[P] Men do not despise the thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger.
How had he figured it out? Hokori had been so sneaky, so careful to keep an eye out that she couldn't understand how Calan knew it was her who stole the jerky. She didn't even have it anymore! Most of it had been gobbled down within minutes of her successful heist with the last bit saved for all of two hours before she gave into her natural puppy greed. It's not like she could give it back.

At least she wasn't in trouble yet. Mom and Dad didn't know about it and the only way Hokori knew about Calan's demand was overhearing a conversation around the message tree. Going to face him was not going to be fun but if she didn't he'd tell her parents and then they'd get mad at her. Hoko was taking the only option available to her, trudging up to the little shop and taking a seat in front of the door. To her surprise the guilty look on her face was totally genuine, none of the false shame she wore when trying to convince Eulalie that she would be a good girl from now on. 

Calan was one of Dad's friends, someone important to the family. Hokori had broken his trust and couldn't quite explain why it felt bad. She just knew that it did, her greeting bark tinged with sadness.

OOC:Wordcount 227
stern uncle!calan [+489]

If he were totally, completely honest, Calan Brecours had no idea who was stealing the beef jerky from his shop. He’d only just noticed its dwindling stock when he’d tried to pass off a couple sticks to an out-of-town trader, only to realize the jar was more than half empty. It had puzzled him at first - had he just sold more of it than he’d thought? - but he trusted his memory enough to have remembered something like that. He wasn’t that senile, for heaven’s sake. He didn’t even have any grey hairs yet!

So he’d done what could be called ‘deductive reasoning’ - removing the impossible situations until only the likely remained. He’d had a few strangers in the shop this week, but none of which he’d taken his eyes off of. Meanwhile, his regulars - folks around town who came in for booze and herbs, or other various trinkets - weren’t the type to randomly start stealing something they’d had no interest in before. His friends had dropped by, but they hadn’t stayed for longer than a few minutes, and really only lingered by the counter. Besides, both of those groups would be the kind who wouldn’t mind paying, or so he thought. It wasn’t like the jerky was that expensive.

So who did that leave? It was a real mystery.

He’d pondered this by the storefront window, his arms crossed, watching various members of the Realm mosey on past. Who could it have been? Someone who could slip under the radar, who he’d pretty much ignored, and probably couldn’t afford to trade for it…

Of course. The pups. Those annoying, squirmy brats. They followed their parents everywhere they went - the shop included. And they were still at the age where impulse control was at an all-time low. One of them had to have done it.

That was why he’d gone and posted on the messenger tree. Not because he was looking for repayment, but because he wasn’t about to let the thief get away with it. This would be a prime opportunity for them to show some real character and admit their mistake.

And if they didn’t? Well, he’d just have to go call a little meeting. He was sure that a mother like Kalypso or Saga wouldn’t be as generous as he was.

Luckily, it didn’t take too long to find the culprit. A bark at his front door caught his attention the next morning, just as he was about to sit down with the ledgers. He pushed himself up from his desk and strode over to open it, taking in the small, sad pup that moped at his doorstep. “Hokori, what a surprise,” he said by way of greeting, even though it really wasn’t. The mixture of fear and guilt etched into her pudgy face told him all that he needed to know. “Come in, come in! Did your dad forget something?”
There was still time for her to make her escape. Hokori could sprint away right now and leave this life behind for a new one free of her past sins. She had spent a good few months in New Caledonia, perhaps now was the time for a change of pace? She could fall in with a group of traveling merchants or wandering magicians, maybe be adopted by a friendly moose and grow up to be Queen of the Forest Creatures. There was a whole world of opportunity out there for someone with her indefatigable spirit and overwhelming spunk, an infinite land of countless opportunities. 

And none of them would involve a blond Brecour boy yelling at her. All she needed to do was turn around and escape into the Silver Strip to become a majestic and mysterious phantom instead of a naughty little puppy. But she just couldn't! Calan must have been so sad at the loss of his jerky if he had been willing to go through the trouble of putting up a note instead of just telling her parents and the though just leaving her pretty uncle without explanation hurt her spirit. Guilt, Hokori decided dejectedly, sucked.

The door opened and Hokori was faced with the man who would decide her fate. She didn't dare to look up at him as she accepted the "invitation", padding forward silently to plop down on her stomach. "Calan... I'm-" It was a struggle to get out those two words. Why was her mouth so dry all of a sudden? Hoko looked up at the shopkeeper with wet eyes, sniffling as she steeled herself to try again. "I'm sorry!"

The dam had broken. The dark faced puppy burst into tears, sobbing pitifully as she threw herself on the mercy of the court. "I was just so hungry and I didn't think you would notice so I ate it!" She threw her head back and howled pathetically, filling the room with her keening cry.

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