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Chapter 1: The Leaving

Finally, they were ready to begin their journey.

Early one morning, a message had arrived by a scout, who is meant to be looking for things. He came to say that the Morg was only a few minutes away from ******** Warren. No one will survive this brobbing nagian beast. The warren was too old to withstand an onslaught. It would never survive an attack from the Morg.

So it was that the three little rabbits, Nikdop, zap and koop, left home. Their journey would take at least six and a half days but first they would have to pass through the Icy Mountains and across the Maze until they reached the rocky sand of Lazy Lake. Even the Morg could not enter that mighty warren, carved into the mountainside by rabbits so long ago that they had passed into the old stories that only the Bards now knew. Once the rabbits reached their destination, they would be safe. Other rabbits from their warren had chosen to travel elsewhere but Nikdop’s mother had given them an ancient map that showed the old paths, mostly hidden from unwanted eyes and glances. Too old to travel, she had stayed behind, hiding in the woods.


Clenching the primeval map, the miniscule band of intrepid rabbits struggled over the rope bridge that crossed the Lazy Lake River. Soon they arrived at the Icy Mountains, wending their way towards what they hoped would mean safety. Magnificent trees towered overhead as they followed the ancient rabbit pathways. Cautiously, they pass each tree making sure that the Morg won’t jump out and kidnap them. Wherever he looked, he imagined the piercing scarlet eyes of wolves, shadows of bandits and perhaps the weapons from the Morg.

Trailing behind Nikdop, Zap held onto baby koop’s paw. Wearily, they tried  to follow in the  footsteps of their elder brother. Zap made it like a game for Koop but soon, his paw was frozen and she could feel him shivering. As the sun began to hide and the shadows in the forest drew in she made Nikdop halt so that they could build a camp. Together, they dragged branches to an oak tree and soon had built a lean-to hut for the camp.

 

That evening , they ate slices of dried apple, carrot cake and nibbled at the poppy seed bread and smelly cheese that their mother had packed. Koop was soon fast asleep, snuggled between his older brother and sister. Carefully trying not to wake them up, Nikdop  tugged some branches across the front of their shelter, hoping that it would be good enough for the Morg to not see them.

 

As Nikdop drifted into sleep, his mind circled with huge dreams of the Morg destroying their camp with fear in his eyes. Will they ever survive the Morg’s attack?

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