A Kings Final Battle

by Steven T. Serna

A king's final battle

Monico sat in a clearing over looking a small, bowl shaped, valley with his cloak pulled tight about his shoulders. The snow stopped falling and the clouds started to part from the sky letting the early morning sunshine lay its warmth on the land.

He just finished eating a cold breakfast of dried meat, cheese, and a slice of hard bread. As he finished the last of his meal he was taking a drink of cold water from his pouch when he saw movement on the left side of the tree line. With the movements of a true ranger he pulled two arrows from his quiver on his back and held his bow ready.

With his keen eyesight he relaxed as he saw who made the movement. Monico watched with pure delight as a huge twenty point bull elk stepped into the clearing. As the elk King stepped in the clearing it started to kick the ground and snort with its head held high and his massive rack of horns laid across his back.

Monico put the arrows away then placed the rest of his belongings back in his pack. Before calling his mount, Shadow, he stood up and watched as the King let out his battle cry. With in a few moments four smaller bull elks came charging into the clearing. Each of the smaller bulls paced back and forth while the King waited for his challenger.

Not wanting to scare off the bulls Monico sat back down to watch a battle that was soon to come. The four young bulls started to pull up the soil with their hooves and horns, taunting the King with their bugles. The king stood his ground, swinging his massive rack of horns back and forth while grunting for his challenger to step forward.

Monico continued to watch in silence. After what seemed like hours, yet were only a few minutes one of the four young bulls stepped away from the group. Both bulls moved closer to each other while the other three bulls and Monico watched the power of the two bulls face off. As they started to circle both kicked at the ground and held there heads high to look that much larger. With each exhale of breath a jet of steam could be seen coming from there snouts.

With out so much as a warning both bulls charged each other kicking up snow and mud in there sudden charge. Both heads hit with a loud crack that sent an echo through the valley. The king being the older and more experienced was the first to react after the impact. Twisting his powerful neck, and head to the right hoping to subdue the other. With luck, the younger bull was able to take the attack and pull away. With neither wanting to let up the King swung its massive rack of horns low trying to take out his opponent's legs. The younger parried the attack; at the same time he twisted then pulled up, using his powerful legs and neck to bring the king up on his hind legs. Both entangled while pushing with their hind legs, neither giving any ground as they came down. Both bulls let out their battle cries and fought on with all their might to rule. After several minutes both bulls parted gasping for breath. They both stood facing each other with steam rising off there bodies, and blood smeared on their face.

Not wanting to let the younger bull catch his breath, and get the upper hand the King charged with his head low. The younger bull side stepped to his left and tried to parry, but the king was expecting the move. The younger bull was not expecting the sudden change of movement; he turned trying to move out of the way of the sharp horns. As the young bull pulled away he felt the sharp pain as the sharp horn slid out of his neck. With the blood running down his neck the young bull stepped back several steps then gave a snort, on the last step he bowed to his King turned and took flight towards the tree line on top of the ridge. The King gave chase for several yards then turned around, running back to where the battle had started. Bleeding from the many wounds on his head, neck and face the king still held his head high with pride knowing that he won the battle, and would continue being King.

Monico sat there as a slight breeze picked up blowing in his direction, and with it the smell of sweat and blood from the battle below. Monico stood thinking that the proud King won his harem once again. While he was making sure all his belongings were secure he heard the pounding of hooves. To his surprise the three remaining bulls were charging towards the King. With in a few yards of the king two of the younger bulls split up one left and one to the right; the young bull in the center continued its charge at the king. The king braced himself for the impact that was coming.

At the sight of this, Monico knew it was wrong, and the younger bulls were going to take advantage of the wounded king so they could claim the harem for them selves. With out thinking Monico started to run in there direction shouting as he ran towards them.

The impact of the young bull sent the King staggering back several steps; he kept his balance and stayed on his feet. For a moment both bulls turned there heads towards Monico as he came charging down the hill side. It was the one moment the younger bull needed for his attack. The young bull swung his powerful neck and horns straight in the wounded king's side, the top two horns plunged in four inches deep.

At the sight of the sudden attack Monico yelled out. "No!" as he continued to run towards them.

The King jumped to his left on impact pulling the horns out. At the same time he brought his crown of horns down on the right side of the smaller bull's neck. With each movement the king made blood pumped out draining even more of his already draining strength.

Monico slowed his charge as he saw the battle unfold. The two fresh young bulls stood watching in the distance along the tree line. The King simply stood there panting for air, as the younger bull turned to run up the hillside with a large gash in his neck. With each stride the young bull took, a spray of blood covered the snow-covered ground. Just as the young bull reached the top of the hill he slowed to a walk, staggered a few steps then collapsed on his side dead. The blood trail could be seen as clear as the steam rising off the Kings body.

As Monico got with in twenty feet of the King, he tossed his head from side to side then he kicked the ground with a snort. Monico could see the blood running down his side, and from the many wounds he already had. He glanced at the bull lying in the snow at the top of the hill. When he looked back the proud king staggered a moment then with slow movements he laid down with his crown held back and pride in his eyes dark eyes.

Monico dropped to his knees in silence watching the magnificent King of bulls; all he could do was feel sorrow for what this great King just went through.

The proud Kings breath came slower and slower with each passing moment until he let out his last breath. Monico thought about burying the great king, but changed his mind. He wanted to leave him in the proud pose he was in, with his crown held back with pride. Monico stood up and said a silent prayer to the Gods to take this great Kings soul to his final resting place.

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