I rammed my body against the cold steel bars that held me prisoner once more. Again and again I ran at the bars, hoping to make some progress on my escape, but to no prevail.
Exhausted, I collapsed onto the cold, steel floor, and fell into a deep sleep.
I was running through a forest, running from something that was chasing me. It sounded big and ferocious. It scared me. I ran harder, my short legs carrying me as fast as they would. I heard the growling noises disappear into the light mist surrounding the forest. I slow to a slow jog, eventually arriving at a den I dug myself. I dove into my den, craving privacy from the beasts above.
Once there, I checked my wounds, nothing serious except for the underside of my rust-colored paws was bleeding and I had several cuts on my soft tail. I trotted carefully over to where I kept a store of food, and had a few mice and a squirrel, a day's journey had greatly reduced my strength.
After a nice filling meal, I settled down in an area I had lined with various feathers and leaves and gave into the beckoning call of sleep.
I hadn't been able to get much sleep. Not ten minutes after I fell asleep, I was awakened by a loud growling noise, much much louder than the noises that came from the bear that chased me earlier. It was followed by what I thought to be an earthquake, as the walls around me caved in. I made a mad dash for the exit, getting out just as the walls gave out as I watched my home collapsed in a mound of dirt. Above it, were metal beasts that I had believed to be myths, tearing up my forest, my home. I let out a whimper and tucked my tail between my legs as I dashed away from the scene unfolding in front of my eyes, only to run into every creature's greatest fear, man. There were a group of them wearing white pelts, coming at me very quickly, faster than I could run.
One of them caught up with me and lifted me up off the ground. I snapped my teeth at him, not about to let him see my fear. The human made strange noises to the others as they arrived and put me in a crate.
I woke up tired, my golden eyes fluttering. It almost seemed like I hadn't slept at all. Stretching, I limped over to the food bowl in the corner, which the humans had filled with brown looking pellets. I was so hungry, I wasn't about to starve myself, what other choice did I have?
When turning around in the cage, I put too much pressure on my injured foot and I let out a yelp of pain. I heard something stir in the prison next to me.
"Don't worry about those humans, rumor has it they let you out if you don't cause too much trouble." something furry grumbled. "What are you?" it turned around, I recognized it immediately, it was a dog. Humans had them out with them many times in the forest, I had learned to ignore them and go into my den.
"Uhm, I'm a fox. How did a dog like you get in a human trap like this? I thought humans adored dogs." I asked curiously.
"Well, there's this place called the pound, it's where all the dogs or cats go when they aren't wanted, like me. I used to have a human of my own, Harold, but the human left and never came back. Some suspicious smelling humans came by my house, took me to the pound. I spent a few days there, where some more men in white coats adopted me, and put me in this here cage. That's where I've stayed for the past three years."
"Three years? They never let you out once?" I asked in shock.
"Well, they take me out sometimes to do what the call "tests" on me. Basically, they prick and prod you with lots of things and put needles into your arms and legs. You come out feeling really woozy, then they take you back to you cage."
"How often does this happen?"
"About twice a month."
I let out a whimper.
"Don't worry, the whole experience isn't too bad, you get free food and sometimes you have another creature to talk to when you feel lonely."
"Wait, you mean to tell me there are more animals here?" I asked in disbelief.
"Oh yeah, lots of them! There are some on your other side too, and above you, and also below you not to mention the ones across the aisle."
I looked to my other side, and across the aisle. This dog wasn't kidding, this place was packed to the ceiling with animals of every kind. I guess I just hadn't noticed them much, I've been so focused on escaping. My vision was soon blocked by a human wearing a white coat, heading straight to my cage.
"Good luck little vixen, you may need it, first timers don't handle the first tests as well."
As the human approached, I growled in anger. When he reached his hand in, I chomped down as hard as I could, soon feeling the metallic taste of blood seep between my teeth, slithering down my throat. He jerked his hand back and let out a loud call for help.
Other humans came to respond to his call, one of them holding a device with a needle at the end. I growled and snapped at the human as it reached it's hand into my cage and plunged the needle into my forearm. I was out within seconds.