“Try to keep up now,” Femzy said, nuzzling at one of the three hatchlings to prod them along a little faster. They weren’t walking very fast anyway since Seracen was with them. With her belly and the heavy eggs inside her, she wasn’t the fastest ness by any means.
The dragon family was taking a walk through the forest outside their home. There was nothing around that could cause them any harm; the scent of the two adult dragonesses was more than enough to keep the area free of most large animals; only the smaller creatures came close to a dragon’s cave.
The three little hatchlings bounded and leapt around, giving little meeps and squeaks as they explored the undergrowth on either side of the path they were treading. The black hatchling, more daring, even made a game of zigzagging in between his mothers’ paws as they walked. They were careful not to step on him all the same.
The orange hatchling stayed a little closer, bounding forwards to walk along Femzy for a little while, then slowing to keep Seracen company for a little. It was the multicoloured hatchling that strayed the furthest though, exploring through the brush and plants to either side, occasionally running across the path to explore something on the other side. Her excited squeaks and huffs let her mothers know where she was though, so they weren’t too worried.
Seracen was panting heavily after a little while; even the hatchlings had more energy than her these days. Just in time, they reached a small clearing and Femzy, taking note of her mate’s heavy breathing, stopped. “Let’s take a break here,” she churred, giving Sera a nuzzle. “The hatchlings can run around for a little bit.”
“Thanks, dear,” the black dragoness said, giving a relieved smile. Femzy lay herself down, giving Sera a side to lay down against. She did so, giving a small groan as she stretched out some sore paws.
The orange hatchling came up to nuzzle at Sera briefly, making sure she was okay before wandering around the clearing, but not venturing out of it altogether. She made sure to stay within her mothers’ sight, turning back to them frequently to make sure they were looking at her as she explored, bounding from tree to tree to investigate all the strange smells and sights.
The black hatchling was more adventurous, darting into the bushes and undergrowth for a minute or two at a time before shooting back across the clearing. As long as he wasn’t gone for too long, neither Femzy nor Sera were very worried. He too looked towards his mothers as he scampered across the open ground, far more eager to have the freedom to run around without any restrictions. The adult dragonesses were able to follow his movements through the rustling and moving plants at the edge of the clearing, and occasionally the brief glimpse of a wiggling tail as he excitedly investigated something.
For the multicoloured hatchling though, she was more sedate. She slowly wandered out of the clearing, eyes wide as if seeing everything for the first time. She had, of course, but her imagination, young as it was, was enough to make everything all the more marvellous to her. A clump of strange moss with a sharp scent kept her entertained for a few moments before something else caught her attention, the hatchling flitting from interesting thing to interesting thing. She didn’t think to turn back towards Femzy and Seracen as she wandered a little further afield.
A sudden rustling behind a fallen log caught her attention, the little dragoness’s ears perking up. She crept down low to the ground instinctively, stalking forwards towards the mossy log and then poking her head up over it slowly. It was only with great restraint that she was able to keep herself from giving a string of excited meeps, mews, and trills. There was a rabbit! It was grazing on the undergrowth just a few feet in front of her, and she was out of its eyeline. The hatchling had also accidentally approached downwind, not that she knew that it was something she had to do, and so the rabbit hadn’t smelled her yet either.
Her rump wiggled in excitement, tail lashing at the air. Sera or Femzy occasionally brought rabbits back to the hatchlings as a little treat. The small animals were difficult for a large dragon to catch, so it was rare, but their meat was sweet and they were the perfect size for a little hatchling. If she could catch this one…her tail squirmed even more. Her mothers would be so proud of her catch! And then she would be able to have a nice meal for her troubles too…maybe share a little with her siblings but surely most of it would be hers…
The rabbit’s ears twitched and the hatchling’s did the same. Licking her lips, the little multicoloured dragon crept onto the log, claws digging in to give her some purchase. She tried to be as quiet as possible, the rabbit not hearing her move at all. The hatchling prepared herself to leap. She wasn’t sure exactly what to do, but she’d seen Femzy hunt once or twice, so she was confident that she’d figure it out once she got close. Not blinking, she kept her gaze fixed on her furry meal, laser focused. Her muscles coiled and bunched, ready to propel her little body forwards.
Just as she made the decision to jump, there was a reddish-brown blur as something beat her to the punch. The hatchling tried to change her mind just as she was in the process of jumping, resulting in the little dragon flopping off of the log and landing on her muzzle with a yelp. She got to her feet quickly with a huff, rubbing her nose with a paw, and looked up. A fox was blinking back at her, the limp rabbit hanging from its jaws. The hatchling was frozen for a moment before she gave an enraged huff. This fox had stolen *her *rabbit!
The multicoloured hatchling puffed out her chest and spread her wings a little to make herself seem larger, then gave a squeaky, high-pitched roar at the fox. They made eye contact for a moment, the fox not seeming fazed at all. It merely blinked at her and then turned tail, darting back into the undergrowth. For a second, the hatchling was frozen, not sure what to do. But the thought of the rabbit and trotting back into the clearing with her prize wouldn’t leave so after a second of thinking, she darted after the fox.
It was nimbler than the hatchling, but not much faster. Still, her wings, oversized for her body, were a hindrance in the undergrowth, catching on the plants and branches a little and forcing her to slow down somewhat. The fox wasn’t able to lose her though, the hatchling staying on its trail as she chased after prize. She tracked the scent and the sound of the fox as it ran ahead, soon panting hard herself. She hadn’t done any chases for prey herself before but her blood and heart were racing, excitement making her run faster as the thrill of the chase filled her.
It was only a minute or two before the little run ended. The fox’s burrow was situated beneath the gnarled roots of an old tree, a dark hole that disappeared underground. The fox stopped in front of it, turning to face the pursuing hatchling with the rabbit still in its jaws. There were bones and the remains from previous hunts all around the fox’s home, the hatchling stepping over it as she gave an angry huff. She flapped her wings a couple of times, buffeting the fox from a couple of paces away. Spreading her legs into a solid stance, she gave another squeaky roar, trying to intimidate the fox and regain her prize.
The fox, now that it was chased all the way back to its home, dropped the rabbit at its paws. There was a low growl from the fox which was matched by the hatchling. It almost seemed bewildered that she had actually chased it all the way back. The hatchling’s tail lashed and she took a step forwards, daring the fox to match her. The vulpine considered the little furred creature in front of it and then evidently decided that the rabbit wasn’t worth the confrontation. It turned around and disappeared into the burrow with a flick of its white-tipped tail.
With a happy trill, the multicoloured hatchling bounded forwards and nosed at the rabbit laying on the ground. The fox had killed it with a bite to the neck but it was otherwise unmarked. With another trill, she picked up the rabbit in her own jaws. The hatchling had to raise her head up quite a bit, as well as tilt it back so that she could walk without tripping over her prize. Still, even with the difficulty, she trotted back the way that she had come, a purr deep in her throat. There was no worry about speed now, the hatchling going slowly and carefully with the heavy rabbit in her little jaws.
She had only walked a few feet through the thick undergrowth when she came across Femzy, the larger dragoness waiting for her. Femzy was sitting on her belly, tail flicking and making the branches rustle around behind her. “Well, someone went on an adventure,” she purred, lowering her head. The hatchling gave a muffled trill, her mouth full of rabbit, and then placed her prize down at her mother’s paws, puffing out her chest with pride as she did so. “Ooh, caught something did you?” Femzy said, nosing down at the rabbit. “My little hunter already.”
The hatchling gave a chirp and another trill before going to pick up her prize, but Femzy nudged her back with her muzzle. “I’ll take this, darling,” she purred, leaning down to pick up the rabbit, but as soon as she tried, the hatchling flapped her wings and chirping insistently. “All right, you take it,” Femzy churred, nosing the rabbit back towards the hatchling. “Everyone can see that you caught it.”
Giving a light purr, the hatchling picked up her catch again and began bounding forwards, head raised back to keep the rabbit from dragging along the ground. Femzy followed her daughter close behind, making sure that she was going back in the right direction to rejoin the others. It wasn’t a far distance to go, but the hatchling was moving more slowly now. Femzy needed to correct which way they headed once or twice, nosing the hatchling back in the right direction until, finally, they emerged back into the clearing in which Seracen and the other two hatchlings were.
Sera was still laying awkwardly on her side, not really having a more comfortable position with the size of her belly. Her head was on the ground, being clumsily and lovingly groomed by the orange hatchling, who had evidently gotten tired of playing and exploring the clearing. The black male hatchling was still darting around though, perhaps a little bit more slowly as his energy was used up, but there was still more than enough to chase after the butterflies, falling leaves, and anything else that caught his fancy. Once or twice, he zoomed up Sera’s tail before leaping from his mother’s back, wings spreading to let him glide a foot or two before dropping to the ground with an excited squeal.
As soon as Sera saw Femzy coming back in, she raised her head up anxiously. The orange hatchling gave an annoyed huff and moved to licking her mother’s chest instead. “Is she okay?” Sera asked, peering over.
Femzy nudged the hatchling forwards out of the brush, at which point the multicoloured dragon gave a muffled trill and proudly leapt forwards to show Sera her rabbit. “She’s perfectly fine,” Femzy said with a smile and nod. “Just went on a little adventure to get herself a treat.” To mark the words, the hatchling carefully lay her prize down between Seracen’s paws, then hissed as her siblings came over to investigate.
“Oh, good,” said Sera, with a sigh of relief. “You got yourself a rabbit! Our wonderful little hunter.” She lowered her head a little and the multicoloured hatchling nuzzled against her with a purr, shuffling her wings proudly at the praise. She gave her mother a little kiss and lick and then looked at her catch with a purr in her throat.
Femzy lay herself down beside her mate once again, giving Sera’s cheek a nuzzle before looking down at the hatchlings. The black and orange hatchlings were crowding around their sister, looking at the rabbit with quite a lot of interest. The multicoloured hatchling hissed and growled at them, keeping them back. Femzy scooped the black hatchling towards her, holding him close to her chest as he wriggled and complained. Sera did the same with the orange hatchling, though she just let out a thin whine. “She caught it, she can have it to herself,” Sera purred down, giving her orange daughter a lick between the horns. “We’ll catch you some another time.”
Now that she’d shown her rabbit to both of her mothers, the multicoloured hatchling began to eat, purring at the familiar taste. She kept her wings pushed forwards, covering the catch from view to protect it as she gulped down the delicious food. Occasionally, she’d glance up to make sure everyone was still where they were, then resume her enthusiastic gulping.
Far more quickly than Femzy or Sera expected though, she shuffled her wings back along her back and sat back, leaving a lot of the rabbit left. Then she let out a trill, the sound a rather specific one that was peculiar to the hatchlings, signalling that there was food there. Smiling, Femzy and Seracen let the other two hatchlings wiggle out and bound over to the rabbit, pushing at one another to get the good parts that their sister had left for them.
With a slightly rounded belly, the multicoloured hatchling went and sprawled against Femzy’s chest, looking a little wistfully towards where her siblings were finishing off her prize. “You’re very good for sharing,” Femzy purred, bending her head down to nuzzle at her daughter.
“Very generous,” Sera agreed, leaning over to give her a lick. The hatchling purred and cooed softly in response, rubbing back against them and relaxing a bit more, laying contentedly against Femzy.
Before long, the other two had eaten their fill as well, coming over and flopping down tiredly, the food making them feel sleepy. There were a lot of yawns going around the hatchlings as Seracen swept the remains of the rabbit into the undergrowth for the other denizens of the forest to finish. “I think we should head back now,” Sera purred, giving Femzy’s cheek a nuzzle. “The little ones have full bellies, and they’ve done a lot of running around today.”
“Let’s head on home,” Femzy agreed, nuzzling back before leaning down. She picked up one of the hatchlings carefully in her jaws and then deposited them on her back for a ride home. The hatchling just yawned and closed their eyes, safely between Femzy’s wings. Sera did the same with the other two before standing carefully. It was extra difficult with her pregnancy as she tried not to dislodge the hatchlings, but she managed. Femzy had an easier time standing, looking back to make sure her little load was fine. Half-closed eyes blinked back at her, the hatchling’s head drooping as they struggled to stay awake.
Walking slowly, the two adult dragonesses set off home, one hatchling already dreaming of running through the forest after more rabbits.
This is a small thing that I wrote to continue the small series with me, zynothrexel , and our three beautiful hatchlings! One in particular is going on a little adventure...
Stories are available two weeks earlier on my Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/seracen
Go there to see stories earlier as well as some other perks!