A man wearing leather arm bracers over a long sleeved tunic walked briskly toward the house. His brown pants hugged his legs and were tucked into weathered leather boots. The leather belt at his waist carried a dagger and a pouch. His hair was dark brown and wild. It merged into thick sideburns that stood out in points on each side of his face. His dark eyes reflected his mood: black and uneasy.
Sir Zachary before The White Falcon
Sir Zachary needed to stay close to Gabriel, but he also needed to avoid capture in this strange new world. The safest place was the woods behind Gabriel’s new home. The challenge came when he needed to leave the safety of the trees. Stuck in his raccoon form Sir Zachary saved his exploring for after the sun set and darkness blanketed this strange new world. Luckily, its inhabitants preferred light and were not very quiet. This gave him a tremendous advantage. He could sneak around in the dark and used light and noise as an early warning system.
Eating was simple. People of this world threw out large quantities of perfectly good food. He quickly learned how to access what this world called trash cans. He found that the treasures within these cans followed the personality of the family. Some families liked to eat out and he found he loved pizza. Other families enjoyed fresh food and he enjoyed their carrot ends and apple cores.
His life was lonely until Gabriel grew old enough to play outside. At first Gabriel’s new mother, Karen, would bring him out into the yard and put him in a small cage with mesh sides. This cage would allow Gabriel to nap in safety while Karen watched the older children, Christian and Erica.
Sir Zachary would watch from the woods that bordered their yard. He was fortunate enough to watch Gabriel take his first steps. As Gabriel became steadier on his feet Christian taught him how to role a ball. Then catch a ball. Then throw a ball. It was obvious from a very young age that Gabriel loved the game.
One day all three children were playing catch and Karen ran inside.
“Christian, watch your brother while I take this call,” she tossed over her shoulder.
Christian threw the ball at Gabriel and he stretched to catch it and tripped. He fell hard onto hands and knees. Shock covered Gabriel’s face and was transforming into a high pitched wale as the pain of the rock embedded in his knee registered.
Sir Zachary sprang out of the woods and ran up to Gabriel. Christian jumped back and Erica squealed. Neither were sure if the raccoon was friend or foe.
Sir Zachary placed his paws on Gabriel’s back and a soft amber glow filled the air. Gabriel sat up and Sir Zachary quickly pulled the rock from his knee and placed his small paw over the wound before Christian and Erica could see.
Gabriel’s face turned from pain to surprise. Being young he had no fear of the wild animal and when the raccoon touched him the pain disappeared. Gabriel hugged his new furry friend. Christian and Erica cautiously stepped forward to pet him and Sir Zachary trilled with delight. He finally had friends.
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