Chapter Six

"Mother, it's too cold to be outside this morning.  When I said we should go find him, I didn't mean tomorrow," a female voice whined.  
"Hush.  We're going," another feminine voice snarled at her.  "He must return."
"Don't think he's going to," a third voice added, a scowl on her pretty face.  
"We can change his mind."

~ ~ ~

Oh.  My.  God.

Sparrow had just waken up the next morning, and the first thing he saw scared him more than anything he had ever seen before.  It was Sapphire, Dawn, and Snowflake, all sitting inside his den.  He wasn't sure how they could all fit in there, but somehow, it was possible.
"What are you all doing in here?" he asked them, a peculiar look on his face.  Dawn seemed as if she was struggling not to smile, but she said seriously, "Sapphire told us everything."
"Everything." Sparrow stood up and looked her in the eyes, daring her to respond to him.  "I'm sure that she didn't tell you everything that has happened lately.  There's been much more."
Ignoring him, Sapphire turned to her mother.  "I'm sure that he's alright, he's probably just surprised that we returned.  Even though I said that I would, he wasn't expecting all of us to come."
"No, I wasn't," Sparrow said flatly.  "Now, what are you here for?  Didn't Leader prevent you from coming?"
"Leader is gone," Dawn said.  "He's out hunting with the younger wolves right now, possibly teaching them new skills.  I thought that this would be a good time to find you, and welcome you back into the pack."
Sparrow looked at his "mother" quizzically.  He had only been banished a few days ago - not even a week ago.  "How do you think Leader would react to that?" he asked sarcastically.  "Leader would never allow me back there.  He'd be fine if I starved out here."
"Sparrow, Leader thought of you as his son.  He wouldn't want his son to starve," Dawn told him firmly, her eyes narrowed.
"Until he found out that he was from another pack, that is," Snowflake interrupted, pushing in between the two.  "Mother, I do want Sparrow to come back, but I have to admit, Leader is never going to allow him back there.  He would kill him."
Dawn rolled her eyes.  "I highly doubt that your father would kill him," she said.  "He is an excellent leader, and would never kill someone that he raised."
"He barely helped raise him," Sapphire pointed out.
"He had other things to think of," Dawn said firmly.  "Now, I don't want to hear another word about Leader.  Please, just leave Sparrow and I alone for a moment - I have things to discuss with him."
Turning to Sparrow as Sapphire and Snowflake left, Dawn got close to her son, staring into his eyes.  "Look, Sparrow, Leader cannot decide whether you stay or not," she whispered.  "That will be up to me, even if he disagrees with my decision."
"...Which he will," Sparrow snarled.  "There is no way, at the moment, at least, that he will allow me back into the pack after what he thinks that I'm capable of doing."
"But Sparrow, you wouldn't do that," Dawn said softly.  "He should know by now that if you do cause any harm to anyone in the pack, I would banish you myself.  But I know that you would not commit yourself to such acts of violence, so I am allowing you back."
Sparrow frowned, thinking.  "You're mad," he said to Dawn, and she simply pushed him aside and left the den, urging him to follow her.
Snowflake stood, looking at her mother.  "Is he returning?" she asked.
Dawn sighed.  "It is up to him," she replied anxiously.  Sparrow looked at each of the wolves in front of him, and took a deep breath.  "I'm not sure," he said slowly.  "I don't want Leader to get any... ideas."
Dawn looked ashamed of him.  "Ideas?" she barked.  "If he gets any ideas, I'm certain that they wouldn't be a way to destroy you.  If the pack knew that he was a murderer, they wouldn't want him to lead them."
"You have a point there," Sparrow said to her.  "But I still have my doubts... Leader will not let me back into the pack.  He is in complete control of the pack, and I'm certain that he won't let someone who he thinks is evil near his family."
"But Sparrow," Dawn repeated, "we know that you're not evil.  If you have been told what is right and what is wrong in our pack, you will be able to return."
"Exactly," Sapphire said firmly, stepping closer to him.  "We all can trust you, and we will tell the pack the truth about you."
"It will all be fine," Snowflake added in.  "Leader won't be in control of the pack forever.  And when he is no longer in control, you won't have to listen to what he says, and no one will believe what he says.  You'll be understood, Sparrow.  Finally."
Confused by all of this, Sparrow sighed and entered his den, resting his head on his paws.  "I need a moment to think," he barked at his companions, and they all walked away quickly.
Sparrow was nervous about returning, if he did at all.  This wasn't the most important thing in his life, however - the thing he needed to be most aware of was his survival in general.  If he chose not to return, he could starve, die of thirst, be killed by severe temperatures or lack of temperature, or of course, be killed by another animal.  But if he did return, those consequences would still remain, but there would be less of a chance of them happening.  This was a hard decision to make, but Sparrow knew that he had to.  There were two paths in front of him - one that could make his life harder, one that could make this life more dangerous.  But he knew something for sure... the risk was high in both.

~ ~ ~ 

Rolling her eyes, Sapphire turned and faced her mother.  "He's coming back, whether he likes it or not," she said, fuming.  
"Dear, this is his decision, for the last time," her mother replied wearily.  She had been struggling to explain this to her two daughters ever since they had left for a little bit, giving Sparrow time to think.  Truthfully, Dawn wanted Sparrow to return as much as they did.  She felt guilty for this entire thing... it was all her fault.  If she would have never found him, this wouldn't have been a problem.
"But, mother!" Snowflake interrupted her thoughts irritably.  "Sparrow just NEEDS to come back.  I think it's boring around here without him.  Since Daisy died when we were only a few months old, Sparrow was technically our only companion."
Sighing, Dawn said, "It wasn't Daisy's fault that she died.  It... it was just a very harsh winter.  She just... she was too young to be out there, anyway.  I don't even know how she got out.  She... just did."
"Don't remind me," Sapphire growled.  
A breeze blew through the area, rustling through the nearly bare trees, making the three shiver.  They would return to Sparrow's den soon, Dawn decided.  With a howl, all three wolves broke into a run, searching for Sparrow yet again.   

The End

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