On along several branches Rhodes leaped, turning his head to notice he wasn’t followed. That was to be expected. Committing to a chase usually had to be quite thought-out, in these cases. This gave Rhodes precious moments to think. In one of his large claws, he lifted the end of his scarf and peered down at it. Gazing upon the two gashes left upon it caused a sinking feeling to well up inside him. If not for the advent of a sudden idea, he might not have perked back up.
“Yer lucky that wasn’t yer feathers!” the other Sneasel taunted. He was creeping around once more. Whether he was looking for a vantage to strike from, or another trick to pull, Rhodes couldn’t be sure. It wouldn’t matter, if his idea worked. He slid a claw between his neck and his scarf, tugging the accessory from his body. To mask the sound it made, he began to move once more, creeping in the opposite direction of his opponent. Leaves rustled against his fur, and so did the cloth he removed, leaving the scarf draped loosely over his claw.
The other Sneasel was stalking him. He could hear it. Perfect. Rhodes surveyed above himself for a sturdy branch to leap higher to. Not just any branch, though. One that was well-concealed by the many leaves. Eventually, he crept upon one, and leapt right up to it. It was just sturdy enough that there was only minor swaying, though that was enough to gain attention.
The taller, bedraggled Sneasel finally closed in on Rhodes’s position. He managed to spot that green scarf hanging in the sea of equally-green leaves. An impressive feat to anyone else, though one that was natural for their sharp eyes. It was the kind of thing one would easily overlook, and he was going to take full advantage. With a hearty pounce, the branch he was on cracked and wobbled. It’d likely be unsafe to put weight on again, committing him to his attempt to pull Rhodes down by the scarf!
That was the cue. The hanging scarf pulled up like a lure, causing the pouncing Sneasel to look up as he adjusted his shaky footing on the branch he just transferred to. The only thing he could see was the tinges of black fur past the leaves... followed by a claw-toed foot striking him right in the face as its owner swung down from his perch.
His footing was lost.
Onlookers from the ground had been watching in suspense, barely able to see the action other than mild movements of the tree’s parts. They couldn’t see how the duel was going until the very end, when one of the Sneasels plummeted to the ground. At least the landing wasn’t gruesome, allowing him to mostly catch himself on his claws, though the force of gravity still made him buckle and roll to his side, avoiding most of the physical pain from the fall. It looked as though his ego was bruised more than anything else.
Part 5 of The Pulled String by Print available here [link]