Freezing snow on furry snowshoe paws. Later, she will gnaw the icy crystals away that get stuck between the pads, and lick warmth and comfort into them. She will turn on her side and let the last little life suckle. But for now, her mind is a blood-red bullet, aimed only at one thing.
Every part of her slows, down to her heart. She closes her mouth so the heat misting up from her vital pink tongue doesn't alert her quarry. It's as if she can even command her fur, each strand a hollow work of art, to stillness.
She cannot miss. Too much is at stake.
A blur of fur and fangs, a yelp, a spray of blood.... and the rabbit springs away.
The metal teeth dig into her foreleg. The searing agony overtakes her hunger, then recedes to an insistent throb that crescendoes with every movement.
Aching with milk, she buries the pain under grit and all-encompassing determination to get back to her den, and sets to work with her teeth.
It is impossible to be wily on three legs, leaking blood from where a paw should be. At last, the little one burrowing into her for warmth and sustenance, she knows the Trapper is coming. Even a creature as stupid as a Man can track her now.
But his steps are too light, and he smells wrong.
"Daaaaad! Look! Look what I found!"
It isn't the Trapper. It is a Boy, his heart un-gnarled by good sense.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!