Anthropomorphized Story
 May 10, 2017

Write a story with anthropomorphized animals or objects as subjects, that is an animal with human traits, or animated objects. Or both if you so desire. What it can't have is humans, though you can mention them.

No humans can be in the story itself, the subjects can talk about them however. It isn't a requirement

Contest Rules
* Entry Fee: Free
* Prize: Advanced Trophy
* Level: Advanced
* Character Limits: 1000 - 3000 words
* Submit period: 21 days (to get us past the April BOTS problem)
* Voting period: 2 days
* All regular Writing Deck Rules apply.
* Multiple entries are allowed in this contest.

Thanks to Ratbarsteward for supplying our themepost!
1st place

The earthquake was the worst they had ever been through. Their home, the great old oak, had probably seen worse in its long existence, but even some of its roots were now more visible. The entryway was partially blocked, but the Racoons have claws that can dig through almost anything, and fallen branches were no problem for them to clear away.

“Wow,” said Rachel, “I thought the world had come to an end.”

“Whatever that was,” responded Rocky, “I hope it’s over. Look at the mess.”

And mess there was, with fallen trees everywhere, and those that hadn’t completely fallen had only those trees they fell against, holding them up.

“I bet it won’t be hard finding food though,” said Rocky, “since the mice will be too busy trying to dig out to notice us – ha.”

“Well, the eagles and hawks might be thinking the same, and you know how they love raccoon,” scolded Rachel. “You be careful hunting. I’ll go look for some berries to go with whatever you manage to catch.”

So the Racoons split up and went in search of their breakfast. Rachel didn’t have to go far at all, to find berries. And it was a good thing, because she noticed a huge rift in the ground, not far from the berry bush, that seemed to go on forever in both directions. She shuddered, thinking how close this had been to their home. She made it back to the old oak and started cleaning up inside while waiting for Rocky to return.

Rocky wasn’t having the luck he thought he’d have. The mice must have been quick and fled the area, maybe even while the quake was taking place. At any rate the forest sure was quiet. “Maybe I should head the other way,” he thought when approaching where a stream had been, but the earth had apparently sucked up the water from it – fish and all.

Heading toward the mountains on the other side of the forest, he knew there was a large lake that shouldn’t (he hoped) have been affected. On the way there was an aftershock, and he thought about just heading back to the old oak. He could hear the sound of tumbling rocks and boulders from the mountains, but heard no animal life.

That changed as he neared a clearing in the woods. There, running for all he was worth, was a huge bear, coming right for Rocky. The bear jumped a rift and was almost on him before Rocky managed to duck under a heavy bush. “This isn’t going to keep that bear away.” He thought to himself, trying to figure out what to do.

The bear apparently had not been after him, as Rocky heard him thudding on past the bush. Just as he was breathing a sigh of relief though, he heard a terrible screech above. If it hadn’t been for the bush above him, he would have easily jumped ten feet into the air. As it was he managed to hit his head, but the bush was pretty soft.

Sneaking a look out, he thought: “That sure didn’t sound like any eagle I ever heard before. And that bear couldn’t possibly be scared of an eagle?” But the bear was gone, and looking up, he could see no bird of any kind flying overhead.

He did spot something in the top of the bush though. “Is that an egg,” he wondered? “Maybe the bear had stumbled upon an aerie and took it, and that’s why he was running away? Why wouldn’t he have just eaten it there, if that was the case? Or just taken it back into his cave?” Too many questions that had no answers had Rocky’s head spinning, so he just gave up on that line of thought, and turned his attention on how to get that egg.

It was easy getting to the egg, and then he was surprised by its size. “I’ve never seen an egg this big,” he sputtered. “The mommy must be one big eagle. No wonder the bear ran.” Rocky continually glanced up at the sky while untangling the egg from the bush. He didn’t want mommy eagle spotting him, if she was still up there.

He got the egg free, then thought he made a big mistake as it started rolling down the outside of the bush. He didn’t want it breaking here, as this was going to be a grand meal back in the old oak. He grabbed at it, but even his claws didn’t penetrate the shell. When it hit the ground, it didn’t even crack. “Wow,” he stated, “this is one tough egg.”

Rocky rolled the egg all the way back to the old oak, still keeping a lookout to the sky. As he neared home, he called out: “Rachel, you back? Come see what I got us.”

Rachel came out, saw the egg, and just gasped. “What is that,” she whispered (because her voice would not go higher)? “It couldn’t possibly be what it looks like. It’s too big!”

“Yep, it’s an egg,” said Rocky. He then proceeded to tell her the story, while they struggled to get the egg through the entryway into the old oak. When he was finished with his tale, Rachel told him what she had been up to.

“I got the place almost cleaned up,” she said, “when that second quake hit. I went back to where I saw the rift, and it had grown even wider. We might have to think about leaving this area. If another one hits, this old oak might even be brought down.”

“Well, we’ll worry about that later,” said Rocky. “Right now let’s eat!” And they tried, but their teeth and claws had no effect on the egg. “You sure this isn’t a rock,” asked Rachel?

“Hmm,” replied Rocky, “maybe it’ll soften up in time for breakfast tomorrow? If not, we’ll roll it down to the hot springs… if they’re still there. Meanwhile, I guess I’ll go look for some mice again.” They had a meal of berries, and Rocky set out on another hunt.

He was away for a long time, but eventually was able to nab a mouse. When he neared home, he noticed that Rachel was standing outside. “Missed me so much, you came out to greet me – ha,” he asked?

“Yeah, right,” Rachel sarcastically spat. “That egg is cracking, and it doesn’t sound like a bird.”

“Well, let’s take a gander,” said Rocky, dragging the mouse into the old oak.

Sure enough the egg was almost completely cracked open and it was definitely not a bird inside. “Mommy,” was what they could only assume the creature was squawking (since they did not understand the language), as it reached hungrily for the mouse.

Someone else heard the squawk though, and “Mommy” was there in an instant, setting the old oak ablaze with her fiery breath intent on getting to her baby.

The dragons enjoyed a nice meal of roasted raccoon, then returned to their lair, which had been deeper in the mountain than the bear’s den, and had become unsealed due to the earthquake.
2nd place


Andie's Mountain

Andie walked his normal path on the mountain, and then a few extra feet. Every day he would walk a little farther than the day before. Each day he would grow a little bigger and a little stronger; so he would explore just a little more. He enjoyed finding something new, pretty or even strange.

His mother warned him of the dangers of going too far from home, but Andie felt safe no matter where he was. She worried for no reason, he thought to himself; the animals were his friends and he was learning how to get around, like the whole mountainside was his home.

One of his friends was Mr. Baggypants. "Bags" would make fun of Andie's long ears and the way he would wrinkle his nose as he examined the world around him.

In turn, Andie would make fun of Bags' mask for a face and his thieving ways, but they were good friends and played games and hunted for food together.

Cardinal Red would watch over them and give advice as needed, but it was rarely needed.

Every once in a while visitors would come to Andie's mountain. Usually they are on their way to somewhere else, like the ducks and geese or the butterflies. But today a most unexpected visitor arrived. He seemed so out of place. Who is he, where did he come from?

Andie spoke to him first. “Are you lost?” he asked.

“I wouldn’t say lost,” he answered. “new I guess.”

“You’re moving here?” Andie tried to understand.

“Yes. I like it here, no fences, no rules, and no one to tell you what to do.” The visitor answered.

“Fences?” Andie wrinkled his nose “What are fences?”

Cardinal Red stepped in “He’s from the city” he explained “A place with homes and buildings that are very advanced and scientific. Built by what is known as man.”

“How do you know all of this?” Andie asked.

“Well, once in a while humans come to our forest and build temporary homes called tents. They scare most animals away but for some reason when they see me they freeze and watch me; as if they don’t want me to leave. I can observe them all I want," Red explained.

Red turned to the new arrival "Your name is Duke, isn’t it?” he asked the visitor.

“Yes it is, I’m a dog, an Australian Cow dog actually."

Red told Duke, “Someone is looking for you. She’s quite sad.”

“This place is much better than where I come from.” Duke said. “You can run fast and far, chase squirrels, bark as loud and as long as you want and no one yells at you.”

"It doesn't mean we want you to bark as loud and as long as you want," murmured Bags.

“But you have no home,” Andie observed.

“This is my first day,” Duke said “I’ll figure out something. Where do you live?” He asked Andie.

“I live in a hole in the ground.” Andie said “You wouldn’t fit, you’re too big.”

“I live in a nest in a tree.” said the cardinal. “You can’t climb that high.” Red flew up and away.

Duke looked at Bags.
Mr. Baggypants said “Well you’re not staying with me.” He said it as certain as he had ever said anything.

“Well I’ll figure something out.” Duke replied. "I’ll fit in somehow, there are many kinds of animals here.”

Duke saw a grasshopper and playfully chased it, until some ladybugs caught his attention. He chased some squirrels and barked until he was hoarse. He walked into the stream and drank long and deep.

Duke had the time of his life. He didn't have to ask to go outside, he LIVED outside. He saw wonders he could never have imagined and the smells... oh the smells. No noxious fumes from those cold, hard cars; no annoying children to pull his tail or blow in his face.

Why didn't his people just move into the tents? Obviously they wanted to get away from the city too!

Duke sighed as he watched the most beautiful sunset he had ever seen. No power lines to block the view, or properties that he was forbidden to walk on.

He grew tired after his active day. A familiar but uncomfortable feeling stirred within him.
“I’m hungry” he said; it was like he was startled when he said it.

“What do you eat?” Andie asked.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t really know, but it comes in a bowl. I don’t see anything like it around here.” He said with concern.

It was getting dark and with each minute it got colder. Duke tried finding some kind of shelter but he saw nothing that looked like his nice warm bed. He started to shiver. Even Mr. Baggypants began to feel sorry for him.

There was an unease as Andie, Bags and Duke considered what was happening.
Just then, breaking the awkward silence...
“DUUUKE...” the unfamiliar language rang out through the early evening air. "WHERE ARE YOU?"

Everyone looked toward where the shout came from. A human, Andie was transfixed at the sight. Duke jumped up and ran. It was hilarious to watch him run with his tail wagging back and forth, taking his whole hind end with it. He jumped and licked the woman’s face. He jumped and jumped again and again. Andie laughed hard, he had never seen such a joyous reunion.

The woman told Duke, “The strangest thing just happened. A beautiful red bird landed on a branch just a few feet away from me and stared right at me. I walked up to it and it flew a few more feet away, turned and looked at me again. I followed it, and before I knew it I found you. I missed you so much, and I was so scared.” Duke glanced gratefully back at Cardinal Red.

They walked away; back to the campground where they were staying.

The cardinal told the others: “He is where he belongs again…he is what's known as a pet.”

Later that night Andie was in his burrow. His mother told him it was bedtime. “You need to go to sleep,” She said.

“Sure thing Mom.” Andie answered. She would get no argument from him tonight.