“Maakor! Thank goodness you’re here.”
He had barely even undone the latch to the fence before Kadri spotted him and let out a big enough sigh of relief that he thought he could hear it from where he was, across the yard.
She trotted over, a wriggling little brown pup in her arms. “The puppies, *somehow*, dug a hole out of their playpen and they’re everywhere, now. Help us out a bit? Please?”
He took a second to look over the scene. Kala and Kor each chased a different pup, with a brown one matching the one in Kala’s arms had his teeth in her pant leg, pulling at her, and a few more playing in the dirt and grass. Aldrych sat atop his Tokota as they worked on repairing the hole.
One in particular caught his eye. It probably thought it was being sneaky, going through the dandelions, except it wasn’t sneaking so much as running.
He took a sip of his tea, snapped the lid shut, and set it in the grass, laying his jacket beside it. “I’ll go after that one,” he started, and she turned, squinting, and grimaced at how far the pup had already gotten, “And then come back and help Aldrych patch the hole, okay?”
The pup in her arms wiggled again, and she staggered, trying not to drop her. He took that as an “okay,” of sorts, and took off at a run after the sort of sneaky runaway pup.
It didn’t take him very long to reach where he saw the pup head in, past the trees, and then, for a little while, there was a trail of yellow petals left for him to follow, but soon enough he was running out of obvious tracks to follow. At least, he assumed, he *hoped*, he was making better time than the pup, seeing as he wasn’t prone to stopping and sniffing every remotely interesting thing.
Just as he was starting to think maybe he should have offered to take the brown pups off of Kadri’s hands, and send her after this one, he heard a yelp, followed by whimpers, and he was soon looking down at the pup, considering how exactly to get him out of the middle of the thornbush he was in.
He knelt down, and a quick, testing reach of a hand into the bush verified that, at the very least, it’s going to be painful to get him out.
“Hey there, little guy,” he said quietly, when the pup tried to move and whined again. “Hey there, it’s alright. We’re gonna get you out, okay? Gonna get you home, and all patched up, yeah?” The pup’s ears flicked a little, and he looked up at Maakor with big puppy-dog eyes, and he smiled. “Don’t you worry, it’ll be just fine, okay?”
He glanced around, taking a moment to find a couple decent looking sticks, and used them to start prying open the bush. Another whimper from the pup, and he starts talking to him, like before, not really saying much, but doing his best in terms of soothing tones. “Easy, there,” he murmurs, and, “Attaboy,” and, “There we go,” and, “Almost there.”
And it all went perfectly well, him slowly and carefully pulling back the thorns from the pup, the pup waiting, shakily but patiently enough. It all went perfectly well, until something spooked a flock of birds in a nearby tree, which all left in a swooping mass, which spooked the poor pup in the thorn bush, which spooked Maakor, elbow deep in said thornbush, only precariously keeping unscathed, until he startled.
Maakor hissed, arms still scraping against countless thorns as the pup, spooked, decides running through the little opening Maakor had managed to make was his beat course of action. Maakor tried to catch him, but wasn’t quite quick enough, biting his lip as he thought, for sure, he’d have to chase the pup again. But, no, he got lucky. Or.. unlucky, considering the look of the pup’s back leg, tangled in thorns, and the pup himself just about screaming as he tries to pull away.
Maakor lunged for his scruff, trying to keep him still as he grabbed at the thorns wrapped around his leg, pulling and breaking some, and having to unloop others. He was pretty bloody, himself, by the time he’s done, and the pup, poor thing, is terrified, but still.
“Good boy,” he murmured, running his hand over his fur, searching for any thorns he might have missed, and sitting back when he can’t find any. The pup whined at him, and he smiled, patting his lap. The pup clambered up, putting his paws on his shoulders and nuzzling in, still whining, but quieter, now. Maakor wrapped his arms around him, and they stayed like that for a little while before he decided they should probably get back.
He stood, carefully, the pup still in his arms, falling asleep, all tuckered out, and started back, following his trail through the forest, and through the wildflowers, and back to Khaia’s ranch.
More old tokota art that's coming over here because, uh, I'm actually still proud of it? Weird. Anyway, here's tokota handler Maakor and his precious perfect pup Dandelion <3
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