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Open footprints in the snow - Printable Version

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footprints in the snow - 000 - 12-26-2017

Leaves twisted, scattered like rain.
The air dropped cold, fell thin and grew quiet.
Summer coats were shed in full, oft replaced by denser snowy white pelages.

East, north, higher; the mountains a row of jagged teeth, the plains slowly rising to meet them, the ocean disappearing behind massive cliffs.
The little black rabbit climbed alongside the curious blue snow leopard, hoisting themselves up to new heights.

Winter came without warning, sweeping aside the leaves for snow that blanketed the sky-high peaks.
One day they woke and the land below had vanished, a carpet of clouds having drifted beneath their very paws.
Oktokki grinned and bounced playfully in the snow, toppling piles of the powder past the clouds, teasing the floaty substance as it curled between her toes.

She'd climbed a mountain once, but she'd never been so high before!
The clouds under her very feet, the sky a brilliant blue above like nowhere else, and snow drifting higher thanks to air currents that swept up the slopes.

Skidding through the highlands, the rabbit timed a dash to throw up a mound of snow onto the ounce.

RE: footprints in the snow - Kazetatsu - 12-27-2017


Jinora knew well the perils of snow, not because of the cold, but due to how it concealed the terrain and filled in cracks between rocks and slippery footing. Her snowshoe feet made a significant difference in helping her keep her traction as opposed to earlier years.

This was high, higher than she normally climbed.

Yet the view was lovely, the cold air invigorating, and the mountains generally more welcoming than she had expected for this time of year.

The rabbit was ahead, happy and eager, and seeming surefooted as a mountain goat on the steeply angled trail.

A little snow was kicked down on the snow leopard as they went,  but that wasn't too much of a problem. She had a very thick coat.

"this isn't your first time seeing snow is it?" The snow leopard asked given the rabbit's excitement was much like that of one who did not get to enjoy such weather very often.  

RE: footprints in the snow - 000 - 12-27-2017

Oktokki turned eyes and ears towards the feline, who was now wearing a cloak of fluffy snow courtesy of one hoppin' rabbit.

"Not at all," she answered.
"I come from a very snowy place!"
It's why her coat was white now: the rabbits in the far north had to endure a bitter winter that stretched itself out over the autumn and spring months.
After sweating several seasons under a tropical sun, all the biting frost and snow was more than welcome.
Save one spare expedition northwards--"It's just that...I've not traveled through such snowy air for nearly a year."

She sat down and swept a paw through one set of whiskers, suddenly aware of her unprofessional behavior on these narrow pathways and steep slopes.
She could have slipped right through a hole buried in the snow!
How so very foolish of her--she was supposed to be an experienced explorer here!

She continued hopping ahead at a more careful pace, ears perked to the sound of toppling gravel.
"How about you?" she called back to the cat.
"You look like you could trek through some ice fields."

RE: footprints in the snow - Kazetatsu - 12-27-2017


The rabbit's slowing pace made a chance for Jinora to catch up a little bit, as she continued her steady trek to increasingly higher reaches of the mountain path.

"A year's a long time." The snow leopard agreed when close enough to speak more conversationally. Surely it was longer for the rabbit than for herself, just given species differences.

"Actually I grew up in a subtropical place," The thickly furred female answered as to her experience with winter. "My first winter still had a lot of snow, but after that it stayed pretty mild. I haven't seen snow this thick in a long time." She was lucky she was well equipped for it. Having the anatomy for it, along with explorers instinct made a big difference this far into new terrain.

RE: footprints in the snow - 000 - 12-29-2017

Ears turned to listen to the leopard's words, silver eyes giving a quick glance before focusing once more on the road ahead.
"Are you from the west, then?" she wondered.
Back in the land she'd been exploring--whose eastern borders they'd likely passed a while ago--the west was where all the tropical environments were, rainforests and wetlands and the like.
Although it hadn't snowed at all there during the last winter.

RE: footprints in the snow - Kazetatsu - 12-29-2017


"nah.." The snow leopard answered as she continued to scale the trail.

"I think space is messed up, like if we went back the way we came, we might find something totally different than the sea. I grew up on an east coast, but it could be that I'd have to go west to find it again."

She might just be confusing the rabbit, but the way Jinora had traveled, there was not man other ways, she could rationalize her path. "Makes things really hard to map out."

RE: footprints in the snow - 000 - 12-29-2017

The rabbit stopped, whiskers twitching.
Her head twisted around, giving the feline quite the look.

Oh, she understood perfectly well: she just thought the stranger was mad.
Or--well...it actually made some sense, and her expression eased up as she reflected on it, peering past the leopard's shoulder in an attempt to see more than the path they'd taken.
Tiny mistakes on her maps when she returned to places to double and then triple check her measurements and mental map, the mere breadth of these mountains--in fact, had this chain been here the last time she visited those ashen shores?
The rain had been driving pretty hard, and her eyes were set on a specific route, so it was certainly hard to say.
But she'd seen more than her fair share of minor impossibilities while traveling those lands.

"If that's true," the rabbit said, "then forget my map: I gotta fix space!"
She spoke in a halfway jesting manner.
If it WAS true, then there was no way she alone (or, more than likely, ANYone) could fix space, but at the same time...what was the point of a map when nothing about it would remain long enough for it to matter?
Her ears began to droop at the prospect of her purpose dwindling to inconsequentiality.

RE: footprints in the snow - Kazetatsu - 12-29-2017


Even with this difficult topic Jinora managed a bit of a laugh. Yet she had an idea how much the rabbit cared for that map she was trying to make. "There's probably a way, at least to make sense of everything, and maybe we'll find it as we go. Like the view from this mountain, it better give us a bigger picture, closest thing ever to a bird's eye view." Aside from actually being a bird of course.

RE: footprints in the snow - 000 - 12-29-2017

Oktokki twisted an ear.
"Yeah...," she said, biting her lower lip as she thought.

If the lands really were moving like animals, perhaps some lands were slower than others, or even fast asleep!
There could even be some manner of map-making for the lands that were speeding along...a prediction map, perhaps?

As she mused on it, there seemed to be yet more possibilities for budding cartographers if what the leopard said was truly the case, and potentially no end to the profession's work!
She wasn't quite sure whether she liked this idea or not, however.

The rabbit shook her head; but this was all theory anyways.
They just needed to get to the top and hopefully find out straightaway!

"Let's hurry!"
She spun back around, skittering up the slopes.

RE: footprints in the snow - Kazetatsu - 12-31-2017


Jinora picked up her pace a little, deciding to trust her paws a little more on these angled slopes than she had been. It was necessary to keep up the pace in this thin frigid air.

They were nearing something for sure. the already sparse foliage was significantly clearing out, and not many other animals were to be seen up this high.

It might just be a mountain ridge.