Even in Otter’s world there were dangers. From apple time onwards, the human hunters came out and killed creatures. The snow and cold could be deathly and the little river where Otter and her mate fished, swam and slid held its own menace.
After a long, hot spell when the animals didn’t feel like moving and dozed in the sun, clouds like giant fists piled across the sky. The air took on a threatening yellow colour and Otter stood on her hind legs to sniff. An enormous bang split the sky and lightening hit the rickety old bridge over the river. Rain as torrential as they had ever known began to fall. It was as if the world were upside down and the river was falling from the sky.
In a panic of maternal worry, Ottter picked up one cub and squealed to her mate to take the other. Each carrying their precious burden, they loped for the bridge which led to higher ground. Already the river was rising. This tiny chuckling brook could become a raging flood in no time. Reaching the other side, Otter dropped her cub and looked back. Her mate was having to swim where the bridge was washing away. Nudging the cub to one side she dived into the water and retreived the other one as a loose piece of masonry hit her mate on the head.
He rolled, his head back in the water and was swept away downstream. Chittering in dismay and pain, Otter gathered her cubs to her under a hedge and waited. There was nothing she could do but guard her babies until the rain stopped.
To be continued ….