It was the third day with the strange animals. The small one kept making contented noises, seeming to grow bolder as he interacted with the smaller animals. One of the wolf-like ones, colored white, had started to make noises like the group. He couldn’t quite communicate fully, but they all had very basic conversations. The old one learned more about them, about their leader and their young ones. The concept of “young ones” was hard for the group to understand; could they make their own young ones?

The animals were also curious about the group. At a rocky outcrop, one of the animals had used her claws to carve out part of a figure that looked like the hard one. The group made the pleased noise as they looked at it, and the animals seemed to enjoy the company of the rocky ones.

Instead of seeking the quiet of a cave, the group had been sleeping in the open with their new friends. There was a vein of rock that was exposed to the open air, which gave them some comfort. But the night in the open brought unfamiliar sounds.

A new noise cut through the air that night, a loud piercing sound, that made all the animals sit up alert. The bigger animals grabbed the smaller ones and put them on the small table of rock, then formed a tight circle around them. The leader was making loud noises and searching around as one of his partners stood guard over the little ones.

There was a crashing through the brush as a small cat figure emerged into the open, chased by two small green creatures making the screaming noise. Their sharp claws swiping to try to catch the young one finally caught him on the side, sending him tumbling with a yell. The leader looked in the direction of the yell and dropped to all fours, running to his little one, but could not make it in time.

The hard one moved faster than anyone anticipated. He swung his harm and connected hard against the side of one of the green beasts, sending it sprawling. It made gasping noises and red fluid flowed out of its side. The other green monster ran into the hard one and bounced back, but made an even louder screaming noise. It dove toward the fallen green beast and bit at it, tearing chunks of meat from the fallen. Suddenly a small pack of the green ones leaped out of the bushes and descended on the fallen one. In short order, there were only broken bones and a splash of red where the body had been. The green mob turned their focus to the group.

The fast one and the hungry one had joined the hard one, forming a wall between the green monsters and the animal friends. The leader had grabbed his little one, leaking red fluid on his side as the green monsters had, and put him with the rest. The leader took his place in the group, facing the monsters and preparing for an attack. But, the group had decided to protect their friends and stood close, blocking the direct approach. The whole group were standing together by now, even the timid small one. They made an aggressive sound together, which made the green ones hesitate slightly before one launched an attack. Where one went, the rest followed.

The group swung their arms, crashing down upon the heads of the green monsters. More of them poured out of the underbrush, but the wall formed by the group held firm against the incoming tide. Any that got through were met by the small one who could still deal significant damage against the soft flesh of the green ones. But, the wave of monsters kept coming. Some would throw themselves at their fallen kin, devouring them in large chunks, while others would throw themselves against the group. The green ones could see the animals in a group behind the rocky wall and charged to try to get to the prize.

It happened so suddenly that nobody could react. A particularly large green one hit the old one while he was fighting and pushed him aside. Through the temporary breach that large one and five others rushed through before the old one regained his balance and closed the gap. The small one moved to block them, but they proved too much for him. The smaller creatures tackled him and knocked him over. They set upon him, digging their claws deep into his stone and pulling at his arms. The large one lumbered up and raised its foot, stomping hard on the small one. The force drove the small one into the ground with a crunch as splinters of rock flew everywhere. The large green monster pulled his foot back and howled in pain, but only a bunch of broken rock remained where the small one had fallen.

A cry came from the animals as the leader and a few others ran forward. Their claws dug into the flesh of the large green one, and it was brought low with repeated blows. The smaller ones were too quick, and dodged past the attackers to run toward the group. Murder was in their eyes as they ran forward, claws slashing the air and teeth biting the air in anticipation of more flesh. Just as the pack of green ones almost reached the group, a cry of surprise came from the small animals in the middle.

Leaping out from the group was the small one! He had used the carved rock of the outcropping to form a new body. It was more refined than his old body, taking on some of the form of the partially carved figure. But the rest of the group immediately recognized him. He swung his new arms in the air and brought them down hard on the green monsters. He crushed their bones and knocked them aside. He moved back toward the wall, catching any of the green ones that had broken through. Eventually, as suddenly as it started, the green ones started to run away off into the gloom of the darkening night. Their mad screams fading into the night.

The animals stood at the ready for quite a while longer as the group gathered together to examine the young one. The group went to the nearby water source to wash off the red fluid that had covered them. They went back and saw the animals starting to wind down and try to get some sleep. The large white one came forward and made the appreciation noise. The group returned the noise and spread out. They were energized by the fight, and would spend the night on the watch for the green monsters, but they did not return that night.

The group stayed with the animals for a little longer, but the green ones didn’t bother them anymore. Eventually the group decided that they would move on, leaving their animal friends for a while. But, the friendship between the animals and the group endured for a long time afterward.

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