Twigs snapped and moss flattened as the huge black bear walked through the damp forest. Lana raised her long snout and sniffed the air scenting for any dangers. When she was satisfied that the coast was clear, she called to her two cubs who were hiding inside a dead, hollow log. Her son, Koota ran out of the log, excited to finally be back in the sunlight, his shiny black fur gleaming. But as Koota ran to his mother, Lana stood, watching and waiting for her daughter. A white snout topped with a brown nose poked out of the log, a white head appearing soon after.
Small round ears pricked, Nava cautiously stepped out from the log and ran to Lana. Lana huffed in amusement. Nava had always been shy. And white! Her pelt was a gorgeous snow white with a brown nose and amber eyes that glowed like fire in the morning sun. She was Mother Nature's exception.
Koota jumped on a stump and cried for his mother. Lana turned and making sure Nava was beside her, ambled towards her son. The small family made their way to the river that all the bears in the area shared. When they arrived, they were alone. Leading Koota and Nava out to the rushing water, Lana grunted at Koota to stay near the shore, Nava never needing to be told what he mother already knew she would do. While she went back out into the foaming water, Koota began pacing the pebbly shore, never being able to sit still for long. Nava sat on the shore, staring at her reflection in the water. She marveled at how her white coat stood out against the bubbly river, wondering if she was the only black bear to be white.
But as she continued to stare, she felt something tickle her ear. Doing nothing more than flicking it, she paid no attention to it. But it came again, this time a fluttering sound filling her head. She huffed in frustration and shook her whole head. Looking up, her amber eyes widened at the sight of a beautiful turquoise and dark red butterfly flittered around her head. She growled playfully and swatted at it, the butterfly swerving out of reach of Nava's white paw. It eventually grew tired of looking at her, so the butterfly flew away on gentle wings. But Nava didn't want it to go. Following it, she left the shoreline and headed in the forest. She blindly shambled after it, running and bumping into trees, brush, and even stumbling over an abandoned badger hole. She didn't realize how far she'd gone until the butterfly finally lifted off higher than Nava could reach and she stopped and stared after it. When it disappeared from view, she looked around.
Fear began to well inside her. Where was mother? Did Koota notice her absence back on the edge of the river? She turned and began running in an unknown direction. Panic drove her to a full sprint. As she went she called loudly for her mother. She ran and ran, until she came crashing into a tree. Nava tumbled head over tail backward and landed on her stomach. As she stood and looked at what she ran into, she realized with dread that it was no tree she had ran into, but a large male black bear. He turned and with a snarl, he sniffed her. He snorted in disgust at her white fur. He didn't think that she was a normal bear, which in nature if something isn't normal, it's never good. So he reared up, towering over Nava. She cowered in fear, craning her neck up to look at the large male. He roared a challenge, the sound echoing through the forest and reaching the river.
Lana snapped her head up. Without hesitation, she charged for the forest, calling out for her lost daughter.
Back in the forest, Nava started pelting towards the sound of her mother's calls, the black bear crashing through the forest after her. The male had many advantages over Nava: size, power, speed. And though Nava was able to weave through the dense undergrowth better, the only way she didn't shake him was because of her white pelt that stuck out through the brush, the male never losing sight of her. Nava called back to her mother as she ran, her cries seeming to be drowned out by the pounding of the bear behind her. Nava ran into a thorn thicket to slow the male down.
Just as Nava was sure that she was never going to find her mother, she burst through the thorn thicket into a clearing that connected to the river's shore and nearly got trampled by Lana's huge paws. The two came to a skidding stop, Lana sniffing her daughter and huffing with concern. But her attention on Nava, she didn't hear the huge male come out of the thicket. Lana grunted in surprise as he came into the clearing. He came to a stop and reared up, roaring at Lana to get out of the way. So he could kill Nava.
But Lana would have none of it. Stepping in front of Nava, she reared up to come neck height to him, roaring back a warning telling him that she isn't going to let him touch her daughter. This outraged the male, him swinging a massive paw at Lana. She didn't see the blow coming and was hit hard. She landed on all four of her paws and quickly turned to bite the male's hind legs. Sinking her teeth into his left leg, she used her own to shove Nava away from the two of them fighting so she wouldn't get hurt. Turning her attention back to the other black bear, he came crashing down on her and she struggled to hold his weight. Letting go of his leg, she shot from underneath him and let him fall to the ground. Taking advantage of his shock, she jumped on top of him and bit the back of his neck. Bellowing in pain, he shook her off, and with a final roar, limped away as fast as he could back into the forest, the trees swallowing him and his black pelt into its shadows.
Lana turned back to Nava, Koota snuggling against her in relief. Lana slowly made her way toward the two and looked at Nava. Mother Nature's little exception.