be my hands

Time seemed to march faster as his brood gained their independence in little ways - quick paws, and quicker teeth, it was easy to let them out, but far, far harder to keep his gaze close as they bolted off the moment adventurous paws touched earth.

Luciana was a little slower than her siblings, a little more bumbling, but she picked up speed soon enough, even if she was tripping over her white little paws with her hips tucked in a full-blown sprint along the beach, Calhoun in tow. Her own eyes, muddied and a frankly ugly shade of green as more yellow bled into that blue-gray, were wide with tilted energy. Somewhere behind her, her brother must've tripped, and she skidded to a stop, perplexed, to look back at him wheeling around.

She smelled copper. Rather oblivious to what this meant, she doubled back, nearly barreling her wounded counterpart in the process, only possessing half a mind (both in general and for the moment) to actually stop and push her nose towards the wound to examine it more thoroughly.

"Yuck! It's oozing, ouch," she stated, quite eloquently, sticking out her little pink tongue to hazard a taste and reeling back on instant with a wrinkled nose. Santiago, summoned by the caterwaul, stooped to his children, and shooed Luciana back slightly.

"I heard ows- lemme see, boy," he mused, thinly disguising his concern with his warm and genuine smile. That brow was furrowed, however slightly, as he tried to scoop the wriggling, pudgy Calhoun to try and get a look at his paw. "What did you do, amigo?"


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#3
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Calhoun stumbled around on three legs, a little too dumb to be afraid, until he tried to set his paw down and the sting made him yelp again. He tumbled onto his rump when his sister barreled toward him, and flattened his ears back when Luciana nudged her snout forward to lick his paw, grimacing.

Wha—! exclaimed Cal, and stared at the blood drip-drip-dripping from his sliced paw pad with horror.

I hurted it! he yowled when his father approached them, rearing on his hind legs to allow Santiago to lift him. He thrust the bloodied paw in his father's face. I'm gonna die, he intoned, his belly queasy. He began to thrash around, deciding that if he was going to drop dead, he might as well do it on the ground, but also because he needed a nice place to hyperventilate.




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the graveyard's full, we're running out of earth
but we can use the bones to build another church
#4
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And the stars will be your eyes, And the wind will be my hands

Santiago couldn't help the initial pang, alarm bells that sprang to the beck and call of his son wobbling about on three legs instead of four, and the scarred, southern coyote was suddenly worrying, dreadfully, over all the potentials. Broken? Was it the paw, was it the leg? Gashed - arteries, veins, networks that carried the life that bled through all of them. Luciana seemed less perturbed by her brother's antics, concerned with watching light glance and refract off the surface of water, while her father, with a knit brow, but gentle face (around the jagged edges of scars), stooped to assess the damage.

It was nothing serious.

Santiago was relieved, and found humor now that the brief moment had passed, while he pulled the neckerchief from his throat, and set to putting pressure on Calhoun's wounded paw, shushing him all the while; How astounding, somehow, the fact these little creatures, soft, warm, bundled, were still so perfect, still so un-marred - as though Evelyn and his own damage was somehow hereditary

"Don't worry, my boy," Santiago reassured. "You're not gonna die. Not on my watch! Let's just not worry your mama with this, hmm? Our lil' secret."

"And mine!" Luciana quipped quickly, snapping back abruptly to the gravelly rough sound of Santiago's voice. The silvery pup shuffled over, tripping over one oversized paw and bonking her chin as she quickly came to badger her brother with a renewed interest, perplexed.

"And yours. You're lookin' a little green there, Cal, you alright?"


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