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Archer hopped out of bed, eager to start the day. The temperature was still abnormally warm- above freezing, and he was eager to get out and chase after Esmerelda and Moira with Balan and Foxtrot. He poked his head out the front door, somewhat surprised to see the snow melting. The weather felt more like spring than the middle of December, and with the warm air blowing on his face smelling of melting snow and pine, Archer wasn't sure what to think. The sky was still dark, but Archer was extremely confused by the weather. Melting snow? In December? What was this world coming to? He sighed, shaking his head before heading back inside to make breakfast, knowing that he'd be spending his day with large, damp tokotas smelling of wet dog. He made breakfast and lunch for himself quickly, tossing his sandwiches for later that day into the saddle bags along with some of the special treats that he had purchased a couple of days ago. Archer was determined to try and bring Esmerelda back home with him, though he had a sinking feeling that someone would wind up taming her first, despite all the work he had put into building trust with the wild tokota. Despite the assumed futility of his situation, he did enjoy going out to see Esmerelda and Moira every day, and the morning trip of tracking down the two wild tokotas gave Foxtrot and Balan something to do, not to mention some exercise.

With his saddle bags packed for the day, Archer put on a couple of different layers of clothing, leaving the heavy winter jacket inside- he wouldn't need it today. He shouldered the saddle bags and walked out the front door to the barn, still marveling at the warm temperature. Inside, the barn was warmed by the dozens of tokotas kept inside, so much so that Archer had to remove a few layers of his clothing. His tokotas were all eager and happy to see him, and as he walked by their stalls he rubbed snouts and scratched at ears, trying to avoid the slobbering slimy tongues as best he could. Archer paused outside of Balan's stall, greeting the sphinx tokota and tugging on his halter to make sure it was secure before letting the tokota he was watching out into the front yard. Archer hadn't seen any fresh tracks from Esmerelda and Moira coming through the yard the previous evening, but if anyone could pick up their trail, it would be Balan. While the sphinx was sniffing around outside, Archer got Foxtrot out from his stall and brought him into the center of the barn, clipping the cross ties to his halter and retreating into the tack room to get a set of brushes and Foxtrot's saddle, saddle blanket, and reins. When the large red brown tokota was all set to go, Archer climbed into the saddle and nudged his sides, sending Foxtrot out of the barn into the front yard, where Balan was waiting by the edge of the trees. He wagged his tail as Foxtrot and Archer approached, and looking over at the snow he was standing by he saw two sets of paw prints- most likely Esmerelda's and Moira's tracks judging from the way Balan was acting. Archer guided Foxtrot to follow after Balan and the set of tracks, wondering where their group would encounter Esmerelda and Moira today.

Archer, Balan, and Foxtrot continued along the trail that Esmerelda and Moira had left in relative quiet, with Archer admiring the melting snow as the day grew progressively lighter. The path that the two wild tokotas were taking wound down a series of small hills and out onto the marshlands, which were soggy and muddy due to the heat and the churning of many caribou hooves that had walked or ran through here earlier. Archer briefly wondered if this had been an attempt to hunt by Esmerelda and Moira, but running through the mud would hinder the wild tokotas as much as the caribou they were hunting. He wondered if the footing would be better on the rocky beach, and sure enough, just as the thought had crossed his mind, Esmerelda's and Moira's paw prints made a sharp turn to the left as they made for the rocky shore. Archer, Balan, and Foxtrot followed them to the point where the snow and mud gave way to large chunks of stone, but eventually the muddy paw prints disappeared from the dark rocks, leaving Foxtrot and Balan milling around in confusion, trying to pick up the scent again. Archer let Foxtrot and Balan climb around the rocks, looking for the scent, while he looked around, presumably in the direction where he thought the two wild tokotas would go. A few minutes went by to no avail, but he eventually settled his gaze on a light colored rock that seemed to have a large patch of snow on it despite none of the other rocks around it having snow. Curious, Archer guided Foxtrot and Balan closer to the rock, and as they drew near, Archer was able to pick out details. The light rock with snow on it was not what Archer had initially thought- it was Moira lying down in front of Esmerelda, who was also in a similar position slightly behind Moira, allowing her white rump to show from the particular angle that Archer had been looking at the two wild tokotas. Esmerelda and Moira got to their feet as the group approached, with Esmerelda padding towards Archer, Foxtrot, and Balan with a slow tail wag, while Moira huffed and padded away from them. Archer called out in soothing tones, prompting Esmerelda to approach him, walking right up to Foxtrot and approaching Archer at his shoulder. Foxtrot turned his head, sniffing at Esmerelda before relaxing slightly, shifting his weight as he settled into a comfortable position. Archer slowly held out a hand, and Esmerelda nosed it with her muzzle, asking if he had brought any food for her. Archer slowly turned, and sifted through the saddle bags, painfully aware of how close the most likely hungry wild tokota was standing to him. He produced the usual chunk of seal meat, which Esmerelda took dainty from his hand, dropping her head and eating the meat before raising her head and nudging at Archer's hand again, asking for more. He fished through the saddle bags once again, and this time produced the special molasses treats that he had purchased in town earlier, and fed them to Esmerelda one at a time. She enjoyed them, licking her muzzle and nosing Archer's hand for more, but short of his sandwich for lunch, Archer was out of food. He patted her on the nose, signaling to Esmerelda to move on with Moira, who was still standing off by herself, displeased with the company of Archer, Foxtrot, and Balan. Esmerelda cast a glance back at the group before nudging Moira's shoulder, and the two wild tokotas moved on, hopping down the stack of rocks before continuing up the bay. Archer remained standing with Foxtrot and Balan where they were, he wanted to see the wild tokotas as they padded up the rocky beach. He wondered if she would be around tomorrow to try again- no doubt the two wild tokotas had time to get accustomed with the folks in town, and chances are there were many different people out trying to tame her. Archer sighed, loosing sight of Esmerelda and Moira, before tugging on Foxtrot's reins and turning back towards his home with Balan following.
Wild tokota's reference sheet (link or thumbnail): Alawa WF24 by TotemSpirit
Handler name: Archer
Faction (prestige breeder or pack leader): Prestige Breeder
Tribe (if any): SOTA +5% bonus- Tribe Points Catalog 
Items or companions (if any): Treats x10 comments.deviantart.com/1/5760…
Previous attempts (if any): WF24 Taming 1 (+50) WF24 Taming 2 (+50) WF24 Taming 3 (+50) WF24 Taming 4 (+50) WF24 Taming 5 (+50) WF24 Taming 6 (+50) WF24 Taming 7 (+50) WF24 Taming 8 (+50) WF24 Taming 9 (+50) WF24 Taming 10 (+50) WF24 Taming 11 (+50) WF24 Taming 12 (+50)

Also featuring Runa WF25 by TotemSpirit(+5%), Balan 6798 by TotemSpirit(+50), Foxtrot 8470 by TotemSpirit
(1/140)

11 HP=6 (1269 words)+2(starter)+2(handler)+1(noncommissioned)
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December 14, 2015
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