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A Rough Night

It had been pouring for nearly two hours now, and it didn’t look as if it was going to weaken or pass soon.  Shivering lightly underneath a tree was Beryl, who had taken off their longcoat and tied it to four long sticks.  The coat was now stretched out above them and deflecting the water dripping down the leaves of the tree.  Lightning arched across the sky every now and again as a pointed reminder that this was not the safest place to be.

Another gust of wind nearly sent their coat flying out of the ground and Beryl had to surpress a shiver as they held the sticks to the ground.  The cat grimaced and held on while the storm raged.

The storm slowly passed, leaving an unhappy feline behind.  They sighed finally, after shaking off the water on them and then curled up and tried to get some sleep for the evening.

***

Their dreams had gotten worse as they approached the Black Forest.  Tonight they dreamed of three large Doberman attacking not only cats, but rabbits, cows, and even horses.  They also dreamed of clocks ticking and armed soldiers attempting to arrest them again.  But the worst was watching Canergak standing over and collaring a black cat with wild, unblinking, blue eyes.

They hadn’t all been bad dreams though.  There had been times they had seen Heliotrope playing with a tiny equine child, and others where Bookworm returned home healthy, but Beryl was almost happy to be awoken in the morning by the sound of a distant shotgun.

They sat up looking around, cold from the breeze and hungry from the lack of steady meals, and then started to take down their wet coat to dress themselves.  They ignored the slugs and other crawling bugs that had made it their home and made their way over a few ridges until they came upon a tall, hefty, bovine Moreau.  

They were a brown and white spotted cow and their horns were sticking out of their plain hat and out of they had a long piece of straw sticking out of their teeth.  The rest of their clothes were just as plain, but their shotgun resting on their shoulder looked well made.  They took one look at Beryl and then lowered the shotgun and got it ready, but they didn’t point it at the cat yet.  They called out something in German.

Beryl raised their paws to show they were unarmed and then said, “I don’t speak German.”

The cow kept their gun ready as they looked the tiny cat up and down again.  The bovine weighed roughly half a ton themselves in muscle and Beryl was a small cat covered in a wet coat.  The cow put the gun back on their shoulder and tried another language, “Parlez-vous Francais?”  

“No,”  Beryl said, inwardly cursing the times they’d ignored Maddox’s attempts to teach them, and then tried to see if perhaps the cow knew how to speak cat.  Tepic and Gilhooly had both spoken a form of rodentia, and perhaps this cow knew a tongue or two themselves.

As Beryl yowled a greeting the cow just tilted their head at them confused, and then shook their head sadly muttering in their own language.  All Beryl really caught was Verr├╝ckte Katze…they’d heard that one a lot from Nika.

Finally the farmer seemed to see that they wouldn’t be getting anywhere this way and gestured for the cat to follow.  Saying something along the lines, “Tochter spricht Englisch.”

They hoped that meant what they thought it did and allowed the cow to lead them towards their home.

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