Nikolai could have chosen to meet the enemy in the field, banners up, troops in plain sight. A show of force. It would have been the honorable thing, the brave thing. But Nikolai figured his soldiers were more interested in surviving than looking noble before the Fjerdans shot them full of holes, and he felt the same.
Crouched in perfect stillness beneath a toadstool, Tobin sniffed the air. Wet, with a faint metallic odor.
A storm was coming, a big one. Lightning for sure. Not a good day for a mouse to venture too far from the Great Burrow. Tobin lifted his nose to the breeze again, performing the junior weather scout procedures dutifully: Sniff the air. Search the air. Feel the air.
He didn’t even need all three steps today. The odor of rain was obvious, the clouds sat heaped in the sky like a row of giant bears, and as for feeling the air – his tan-and-black speckled fur was already clumped together from the humidity. For the third time that afternoon, Tobin rubbed his cheeks, fluffing out his fur and whiskers. After all, whiskers used properly are a fine-tuned sensory tool. Drooping whiskers can’t do their job.