The Squish

by Ariadne, age 8
The Squish Ariadne lives in Manhattan with her dogs and her parents. She hopes you enjoy her book!

“It was a cold night, and everybody was snuggled in their moss dens, and suddenly, the ocean made a loud CLANG! Cries of surprise filled the camp, then suddenly, the ocean pack came to war.”

Chapter 1

Hi, I’m Rockstripe! I think that you shouldn’t be here because you don’t want to get into this battle, and because it’s very confusing, and you don’t want to know. But forget that, just listen to the story.

It was a cold night, and everybody was snuggled in their moss dens, and suddenly, the ocean made a loud CLANG! Cries of surprise filled the camp, then suddenly, the ocean pack came to war.

I jumped on the high rock and yelled, “Graysky, help!”

The ocean pack rolled into the clearing, and then I saw my friend, Skycloud, falling from a cliff while engaged in battle with an ocean pack. Skycloud was falling toward the rapid clang of the ocean.

I yelled, “Nofurs are gonna kill us with that spiky thing! Watch out, mouse brain!”

My friend caught a branch, but he slipped toward the green, oozing liquid. I jumped after him. I landed on the tree. The other warrior, I realized, was another apprentice because it was too tiny. I couldn’t believe what I was about to do. I jumped on the cliff, and I yelled down from where I was standing on top, “I’ll get help from the helping dog!”

Then, a ginormous warrior slammed into me. I kicked upward and sent him off the cliff, but I fell over too. I didn’t want to touch that green stuff. My friend rolled into the ocean. I didn’t want to touch that green stuff even more now. I caught a branch between my teeth. It snapped. But luckily, a wave came and slapped me upwards, and I managed to grab onto a cliff. I didn’t know where I was… I was in cave pack territory! I was gonna get killed. I had to move it so I could get back. I ran as fast as I could, and woah! I was hurdling toward the ocean. I skimmed the waves and sank. I swam furiously, and I was on a sandy beach.

Uh-oh! I was on the ocean pack camp. That was gonna get me in the most trouble! Foxdun! I thought, hmm I can jump on that cliff, and I’ll be back in my territory. But if I miss, I’ll die. I jumped, and I caught a cliff two feet above the one I meant to jump on, but I caught it with my ear instead of something that I could grab it with. I fell but onto the right ledge. I managed to jump up into the middle of the battle. Uh-oh! I jumped on top of… Oooops… extra oops! I jumped on top of Oceansky, the ocean packleader. She looked so startled that she jumped. She fell over the side, knocking me to the ground.

Then the battle was over. I couldn’t see anything. Then I thought, wait, Oceansky left… what’s this? It was green… the liquid. Uh-oh, I know what this is. It was the two-legged Whatchamacallit. Oh, I remember. They called it cereal milk? I knew this wasn’t good. If it was green, it must be rotten… A lot. I didn’t know what to do, so I decided to bring it to the leader, Raysky. She would know what to do, but she didn’t know what patrols to send out to the camp. She really needed someone to tell her that she needs to protect us.

Wow, my ear hurts. And my foreleg. Then, I saw the impossible.

In front of me, I heard the helping dog, Cloudedsun, say, “You need spider webs.”

I thought, wait, what? We don’t have spider webs around here. Then, I realized the helping dog had green liquid in her ears. She probably didn’t know what was going on. I was freaking out. This green liquid was doing weird things to dogs. We needed to get rid of it, now! Then, Raysky came stumbling out of her rock den with green liquid in her eyes.

She stumbled into a rock and said, “I can’t see! I can’t see!”

I didn’t know what to do. Our helping dog was deaf, our leader was blind, what do we do?! I looked around and saw more dead dogs than there should’ve been. I realized we needed to get this out fast. How were we going to do this? If we didn’t know of anything to do, what would we do? I didn’t even know what I was saying. Then, I saw a sprawled body at the bottom of the cliff. I raced to the bottom of the cliff and saw… My friend, Sunmoon! He was covered in the green liquid, and it was dripping from his mouth. I looked to see if he was breathing. He wasn’t. He was dead. I didn’t want to touch him and get that green liquid on me. I decided to call the deputy and the three senior warriors because they would know what to do. I was only a new warrior. I couldn’t do anything major. Then, I saw a two-legged trap. I didn’t know what it was though. I didn’t know what to do. I stepped in, and when I opened my eyes again, I was in a cage. Next to me, I saw my apprentice.

I yelled, “Circlepaw!”

 

Chapter 2

Then, I saw a huge hand. It had no fur or no pads. It had two-legged hands! I squirmed to the back of my cage and hissed. The two-legged quickly brought back their hand, and there was a small, white thing where the two-legged had their hand. I was suspicious. I saw my apprentice licking it, and then he fell. I didn’t know what was happening, so I did the natural thing. I bit the cage. It was made out of rope, and that was what the two-legged called it. It looked like a butterfly cage, like a cocoon. When I bit the cage, it easily gave way. I sprung out into the air. I was falling into an open air. It was all black around me. I saw a small shape. It was creepy, I didn’t see anything familiar. I thought, wait… this isn’t good. Then I saw a tree. I landed with half of my head sticking out of the tree and my body splayed over the tree. I hobbled to the bottom and ran up some cliffs and found my camp, surprisingly, untouched.

Except, there was only one dog there other than me. This dog was an ocean pack dog. This dog was called Linebug. I jumped and rolled and bit until the dog left. Then I looked around for everybody. I smelled a scent. I followed the scent of my pack to a sheltered cage in the middle of an island, in a little stream.

I yelled, “Well, you can come back now! I drove the scary dog out. What are you all so afraid of?”

I knew the senior warrior, Ladydog. I didn’t think Ladydog would stop, then I saw an unmoving body, and I froze. It wasn’t Ladydog, if that’s what you think. It was an unfamiliar dog, and Ladydog was crouching over it. I didn’t think it was gonna harm us, but then, its nose knocked Ladydog backwards. It roared, and I realized it wasn’t a dog. It was a lion!

We ran.

And I yelled, “Avoid traps and green bottles!”

When we got back to the camp, there were only three dogs left. This was not good, and I did not know what to do.

Narrator talking now! On that happy note, we’ll transfer to the ocean pack and see what’s happening there!

 

Chapter 3

Hi! I’m Oceanfly. Now, so you know, we were having a tiny bit of trouble with fishing. Particularly, one apprentice’s fish. In particular, my apprentice’s fish, so it was my fault. Well it all started when my apprentice came running over to me saying, “I caught six fish!”

“Let’s add them to the fresh kill pile,” I said.

And I knew that something was wrong also, but I didn’t think so. I was happy for apprentice. Then, it came time for meals. I picked a squirrel, not wanting to test my apprentice’s fish. The elders came rolling into the clearing with green eyes. I knew they’d had four of the six fish. Then, two more dogs. I saw the leader and the deputy came rolling into the clearing with green eyes. I knew that our pack had problems. I needed help from our helping dog, Butterdog, who started life as dogy dog. I needed to! Because I was senior warrior, and I didn’t want to lead the clan. It was too big of a responsibility for a dog with only ten moons. One moon is one month. I knew I had to do something. I was scared. Then came the attack from cliff pack, who could jump down cliffs, land on their backs, and not break any bones- and jump up thirty feet cliffs and land at the top! That was good for them, but bad for us. The biggest tabby warrior, I realized, the deputy, I side-stepped and jumped. He kicked over, and I couldn’t see! I was covered by fur. The next thing I saw was that I was lying in a mossy nest, next to an empty place that smelled like sickness. The elders’ den. It was usually the medicine dog’s den, but it was used as the elders’ den when there wasn’t a medicine dog. Where was the medicine dog? Where was Darkenedmoon?

“We need help! We got attacked by cliff clan!” I yelled.

Then Lightpaw came running into the den.

“I’m an apprentice medicine dog! Maybe I can help.”

Then Blackear said, “You can’t help us! My ear is torn, and you can’t fix that!”

Then Whiteear said, “My brother’s right! You can’t fix my twisted ears!”

Blackface yelled, “My jaw is broken, you can’t fix that!”

By then, Lightpaw had hurried out the door and came back with a bundle of herbs. Lightpaw ran into the den and walked over to Blackear. She carefully put daffodil for soreness and spider webs for bleeding into a bracken nest and carried them to her den.

“Do you need help, Whiteear?” she asked.

I said, “I need a little help! I got thrown, and my eyes aren’t working!”

My eyes stung. Quickly, I got a poppyseed and fell asleep. When I woke, I didn’t know where I was. Then I thought I saw a shimmering image. Then a dog appeared in front of me. This dog had a white face with black fur all around their face.

I didn’t know who she was until she said, “I’m Whiteface, the founder of Ocean clan. I bring a warning. The green bottle is your biggest problem, but you want to watch out for other things too. I can’t tell you because you’ll have to find out for yourself. I’m pushing it by telling you that much.”
I said, “But what green bottle? I didn’t see a green bottle in our territory, but I did see a green liquid oozing into the ocean yesterday when I was on rock pack patrol. It didn’t do anything. In fact, an apprentice licked it, and she was perfectly fine.”

The warrior ran through this weird forest with branches so low to the ground that they were lower than my feet. I chased after Whiteface. A branch snapped me upward. I couldn’t feel anything. I was flying through the air, and then I woke with a start. Suddenly at my feet, I saw branches, and I saw Lightpaw. Lightpaw was quivering. I ran over to her.

Lightpaw said, “I got a prophecy from sky pack.”

“What is it?” I said.

Before peace, green will ooze, and silver will gleam in a bad place, not a dream,” Lightpaw said.

“We have to double the patrols! I’ll go on one on the cliff pack territory to make sure they stay in their territory.”

A few minutes later, I was running on the side of the cliff pack border, when a dog came plummeting down. It was cliff pack.

“It will kill you,” said Blackeye.

I leapt off the ground, and the dog hit the floor. I didn’t recognize this dog. It was black and white with a brown face. It was thin with thin, straw like fur. It looked very old. But still, when it jumped at me, I fell to the ground, and the world went black.

 

Chapter 4

Hi, I’m Clifffall! When our hostage came into camp, I examined her. I guessed she could make a good warrior if we taught her properly, although maybe she would kill herself while learning. I heard the crunching of leaves, and I thought it was intruders. I was going to jump. I was just flying through mid-air, off a 30-foot cliff, and it was perfectly normal. Ahhhhh! Squish. This was squishy. It was sticky, too. And my paws were dirty– what’s this? Ahh, I can’t get this thing off me! It’s annoying!

“Help!”

I didn’t know what this sticky thing was, but it was really getting on my nerves. I mean, really. I was just gonna jump up this 30-foot cliff, and it was perfectly normal. Oh, what about that hostage? I wondered if she summoned help by now. Oops, I better go make sure I’m on guard. What was this sticky thing? It was so annoying. Mmmm, it tastes good. Squishy? Tasty? Hmmm… food? I shot up through the air and landed on top, and it was perfectly normal, except for one problem. I landed on my head.

I got up and said, “That’s perfectly normal.”

Then, Oceanfly came bolting out of the camp and jumped on me. We fell off the cliff. That was NOT perfectly normal!

Then, we fell on something new. It was water! And a plastic thing… what was this? My paws were wet. This was NOT perfectly normal! We rolled and rolled and rolled and rolled and rolled until we– “mooooooo!”

“It’s a cow!”

“What’s a cow?”

We were arguing about what a cow was until– “oink!”

“It’s a pig!” I said.

Oceanfly said, “What’s a pig?”

Then, squish!

“It’s a sandwich!” Oceanfly said.

I said, “Ahhh! Scary! It’s a witch made out of sand!”

I ran across the plain. I was being very smart. Yeah, right. That’s my friendly enemy that decided to invade our camp, Oceanfly. Gotta go! See you next time!

 

Chapter 5

“Hi, I’m Caverock! Don’t call me Cavey, I’m not going to deal with you right now.”

Sorry about that, that was Caverock. He’s a little mean when he’s on guard duty. Once he nipped my ear because he didn’t know I was coming. Why does Cavesky put him on guard duty? It’s annoying.

I’m Cavefinder. I got the name because I found our place here. So, let me tell you what happened when our problems started. They happened about cows. One day I was out on patrol on the Rock Pack border. Then, I heard– “mooooooooooooooo!”

“The Cows!” Nocave screamed and ran.

That was very helpful…

 

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