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The Wild in .Hu.Man: Chapter IA man, travel-weary and caked in grimey dirt and sweat, stumbled out of the forest and into the clearing at the edge of the lake. Twigs snapped sharply and leaves crackled into dust beneath his heavy footsteps. With strong, desperate gasps for air, he crashed to his knees at the bank and rocked forward to lean on his palms. His lips kissed the surface of the water and he drank deeply, with a terrible thirst.
It was water, precious water, and it was delicious.
The man rocked himself back to sit on his heels, and shed himself of his travelling backpack and light fleece button-up jacket. He took a moment to survey his surroundings. The woods were asleep now, for winter was soon to dawn upon the landscape. They would have to hurry.
From the backpack the man withdrew an old, dented tin camping cup. He dipped it into the lake and used it to draw some water. Then, he stood, and carried it back to the tree line, moving slowly, and with careful purpose.
A woman sat in the cool shade of the tree
The Wild in .Hu.Man: PrologueIt was a sunny day; a warm day; a quiet day. Soft breezes danced their way through the branches of the oaks and maples and evergreens, tickling their leaves. The tall, ancient treants snapped and chuckled, swaying to the tune of the whistling wind and the omnipresent cheerful songs of light-footed birds.
Fall was soon to don upon the active forest. Flocks of birds of every color and every size plucked the berries from the bushes, nestled in the shade of the tall trees; and the small furry rodents from the forest floor, who nestled in the shade of the bushes.
Robins and sparrows flocked en masse, fluttering from one cluster of trees to the next when their wings became restless, forever searching for more food and new company amongst themselves.
Hawks and turkey vultures circled and wheeled about in the sky, peering with razor sharp eyesight through the gaps in the trees to spot their meals, delicious and unaware, scurrying about on the forest floor.
Squirrels scrambled this way a
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