It was the cold from the water where his wings drooped into the river that woke him up. It was late afternoon and he had fallen asleep on the rock warmed by the winter sun. Tracking and chasing the stag all morning had worn him out. He shook his wings without thinking and in the process a dozen fish started to scoot away from his perch. One was exceedingly close to his face as he hung over the edge. Thinking fast he plunged his muzzle in the icy depths intent on catching at least one of the huge fish to take home.
He grasped it in his mouth and pushed up off the rock with his front paws. His mind had time to register that the fish was as long as he was tall with its tail still dangling in the river, flipping water in huge splashed from side to side. He reached out with his front paws to grasp it, when all of a sudden something grabbed hold of it at the tail and pulled hard. Zodic was already a bit off balance with his head stuck out over the water and reaching forward with his front paws while sitting not too steadily on his haunches. The yank from the other end of the fish was hard and his teeth were firmly planted in the head. He toppled forward into the river.