When I woke up with a strange, sharp pain in my belly area, I thought I had simply slept on my fur wrong again (that, too, is a very painful experience). I got up to shake off whatever was aching me, and then I realized that whatever I was feeling was much deeper than anything that could be caused by fur. The bottom part of me was in pain, radiating with anger and heat and unhappiness and a tinge of regret for something I was unable to completely identify.
I remained standing on all fours for a very brief moment before I collapsed back down to the cool, welcoming cave floor. I curled my legs into myself, hoping they could retreat into me to fight off the horrible feeling my underside was shouting at the rest of me.
Then the oozing began.
I do not want to go into detail about the oozing. It was unpleasant, and I would not wish it upon any creature.
Then I slept. It was not a restful sleep. I panicked several times during my slumber, thrashing upward and gasping for breath each time as my mind recollected all the information it needed to reunderstand what was going on.
The little amount of time I was able to keep aware enough to think about things other than the horribleness of the situation was spent trying to determine a cause to the horribleness of the situation.
My first guess was that I had angered something/someone in the forest and that something/someone had taken vengeance by way of a debilitating belly scheme. Admittedly, despite how friendly I try to be toward all things in the forest, I do have enemies. The deer, for one, but he was far too lazy and incompetent to be able to affect me in such a way. I once besmirched the wind’s good name because it dismantled a wonderful pile of leaves I had collected. That situation should have been over with, though. After all, the wind started it. Why would it hold a grudge? That does not sound like the wind to me.
I also considered the possibility that something delicious had betrayed me. Everything I eat is delicious, but out of all the things I do eat, one of those things could have been using deliciousness to mask its aggressive, pain-inducing motives. What could it have been? Certainly not the plastic jug filled with the gooey dark liquid that I chewed on for several days. Maybe I accidentally swallowed a few aggressive insects by accidents, and this was their way to get back at me.
Maybe they were chewing their way out of me.
Maybe a million ants were nipping at the depths of my belly, destroying everything about my insides and making everything on the outside unlivable.
Why had I eaten those ants by accident?
I woke up to no ants. It was dark outside of my cave. The oozing had stopped. My belly felt off but not on fire anymore.
I stared around my dark cave, trying to make sense of my surroundings and my feelings and the wraith of pain lingering somewhere near my belly.
I went back to sleep. I dreamed of pine-cones. It was nice.
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