Of Foxes & Dragons Ch. 01byVelius Ironhorn©
Author Notes: One of my more recent fetishes is for furries, or perhaps more appropriately, anthro. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the genre by now, so I won't bother with an explanation. This is going to be a multiple part story and I'm kind of making it up as I go along. Chapter 1 doesn't contain any actual sex, but it'll be soon in coming.
It was the perfect day for a walk in the forest. The sky was clear and blue, and a fresh breeze stirred the trees. It drifted through the branches and leaves, bringing with it the scent of new growth. Blooming flowers and ripening fruit created a delightful bouquet that tickled my nose. I would often close my eyes, enjoying the symphony of fragrances that mother nature performed.
As much as I like looking at the beauty of the forest, I also enjoy experiencing it through my other senses, like the sound of rustling leaves, babbling brooks, and chirping birds. Few things feel more calming than the warm patches of sunlight that break through the canopy and dance over my fur, or the velvety touch of new grass under my paws and between my toes.
Fur? Paws? Yes, you must be wondering by now just what I am. No, I am most certainly not human. We have those here too, but probably not in the vast numbers as where you read this from.
I am a vulpes centaurus, more commonly referred to as the red foxtaur. You may be familiar with the mythological tale of the centaur, a human whose upper torso grows from the body of a horse. Where I come from, there is no such thing, but many species of 'higher' animals do come in bipedal or quadrupedal varieties. In short, I am an anthropomorphic fox with two arms and four legs. You might think such a physical configuration would be terribly clumsy, but on the contrary, we foxtaurs are quite nimble.
Well, not so much me. I'm afraid I am very much the runt of the litter. A tad thin, not so fast, coast not as shiny, and I'm not exactly clever or crafty. Something of a disgrace to the rest of my family, though mother dearest would never say that to my face; bless her. But the fact remains, I was an unexpected addition to the litter and I wasn't even given a name until my second year of life. Picked on by my elder siblings, I would often scamper into the bushes and shrubs to be alone, which earned me the moniker of Silva. Not the most impressive and manly name, I know, but I like it. My formative years were mostly spent in the deepest parts of the forest, with only foliage and the 'lesser' creatures for company. That suited me just fine and now that I'm old enough to be on my own, I think I may be the most prepared for independence, compared to my spoiled siblings. So it was that I was spending another pleasant day with my closest friends: oak, maple, and pine.
I eventually came upon a clearing in the woods that just begged me to sit a spell. The grass was rich and green, interrupted only by patches of lighter-hued moss, and a narrow stream ran through the middle. It meandered around just enough to carve a tiny hillock into the landscape and it was here that I settled down to rest. I took a perfunctory sip from the stream and laid down on my side across the carpet of moss. So comfortable was I that my eyelids immediately felt heavy and I dozed off with the sun's gentle warmth for a blanket.
The time flew by and the snap of a twig awoke me from my slumber. I sat up in alarm and noticed with some chagrin that the blue sky had been replaced by an inky blackness, dotted with motes of twinkling starlight. Where the sun had hung overhead, smiling benevolently, was now a pale-faced moon. Full and bright, its radiance seemed to wash out all color, making the world feel like an eerie dream.
Panic now gripped me, which I admit with no shame. These woods were a dangerous place to be at night and I had apparently overstayed my welcome. I scrambled to my paws as quick as I could, but as usual, my reaction to danger was too late. My eyes adjusted in due course to reveal the threat that now surrounded me like a pack of wolves. Actually, not 'like'. Because I WAS surrounded by a pack of wolves.
They were scruffy, feral creatures, not even remotely intelligent of civilized. The alpha male in particular was a hulking behemoth of fur and muscle, whose mouth hung open with hunger, revealing a slathering tongue and razor-sharp fangs. The pack leader was the first to attack, closing the distance from the tree line faster than my weak little legs could possibly carry me away. His growling maw opened wide and I knew then that my life had come to a pitiable end.
But it didn't. It took far too long for the wolf to deliver his fatal bite. Instead, death had been postponed by a cold gust of wind and a loud whoosh. That was one sound that no wolf would ever make. I didn't know what DID make it, because like the coward I am, my eyes were shut tight. I dared not open them, fearing that would unpause the doom that awaited me, but now my curiosity was roused. Slowly, carefully, I cracked open one eye to sneak a peek. What I saw was so surprising that both eyes shot open, wide with disbelief.
I had been saved! By a...dragon.
I groaned inwardly, having though the situation couldn't possibly get any worse. As if to spite me, fate had sent the greatest of all reptilian predators to fight the wolves and claim me as its meal. It looked like a bipedal species, but all I could see were the large, bat-like wings and an angrily lashing tail as the dragon confronted the pack.
The alpha male had been knocked to the ground by the dragon's entrance and now rose to meet this new rival head on. Not smart enough to know when he was outclassed, the wolf attacked and received a swipe across his muzzle for the effort. The dragon hissed something that sounded suspiciously like an insult, but I was in no state of mind to properly discern the taunt. His face bloodied, but his anger undiminished, the alpha male howled and the entire pack charged as one. The battle was on.
The dragon brushed aside full-grown wolves like he was swatting flies. However, the pack had the advantage of numbers and many got through the dragon's defense. Jaws clamped down on his wings and tail, dragging him down. The dragon's scales afforded him some measure of protection from penetration by the wolves' fangs, but not from the sheer pressure of their bites. Roaring in frustration, the dragon thrashed around savagely. The talons on his hands and feet slashed past fur and into flesh, slicing the wolves to ribbons. Blood splattered everywhere, on me included, since I was still paralyzed with fright. Wolf blood stained the grass and muddied the ground. Limbs were ripped away and entrails spilled from bellies to steam in the cool night air. Eventually, only two sets of footsteps could be heard squelching through the muck: The dragon's and the alpha male's.
The two ferocious combatants circled each other warily, sizing up their opponent's strengths and possible weaknesses. The wolf's hackles were raised and his fur stood on end, making him look nearly twice as large. He snarled and twitched, on the verge of action. The dragon's greenish blue scales shown brilliantly in the pale light of the moon and it moved with serpentine grace. Now in profile, I could see his V-shaped head, which was crowned with vestigial horns. In a flash of lucid thought, I realized the dragon was still very much immature. But that didn't matter, because if he won the fight, even a baby dragon was more than a match for a scrawny foxtaur.
A lone cloud drifted past the moon and the battle field was momentarily cast into shadow. The wolf took this opportunity to strike and leapt forward, so the dragon raised his clawed hands in order to catch his attacker and crush it. But the dragon was not as familiar with canine agility as I and he didn't notice it was a feint maneuver. The alpha male dropped to the ground faster than the dragon expected. Lunging in close, the wolf's jaws closed on the dragon's exposed stomach, exploiting the softer scales of his reptilian underbelly. A spray of blood covered the wolf's face and he tightened his grip, sensing victory.
The dragon's shriek of pain echoed in the night and sent a chill through my spine. I imagined those lethal jaws closing on me next, and if I had drunken more from the stream that afternoon, I would have pissed myself. I was a quivering orange bush rooted to the bloody ground, awaiting the gardener's sheers.
Refusing to surrender, the dragon's talons closed around the alpha male's neck and the two struggled on the brink of death. For a wild moment, I imagined the two would kill each other so I could escape this nightmare. It was not to be. A sharp crack signaled the wolf's neck had broken and he fell, his comatose body going limp. The dragon held one clawed hand to his stomach wound, but appeared none the worse for wear. And then he rounded on me.
Life returned to my numb legs, but strength and agility were late in coming. I stumbled inelegantly, slipping in the mud and ichor. The dragon approached with a grimly purposeful stride. "Th-th-thank you f-f-for saving me, M-Mister Dragon," I said. My tongue seemed to be the only part of me willing to work anywhere near standard ability.
The dragon's reply was a fierce growl, raspier than a wolf's, but every bit as indicative of the intention to kill.
"Th-thank you...very m-much...Mister Dragon?" I repeated. Like I said, my tongue was working. My brain was not. For the sake of this narrative, I would have preferred that my first spoken words were a tad more eloquent. But considering the circumstances, I suppose it would be unrealistic to hope for anything better.
Closer still he came and I saw the smoldering anger behind the dragon's glowing amber eyes. Thick lips, not at all reptilian, curled back to reveal rows of needle-like teeth that glinted ominously in the moonlight. Somehow, I had only succeeded in antagonizing him further. I was now secure in the knowledge that my death would not only be extraordinarily painful, but torturously slow as well.
"Please d-don't kill me, Mister Dragon!" I begged, figuring one last plea for mercy was in order. It's not like my situation could get any worse from here.
Now the dragon was standing directly over me and I could see the ripple of muscles just waiting to tear something apart beneath the layer of scaly armor. He raised one clawed foot, covered in a grime, and stepped on my shoulder, pining my back to the ground. The dragon glared down at me. "Look closely," he said. His voice was surprisingly soft and smooth, though by no means lacking in irritation. "Do you see any balls?" he asked.
This seemed like one hell of a time for a trick question. While my manners told me staring was rude, I also feared not looking, because I wasn't about to answer a question like that without being one hundred percent certain of the answer. So with a nervous gaze, I allowed me eyes to disengage their view of the dragon's fearsome maw and drift down to a spot between his legs.
If I may digress for a moment, I'd like to explain something to you, the--in all likelihood--human reader. Unlike your silly species, we 'higher' animals have no shame for our bodies. Clothes are worn solely for function: To protect from extreme environmental conditions where our natural vestments does not suffice; as additional armor in preparation for combat; or in order to increase one's capacity for carrying tools, provisions, and other goods. Otherwise, we have no need to hide our bodies and we are proud to walk around in the manner of which we are born. This also applies, of course, to our genitals. We have no social stigma against an open display of our reproductive equipment, thought simple politeness and rules of decency keep all but the most exhibitionist individuals from flaunting their assets with reckless abandon.
It is at this point that I resume my narrative. To recap the question, do I see any 'balls', and to answer it, no. It seems I had been mis-gendering the dragon in this entire tale, because the reptilian warrior indeed had no testicles, and rightly so for a female of the species. As if to highlight this discovery, blood that had been seeping from her wound streamed down the torso and the bright red liquid ran between her legs, tracing along what were most definitely curves of a feminine nature.
"Well?" the she-dragon demanded, growing impatient.
"N-no, Miss Dragon," I replied, forcing my mouth to form the proper words so as not to provoke her any more than I already had. "I don't see any b...b-balls."
"That's right. I'm all woman, dammit. And don't you forget it!" she snapped. The outburst caused a gout of blood to erupt from her wound and her life-fluid drained with increased intensity.
I winced involuntarily as droplets rained on my face like a crimson mist. "Um," I began intelligently. "You appear to be losing a lot of blood, Miss Dragon."
She wobbled a bit as she removed her hand and stared at its coat of red ichor. "So it seems," she responded in the voice of someone who's feeling light-headed. With that, the she-dragon collapsed on top of me, making me yelp at her suddenly crushing weight.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I came to be in a forest, in the middle of the night, covered in blood, and completely unable to get a decent night's sleep.