Chapter 2 – Call of the wild
The cold mist surrounded the thick forest floor, and streams all around… as the sun was about to come to light in another hour or so. It was around early spring... early in the morning. The air was calm, with a pleasant scent in the air all around, with some fruiting trees already starting to produce blossoms, after being bare of leaves since autumn. While the many pine trees still remained much the same, with only little particles of ice left from a morning frost. The songs of birds were already starting to be heard, with a species waking after another to sing out through the treetops, just as the sun was about to rise.
Walking through the frosty forest was a large, familiar burgundy bandicoot though. Crunch of course. He had spent a good few hours outside already, simply strolling through the forest in the darkness on his own, like he usually would do on a daily basis. He was in a calm and good mood, as he kept walking through the long grasses, passing trees and bushes, and going through vines as well. He also looked all around, and took a whiff of the air now and then… as if he was keeping track of something, or making sure something was still in place. The year was now 2007. Just over 5 years after Crimzon Demoness was defeated... back in the winter of 2002. Crunch continued his stroll, still feeling good and calm with himself.
Until he came across a certain area of the forest, which he hasn’t visited in a while. It was a rather dark area, covered by large trees, with rocky crevices around, with many vines dangling down from above. Nonetheless, he felt that he owned this part of the jungle, and he sniffed around… he could smell that boar and other prey animals have been around, but something was missing…
He walked up to a large tree, and noticed some claw marks still there from a few months ago. They were his. Used as a sort of ‘landmark’, he decided to slash the mark again, to make it fresh but he also did something else without thinking much… he casually undid his belt and marked the tree with his urine. After a few seconds he was done and just stood back, still looking calm as if nothing odd had just happened… and walked off through the leaves of the low hanging branches of trees.
Ever since he had spent more time on Earth, he had started to pick up some of his instincts that had been dormant for some time. But he didn’t start the marking of territories until he was a mate with Tani, probably as a way to let other bandicoots know that it’s his land now… even though there isn’t many Burgundy bandicoots around, besides his sisters, which were no threat whatsoever. But other marsupials, both animal and anthro, seemed to have gotten the message from his marks, and took note of it to back off if they are not welcome. Even Crunch himself didn’t completely understand why he did it, but to him, it felt right and that he just has to do it.
He also started to learn how to hunt. He never had this chance, as he spent most of his adolescence in a Space station, being feed human-like meals… and never taught to catch anything. But as soon as he was on Earth again with Tani, she tried to teach him how to hunt. But since she was specialized in hunting birds and other smaller faster animals, Crunch never really got used to this, and wasn’t usually successful. Until he realized he had his eyes set on the wild boar that were highly abundant on the island… Tani sometimes would catch them, but she usually used a weapon, such as a knife or crossbow. But Crunch surprised her one day when he brought one down without any weapons, or directions of help. Just with his nose for tracking, strength for wrestling and jaws for putting it out of its struggle and misery. There is many species of boar though, ones only the size of dogs, ones just as big as Crunch and even ones that are near the size of the giant polar bears, which roam the Island mountain tops. Crunch even got some help from his brother, to get used to the idea of hunting… as Steve had much more time and experience than he, himself did. But it didn’t take too long for Crunch to get used to hunting alone.
In fact, Crunch felt like going after one right now.
As his stomach growled at him angrily, begging for something. He suddenly lowered himself down, and hid his burgundy coloured frame in the dark green hues of the plantation. The sky was still a dark blue, but with a little bit of orange glowing out in the horizon… so Crunch was still well hidden, without worrying about having his highly noticeable fur seen by prey.
He followed the scent of the boars, which he picked up earlier from their tracks. And he was finally led to a more wide open area, and Crunch could pick up their grunting sounds already, with his sharp hearing. He got down on his knees and crawled around slowly… and quietly. To avoid being heard by any of them. He then noticed they were on the other side of the long line of bushes. He peered through and could see them all feeding. They were feeding on newly grown plants, and digging up other food material with their snouts. He did notice some boars even had piglets with them, which he wanted to avoid of course. He spent a few minutes looking, before deciding on his target. A good sized boar, which seemed to be on its own, with no young.
It was around half of Crunch’s size, and Crunch licked his lips… before getting into a pouncing pose…
To take a huge leap.
All the swine in the area panicked and took off in all directions, with the piglets squealing and the adults screeching almost as much. Crunch dashed towards the boar he had his eyes locked on and even ran on all fours for a moment, before jumping and landing back on his two feet again. He sprinted after the brown creature as it still ran on, but he noticed it was dashing faster than he was. Frustrated, he took a strong leap forward again and landed on his pawhands, and dashed on all fours again before finally coming into contact with the boar…
He used his clawed hand to ferociously grab onto the hide of the animal, as well as he metal paw or else it would escape. He pulled it towards him as it let of loud, squeals of distress, which Crunch wanted to end quickly, and as he pulled the boar towards him, he went to place his jaws around the back of its neck and… crunch.
The sound of the neck breaking was enough to silence it, and end its suffering and struggles. Crunch released his grasp, and stood up. The jungle seemed silent to him now and he sighed in relief, as he picked the boar up and placed it over his shoulders… to head off to a quiet area of the island to feast alone.
Hits since April 2010