watched over him like a mother. Nothing ever came close to Terra with that creature watching. When they went home at sunset, it melted back into the forest only to appear the next time they came to the clearing.
Chapter 20 - First Hunt (Teaching Survival Skills a Mother’s Duty.) 340 set of seasons since the coming of the Averons
Now that Fienna was flying almost as well as her mother, it was time to learn hunting skills. Her mother taught Dawra, and she would teach Fienna in the same manner. For hunt after hunt, Fienna followed her mother and watched as she stalked and then killed her prey. Fienna wanted to do it herself, but Dawra said it was not yet time. After what seemed to Fienna an eternity, Dawra finally felt her daughter was ready for her first kill. Dawra wanted Fienna’s first to be successful, so sun-rising after sun-rising she flew over the fields and valleys along the coast watching for a large herd of running beasts. Finally, she spotted one on a high field over looked by a mountain peek. She flew straight home and told Fienna it was time for her first hunting kill. Fienna wanted to take Terra, but her mother said he would be out of place and should stay in the cave. Terra, sensing Fienna’s mother desire to be with her daughter alone, told Fienna to go without him; he wanted to bathe. Terra also seemed to have a general dislike for the thought of killing; this was one thing Fienna didn’t understand. It seemed so natural to hunt and kill food, and she enjoyed watching her mother do it. Mother and daughter launched out of the edge of the cave. Dawra led her daughter to the high field but pretended not to see the herd. Fienna flew up to her mother and excitedly pointed to the beast below. Dawra motioned to land on the mountain peak. “Now, Fienna it’s time for your first kill. I have taken you out before, and you have watched me. How should you approach these runners?” “I should fly in from the sun so they can’t see me until the last moment and then swoop down and grab one with my back talons.” “Good, I see you have been watching me carefully. Now I want you to circle around the mountain and come in from the sun.” “Why not just fly into the sun and down?” “Ah, that’s where skill comes into play. If you flew directly toward the sun then turned, you would cast a shadow over the beasts, and they would bolt. By going around the mountain, no shadow is cast over the field.” Fienna took off and did what her mother said. She came in on the runners straight out of the sun; they didn’t see her until it was too late. She swooped down in an arc and grabbed for the first runner and missed, but she wasn’t going to lose. She stayed just above the running beast and grabbed again. This time she had one in her rear talons. She beat her wings hard to gain height. Fienna was unaccustomed to the extra weight, and the runners violent thrashing to get away. Finally, she rose and the runner seemed to stop moving. She flew to the edge of the field and crushed the runner under her weight as she landed. She reached down and tore a piece of meat from the runner swallowing it whole. Fienna continued until she had eaten all but the hindquarter. She took the hindquarter and flew back to her mother, who was still perched on the mountain peak. “Why didn’t you eat it all? It is your first kill; you have the right.” “I want to share it with Terra.” “I see.” Dawra had never seen a dragon share its first kill with anything let alone a human. Fienna’s feeling for Terra apparently overwhelmed even her natural instincts. They returned home, and Fienna presented the hindquarter to Terra. He took it, tore a piece out of it with his teeth, and ate it. He ate like this while listening to Fienna’s story of the killing. She told it twice and then again at Terra’s insistence. Terra ate as much of the raw meat as he could then gave what was left to Fienna, who devoured it with