Otter poked her nose out of her holt and sniffed. Then she opened her eyes and squeaked in surprise. The world had turned white! Brown earth, green grass and ever-changing river colours had disappeared while she was curled up, pushing out wheezy little snores in her snug den. The whole world had transformed.
Pressing her paws tenatatively on the edge, she hauled herself out and found that it was slippery. wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee – she could slide! Otters love sliding. If there is a mudbank leading to the river, they will play on it all day and this was the slideyest, slipperiest slope she had ever seen.
Whoooooooooooooooosh, Otter launched herself on the white stuff and careered down into the water, which was cold but her double- layered fur didn’t notice. This was fun!! She lolloped back up the field and skidded off again.
Nearby, the human habitation started to come to life. The tall tower started to ring out – dong, dong, dong. Like it did every week but this time it was different, more jolly and rejoicing. She peeked over the hedge and watched the humans, bundled up in their winter fur, greeting each other and walking off to the tower. They seemed happy, as if they should be rubbing snouts with each other. There was an air of love and all-embracing goodwill.
Perhaps the hunters would not come out today. Perhaps she would be safe playing with her river. Maybe they were all in the tower calling out.
From out of the undergrowth came another otter, an older male. He sniffed her snout and whiffled at her. “Wanna slide?”
They spent the day together, zooming down the hillside and ending in the water with a splash. For some reason, Otter was glad she didn’t have to be a Bard today – she waved a paw at all her friends, hawk, owl, dog, cat and vixen but she carried on amusing herself with one of her own. Just being what she was – an ordinary otter.
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