He shuffled slowly across the ice of Black Creek before taking off at a quick jog over the snow on the far side. A silent run up the east bank, paws softly flicking the powder with each step. He stayed upright to cast a shadow in the figure of a man.
Six new colonies had taken root in the east valley and with them came wicker baskets filled with fruit. Taking one back across the creek could feed the herd for a week. The trees wouldn't stay for long, often planting a few sweet pieces of fruit before moving passed to root further along to the south.
The herd was weak, spending too long each day asleep in the branches of the beech trees that grew locked to the west bank. First it was the gradual thinning, bones forming as the warm cushion of fat receded, next their coats would turn greasy, then dull, then start to fall out.
Digging the fruit up from the ground would be too slow to feed everyone quickly enough. The herd would start to deplete if he wasn't able to get a basket back to them. The trees slept at night, it was the right time to try to take the big prize.