May 16, 2020 at 12:51 am #68933
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CHAPTER ONE: THE LONGNECK HERD
In a lush forest over 700 miles away from the Great Valley, there lived a herd of Longnecks. Most of them kept to their own kind. Four of them, however, did not. The Flatheads Ignatius and his wife Irene, their daughter Arianna, and their son-in-law Bron all didn’t agree with the status quo of only being with Longnecks and occasionally talked to non-Longnecks. Their older son, Kaha, disapproved of this behavior.
“Can’t you guys just stop trying to break social norms?” Kaha asked his family.
“Oh Kaha, I don’t see anything wrong in talking to non-Longnecks every once in a while.” his father said.
“What could they have to say anyway?” Kaha laughed.
“Mostly they don’t talk to us, unfortunately.” his mother sighed.
“I figured as much.”
“But the ones that do talk have given us some interesting conversations.” said his sister Arianna.
Before Arianna could reply, their conversation was interrupted by the leader of their herd, Wamakani. “Come on you guys, I’ve been calling you for several minutes now. You’re lucky that I thought to look here or I’d have left you behind!” This wasn’t the first time that Wamakani had threatened to leave them behind.
“Sorry, won’t happen again.” Bron said.
“That’s what you said the last time that you wandered off.”
“They wandered off. I had to go after them.” Kaha argued.
“Zip it Kaha!” Wamakani snapped.
It was mid-morning when they had set out and by the time herd had stopped moving, it was near sundown. The place they had been at had had some food but recently Threehorns had started to settle into the area, so Wamakani had decided that it was best to leave as the Threehorns outnumbered their herd five to one.
“I still think we should have stayed.” Ariana said to her brother when the herd had finally stopped moving.
“With the Threehorns?” Kaha laughed.
“We could have shared.”
“Threehorns don’t share well.”
“How would you know? You always avoid them.”
“I just know sis.”
“Kaha, why do you hang around those weirdos?” asked a nearby Brachiosaurus.
“Degil, I can’t help that I’m related to them.”
“You don’t have to hang around them, even if they are family.”
“You’d ask me to ditch my own family?”
“If my own family brought me as much trouble as yours did to you, I sure would.”
“Surely, you wouldn’t leave us.” said Kaha’s brother-in-law, Bron, to him once Degil had left.
“Um….well….I guess not.” he replied. His family sure stuck out among the herd, and not in a good way either. His brother-in-law Bron had come from a normal family but had run away from home to marry his sister Arianna. Few had attended their union ceremony as his family was unpopular among the herd. Wamakani had attended, but that had only been a formality since he was the leader of the herd.
As one might have expected, the herd consisted only of Longnecks, and, save Kaha’s family, only talked with other Longnecks. The herd was a migratory herd and thus didn’t stay in any place for very long.
Kaha and Arianna had been born into the herd, as had their parents. His grandfather had joined up with the herd sometime after meeting marrying his grandmother, when she had been pregnant with his father, Ignatius.
Around sunrise the next morning, the herd was awoken by several snarls. Five Brownridge Sharpteeth had decided to attack the herd while they slept. The herd woke up with alarm. The Longnecks scattered. The Sharpteeth went for those that they felt were the easiest targets. Arianna watched as one Longneck was pulled down by two Sharpteeth. “We’ve got to help her.”
“Forget it; we’ve got to save ourselves!” Wamakani snapped.
Arianna, however, ignored him and ran to try and aid the beleaguered Longneck. She swatted aside a Sharptooth with her tail and moved next to the injured Longneck. “Come on Cedera.” she said.
Cedera tried to get up but her legs were injured, causing her to fall back down. Three Sharpteeth jumped toward her. Arianna was forced to flee to save herself, leaving the Longneck to die. She soon caught up with the rest of the herd.
“I told you that it was pointless.” Wamakani said to her, shaking his head.
“Trying to save another life is never pointless!”
“You didn’t save her.”
“At least I tried.”
“You’re strange Arianna.”
This wasn’t the first Longneck that she had failed to save; still, it bothered her. The herd traveled for hours, wanting to put as much distance between themselves and the Sharpteeth as possible. Finally, they stopped to rest in a secluded forest. Well, it was nearly secluded. There was a lone Spiketail there. “Beat it!”
“Oh come on Wamakani, he won’t hurt us.” Ignatius protested.
Wamakani ignored him. “I said ‘Beat it!’!” he snapped again at the Spiketail. The Spiketail immediately ran off and didn’t return. Ignatius, Irene, Bron, and Arianna all shook their heads.
Kaha stared at his family. He wondered why they had to be so odd. He would never gain respect in this herd with them acting like this. He sighed deeply, wishing deep down that he wasn’t related to them.
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