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By David Clement-Davies

David Clement-Davies’s first novel was once released to nice acclaim, together with a rave evaluate from Watership Down writer richard Adams: “it is a riveting tale and merits to be commonly learn. it truly is the best anthropomorphic fantasies recognized to me.”

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Why don’t you all pass as much as the feeding position and feature an additional graze. ’ ‘That’s one other thing,’ acknowledged Bracken. ‘There’s consistently nutrition on the feeding areas, but I’ve by no means obvious a deer taking it there. And the place do you retain it? ’ Scarp gave Dearg a pointy glance. ‘I’ve instructed you,’ he acknowledged. ‘We acquire it within the autumn. The stags shop it within the woods and placed it out at evening, whilst you’re sound asleep. ’ ‘No! It isn’t precise! ’ The voice got here from past the crowd. ‘Thistle,’ cried Alyth delightedly, dashing as much as her calf. She attempted to lick him. ‘No, Mamma. i have to say something,’ stated Thistle, nudging her away. ’Rannoch was once correct. i used to be jogging up by means of a feeding position whilst I observed them. placing out the dry feed. ’ Thistle diminished his voice to a whisper and a hush fell at the listeners as he spoke. ‘Men,’ he stated. The hinds appeared aghast. ‘They upload these herbs to the grass,’ Thistle went on. ‘That’s why we couldn’t scent them. ’ ‘That’s it,’ cried Rannoch. ’That’s what I scented. ’ Dearg all of sudden nodded to Scarp. ‘It’s all right,’ he stated evenly, ‘there’s not anything to fret approximately. ’ ‘Why didn’t you let us know this sooner than? ’ cried Bracken furiously. ‘We might have performed, all in sturdy time. yet we didn’t are looking to frighten you, sooner than you got here to appreciate. ’ ‘Understand what? ’ ‘About the feed. a few Herla are evidently fearful, aren’t they? ’ ‘We needs to get out of here,’ acknowledged Bracken by surprise. ‘If there are males approximately, we’re all at risk. ’ ‘No, no,’ soothed Scarp. ‘They won’t come into the park, now not at present of yr. It’s exceptional, quite. in addition to, a hind has little to fret approximately. ’ ‘Quite,’ acknowledged Dearg frivolously. ‘And your dollars are hardly ever sufficiently old, are they now? I suggest, no longer an antler between them. ’ ‘What do you suggest? ’ stammered Bracken. ‘Well, I don’t are looking to be rude,’ acknowledged Dearg, ‘and I’m certain in the future they’ll all develop as much as serve the herd proudly within the Hunt—’ ‘The Hunt? ’ gasped Bracken. The hinds stared on the stags in disbelief however the complete horror of figuring out used to be starting to sunrise on them. ‘Oh dear,’ acknowledged Dearg mournfully, ‘I’ve stated an excessive amount of, haven’t I? yet they’ll get used to the assumption. all of us do. Whitefoot did. I suggest, what else is a stag for yet to die bravely within the Hunt? ’ Dearg’s eyes appeared glassy, with , determined gleam. ‘We shouldn’t particularly be speaking approximately this in entrance of the fawns,’ acknowledged Scarp. ‘They’re too younger to appreciate this sort of tough thought because the Hunt. ’ ‘Tell us,’ acknowledged Shira coldly. ‘Very good. ’ Scarp nodded. ‘You needed to comprehend finally. that's what we’re the following for. the search. Then a stag may well serve the herd through operating good and loss of life bravely. they arrive approximately fifteen or twenty instances a yr. That’s all. and not while the hinds are fawning or through the rut. In go back they bring about us the feed while the snows are very deep and infrequently even bracken from the hills. so that you see, the herd consistently has adequate to consume. ’ ‘They? ’ whispered Bracken, feeling in poor health. ‘Who are they? ’ ‘The men,’ stated Scarp blankly, ‘from the opposite part of the wooded area, to the east, the place the nice stone partitions are. they carry the horses and the canines and the stalk starts within the park.

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