Fox And Ember (LittleTreeWolf x Kohane24)

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Kohane24

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Mar 7, 2019
Fox giggled quietly from the licking, moving his hand under Ember’s chin. He kept up the affectionate petting, his way of thanking his mate for the pleasure. The petting only stopping as Ember slowly pulled out. Fox groaned and gasped slightly as it popped out. Aware of the hot seed leaking out of his entrance, he adjusted his position in a way that would allow it to drip out with ease.

After a moment he sat up and stroked Ember’s fur. He was sore and not quite ready for walking, in fact he could have easily just went right back to sleep. However, they were in an alien place. This made him uneasy, since there were no more distractions. He rested his head against his mate’s stomach for comfort.
 
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Ember did not tire out in the same way human males might after vigorous sex. As soon as he sensed Fox's uneasiness, Ember was alert. He had made a thorough patrol of his new territory as soon as he had woken up and felt certain no one had been near them as they had slept. But from his days in the circus, Ember knew that Fox sometimes knew things that the wolf did not. He raised his head without moving his body yet as Fox was now resting against his stomach. With deep huffs, Ember scented the air. He smelled the musky scent of their mating, of course, but the smell from outside of the den did filter into the save. Ember still smelled nothing new.

Turning his head back to his mate, Ember licked his cheek again, trying to comfort him. As he was doing so, Ember heard a quiet gurgle come from Fox's stomach. He knew what that meant. His mate was hungry. Gently, Ember got to his feet, then took a long, liesurely stretch, yawning as his muscles relaxed. He shook once, then padded towards the entrance of the den.

A few yards away from the entrance was a small waterfall and pond. Ember lapped up some water from the deep pond before trotting off to some of the nearby foliage. Ember had learned a lot during his time at the circus and with Fox. So he did something that probably no other wolf had done. One of the bushes growing thickly around the pond happened to be a raspberry bush. Ember inspected the bush for a moment, as if pondering how to go about getting the fruit off the bush. Then, he finally decided just to bite down on one thick branch. He gave a few sharp tugs, breaking the branch off the bush. Then, branch full of leaves and ripe red fruit between his teeth, Ember trotted back to the den to drop the branch in front of Fox.
 
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After he had dropped off the raspberries, Ember headed out again to look for something else. Just as he reached the den entrance, however, he froze, listening. Then, he took off at a quick but quiet trot. As he exited the den, he lowered his body so that, as he slinked forward, he was hidden amongst the shadows and undergrowth. Ember crept forward until he reached a spot from which he could look down to the other end of the enclosure.

Down at the bottom of the slope, sharing the same wall as the viewing window, but hidden from view behind bushes and rocks, was the door through which the enclosure could be entered and exited. Ember himself didn't remember being brought in through that door because he had been tranquilized at the time. However, as he had explored his new territory, he had discovered that the area around the door had the highest concentration of human scent. And it was also the door through which Fox had entered the other day when he finally joined Ember in the enclosure. Now, the door was moving again, opening very slowly. Ember remained crouched and hidden as a man appeared, peeking carefully through the small gap he had made.

---

Wolf was at the enclosure entrance, carefully looking in to see if the beast or boy were anywhere in sight. Other than a few bushes and rocks that hid the door from the viewing window, the area around the door itself was fairly clear, with the trees only beginning a few yards away. Seeing that the coast was clear, Wolf stepped back and motioned to the two workers with him. They carried a large parcel between them, wrapped in heavy canvas cloth. It was some meat for the wolf and some sandwiches and other items for the boy as well. Both seemed skittish, so Wolf had thought just putting food in and leaving for now would be the best plan. In a moment, his idea proved correct.

Suddenly, a huge black form burst from the shadows of the undergrowth and hurtled at them with blinding speed. Wolf shouted an order, and the two workers retreated just in time. Wolf slammed the door shut and heard the crash of the creature's body slamming against the thick, metal door, followed by snarls so deep they could have belonged to a bear. Metal screeched as sharp claws raked the metal on the other side. In a few moments, however, the noise subsided and Wolf ushered the two workers ahead of him to leave so that the boy and beast could eat in peace.

---

After scaring off the intruders and protecting his mate and territory, Ember paused to lift his leg and pee on the door, just to remind those men who this territory now belonged to. Then, he went to inspect the parcel they had thrown in. Wrapped in cloth that had come partially loose was a whole cow's leg and a few other food items that were wrapped in brown paper.
 

Kohane24

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Fox was still curled up in a ball when the wolf returned with the branch of berries. Hunger had him rising and crawling over. He eyed the berries curiously and began picking them off one by one. He popped them between his lips, satisfied with the sweet taste. He continued to eat them one by one, looking around for Ember. His mate had already wandered off again.

Ember always had been rather restless and he felt a warmth inside him. Finally they had a proper home. A home. This wasn’t something he had ever expected to have, even if it was a little scary. A snarling sound snapped him to attention and he quickly got to his feet. The red headed boy crawled out of the den and looked around. He couldn’t see Ember anywhere.

He wandered to the stream to clean himself, scrubbing between his thighs. After a moment of hesitation he removed his shirt and crawled into the stream altogether. Brown eyes scanned his surroundings, but he couldn’t see Ember anywhere. This was when he whistled, calling his mate.
 
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Ember heard the whistle and lifted his head from inspecting the contents of the canvas. In response, the wolf tilted his head back and let out a short howl, letting his mate know where he was and to come to him.

Instead of just waiting, Ember grabbed one end of the canvas cloth and began dragging it and the contents towards the treeline where it would safer for them to eat.

Once the food was away from the door and well under the cover of the trees, Ember grabbed the cow’s leg and pulled it loose from the cloth and the rest of the contents. He dragged the enormous, heavy limb off a few feet, where he settled down to begin to tear at the meat.
 

Kohane24

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Once Fox was clean, he exited the stream. He tugged back on his shirt, despite being soaking wet. Much like a wolf he shook out his body limb by limb as he made his way to Ember’s direction. He froze when he noticed the door, the one he had came in through. He didn’t see any movement so he went over to the tree line.

Ember never liked staying in plain sight.

Brown eyes soon found his mate chewing away at the hide. He tilted his head and noticed the mysterious bag. He went on all fours and crawled over to it. He sniffed it, then gently pawed through it with his hands. He found the food and immediately began shoving it into his mouth. It didn’t seem the boy knew any manners.
 
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Ember looked up when Fox joined him in the shadows of the trees and gave one wag of his tail in greeting. Then, he went back to his meal. The cow's leg was completely different from the food he had been given at the circus. He had gotten raw meat sometimes, but it had usually been left over bits and pieces that obtained from whatever local butcher was nearby, who would have probably just thrown out those pieces anyway. Other times, he and the other carnivores had only gotten scraps and leftovers from what the humans had been eating or selling at their food stalls: overcooked hotdogs, old lunchmeat, things like that. There was no way a carnivore could be at full health on such a diet, especially when combined with minimal exercise and grooming.

He might not have looked it at first glance, thanks to his large size and thick coat, but Ember was actually underweight. When Fox dug his fingers into Ember's fur, he could always feel the wolf's bones protruding from his skin. The only reason Ember and any of the other circus creatures had remained in remotely good shape was because Fox had taken care of them to the best of his limited abilities and resources.

Luckily, Ember was young, only a few years old, and still capable of bouncing back. It had only been about a week since he had been taken from the circus and brought here, and already, his muscles were starting to fill out. Even his coat looked thicker and more glossy. In on time, he'd be even heavier and stronger, both more menacing and majestic.

Lying down with his prize, Ember held down the large piece of beef with his paws, took hold of a large chuck with his teeth, and pulled back powerfully, tugging until he tore away a piece as big as a family pack of steaks. Then he chewed the piece a few times with his scissor-like molars, softening it enough to swallow in one gulp. Then, growling quietly, he went back to tear off another chunk. Before long, the wolf had devoured enough meat to feed a small village, leaving just the bones and hoof, still connected by tendon. His stomach full, Ember held the enormous femur between his paws and begain leisurely gnawing at the joint, the dead cow's hoof pointing up in the air and dangling around as if still weakly struggling for life.
 

Kohane24

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Fox had also been fairly malnourished as well, he was still skin and bones. However, he was slowly getting stronger as well. The sandwiches didn’t last long, once finished he pawed through the bag again. There were many different things inside, some he recognized and others he did not. One item in particular had him puzzled, a toothbrush.

Brown hues squinted as he unwrapped it and crawled over to Ember. After a moment he began brushing the wolf’s fur with the tiny brush. He didn’t understand why it was so tiny, surely he could have been given a larger one. Seeing that Ember was occupied he went back to the bag, picked it up, and wandered back to the den. There was a storage place, but he buried it under the bedding instead.

There was much the poor boy was going to have to learn.

A week later....

The pair had been given daily meals, magically appearing inside their new home. However, they had yet to see the stranger who saved them. Fox sometimes would sit by the door and wait,Ember suspiciously watching from the tree line. No one ever came and this day was no different. Fox had decided to spend his time ‘marking’ his territory throughout the home. Circling back to mark the door as Ember had, he then went to the wolf and snuggled up to his mate.
 
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The two were asleep under the shade of a few aspen trees. In the gentle, simulated breeze the leaves of the aspens shook and shimmered. The peace was interrupted by a sound that, though quiet, was very different from the usual sounds they heard in the enclosure.

---

When the wolf and boy had been moved into the, until then, empty enclosure, Wolf had had a curtain put up to cover the observation window, hoping it would make the residents feel safer if they didn't see people on the other side of the glass. The Menagerie wasn't open to guests yet, but keepers and other works passed by sometimes. Now, the curtain was pulled back and Wolf stood in front of the window. It took him a moment of looking around, but he soon spotted the boy and the wolf sleeping curled up together, partly hidden from view.

Wolf tapped a fingernail against the glass. Neither the boy nor the wolf stirred at first, so Wolf tapped again. This time, the large black wolf opened his orange-amber eyes then, upon seeing someone standing there on the other side of the glass, raised his head and slighlty bared his teeth.
 

Kohane24

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Fox stroked his mate’s ears and kissed his nose affectionately. Cradling the creature’s large head in his hands. It was hard to not feel safe around Ember. He was growing stronger each day and Fox was pleased to finally feel they had a home. Curiosity still filled him however, wondering who else was out there and where exactly they were.

Then Ember’s body language changed, which caused him to jump to his feet. He looked in the direction his mate was and saw the man who had saved them. He paused a moment, unsure whether to come forward. However, he began taking a few steps. Hoping his confidence would provide some to his counterpart.

Once at the glass, he touched it cautiously. His palm laid flat against the glass, looking to Wolf while tilting his head.
 
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Ember followed Fox for a bit, but only until he reached a spot where no leaves or other obstructions blocked his view of the large window. Still about twenty feet away from the window, Ember didn't move to come any closer, nor did he display aggression. Ember had already investigated the see-through wall and marked it as part of the edge of his territory. Since the man was beyond the see-through wall, he wasn't in Ember's territory quite yet. The man was also not showing any threatening body language, and Fox did not seem afraid either. That didn't mean Ember trusted the stranger, so he kept back a good distance so he could keep an eye on things.

---

Wolf smiled gently as the boy approached the window, being careful to avoid any sudden movements. When the boy laid his palm against the glass, Wolf slowly and deliberately raised his hand also and placed it in the same spot as the boy's hand. Wolf was glad to see that the boy was willing to approach him and that, at least for now, the wolf wasn't being aggressive either. They seemed to have gotten fairly comfortable with their new surroundings and looking much healthier as well.

"Hello," Wolf said slowly and clearly, "Can you understand me? What's your name?" Despite the thick glass separating them, the boy would be able to hear Wolf's voice, though somewhat muffled, through the small vents above the top of the glass. Wolf was fairly certain that since he had been found, the boy had not uttered a single intelligible word to anyone. This could have been due to a number of factors like the injuries and distress the boy had been suffering at the time he was found or a distrust of people which lead him not to speak. Maybe he could understand language but lacked the ability to speak. Or maybe he did not understand language at all.
 

Kohane24

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Fox didn’t flinch away when Wolf mimicked him, in fact it seemed to feed his curiosity. Brown hues looking up at the other in wonder. He slowly smiled as well, one that reached his eyes. Indeed, it seemed he was truly happy to be in his new home.

When the questions began, the redheaded boy didn’t move immediately. He made no attempt to try and speak, instead he wandered away from the glass. He began looking through the grass, he then paused and returned with a small stick. He proceeded to write something in the ground. It read ‘Fox.’ Surely this must have been his name then. The boy then began to write something else, it read ‘Ember’ in which case he pointed towards his mate.
 
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Wolf watched with interest as the boy moved away and began looking through the grass. He wasn't sure what the boy was doing, but he seemed to have a sense of purpose. When the boy came back and began scratching letters into the dirt, Wolf's eyebrows rose up. So he could understand when spoken to. And maybe he also knew how to write and read? Or perhaps he knew just enough to write a few simple words like his and the wolf's names.

Wolf nodded in response and read, "Fox." Then he moved his gaze over to the black beast who was eyeing him warily. "And Ember." The names fit. The boy had a head full of hair the color of a red fox, and the black wolf's eyes were a striking orange-amber, reiminicent of glowing embers in a dying fire.

Pulling his phone out of his pocket, Wolf said, "I managed to rescue a few more of the animals from that circus." He turned on the phone and pulled up a picture, turning the phone so that the screen faced the window and Fox could see the image. "If you want, you can go see them." The screen showed an image of an adult cougar, crouching in the corner of what looked like a concrete pen. When the cougar had first been brought in, he had been taken to a small pen for treatment and observation. Currently, however, he was in another enclosure nearby.
 

Kohane24

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Seeing that Wolf was pleased, Fox began to wiggle his butt. Exactly like a pleased dog would do. He went right up to the glass, comically smooshing his face against the surface. He squinted at the picture shown to him before taking a step back, a huge grin upon his face.

Fox looked hesitant for a moment, quickly racing over to Ember. He took the creature’s head and placed it on his lap. He looked deeply into his eyes before leaning in and nuzzling his nose against Embers. This was how he said goodbye whenever he had to leave for a period of time. He followed the nuzzling with a kiss and a scratch behind the ears. Swiftly he went back to the glass and nodded his head in answer to Wolf.
 
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Familiar with Fox's goodbye ritual, Ember understood that Fox would be leaving for a bit. The beast didn't like it and made a low, grumbling growl to express his opinion. Ember licked Fox's cheek once as the boy got up. This time, Ember followed Fox a bit more closely, though still not exactly following on his heels, signaling that, though he wasn't happy about the sudden event, Ember wasn't going to stop him.

---

Wolf smiled a bit as he watched Fox's reactions. The boy was so much like a beast himself. It actually reminded Wolf a bit of how he had been when he had first been acquired by Penelope. He had been mostly wild after remembering nothing of his young life except abuse and cages. He had been a lot more defensive than Fox appeared to be, however. Perhaps Fox was more well-adjusted than Wolf had been, thanks to the fact that he had found companionship in the other imprisoned creatures of the circus.

When Fox returned to the window, Wolf pointed in the direction of the staff entrance to the enclosure. "Meet me there," Wolf said. When he was sure Fox understood, Wolf disappeared from the window and the curtain fell back over it. He headed to the discreet staff door, opening a little sliding window at about eye-level that let him look into the enclosure so he would know if Fox was there and ready. But it wasn't the boy Wolf saw first, but the dark beast. Their eyes locked, and the creature's amber eyes seemed to glare at Wolf's as if to say, "No funny business... or else..." But the beast stayed back so, when Wolf saw that Fox was ready and waiting, Wolf unlocked and opened the door slowly.

When it was cracked open enough, Wolf stepped slightly to the side so that Fox could see that two other men were with him. The two other men looked almost exactly alike and screamed "security" with their matching all-black outfits and bulky muscles. The only difference was that one was bald and the other had some graying hair cut so short that his scalp was clearly visible anyway. The two also each had what looked like rifles. Baldy had his slug over his back while gray-hair had his held in front of him.

"These are just some of my bodyguards," Wolf said quickly, hoping that seeing them wouldn't make Fox uncomfortable and change his mind. "They're just going to help make sure everyone stays safe. And those aren't guns. They're dart projectors. If your cougar friend becomes too upset, they will just tranquilize him so that he can relax and no one gets hurt, okay?"
 

Kohane24

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Fox followed directions with ease, racing over to the door like an excited dog. Unfortunately, Ember reached their first and he let his mate speak with Wolf first. He only attempted to come forward when his mate stepped to the side. He ran a hand along Ember’s flank to his head to stroke his ears once more. This brought the boy closer to the door, but then he saw the other two men and retreated slightly. Brown hues looking at them warily, panic almost beginning to ensue.

The past began to flicker back in fragments, but Wolf’s words became his anchor. He questioned why Wolf would save him, only to hurt him again? Surely that wouldn’t be the case. Brown eyes went back to the safety of his enclosure and homey it felt....all the bags of treats they had gotten. He still seemed frightened, but he approached the door again. Slowly, step by step until he was fully outside the door. He kept close to Wolf, glancing at the guards nervously.
 
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Wolf saw how Fox hesitated at the sight of the bodyguards and signaled for the two to back up a bit. "It's okay," Wolf said quietly as Fox looked back towards the interior of the enclosure. He slowly raised a hand up towards Fox, beckoning and encouraging him as he began to step forward. Wolf also heard Ember let out a quiet, displeased growl, but Wolf kept his eyes on the boy. It was the job of his guards, after all, to keep an eye out for danger when Wolf's attention had to be elsewhere.

When Fox stepped fully through the door, Wolf put his hand gently on his shoulder. Wolf had dealt with many scared and traumatized people in his time because his Mistress often had acquired slaves who had not been very well treated. He knew that, often, just the feeling of someone close to them who as calm and unthreatening would help calm them down as well. Wolf hoped it would be the same for Fox. Before the guards closed the enclosure door, Wolf looked back at the beast. The two shared a glance and, in that brief moment, Wolf tried to convey that he could be trusted. Whether the beast did trust Wolf or not, the creature made no move to come after them as the door shut.

"Alright, let's go see your friend," Wolf said to Fox, giving the boy's shoulder a little squeeze. It was interesting to Wolf, who had always felt short for a male, that Fox was even shorter than he was. Wolf wondered whether it was just genetic or the result of being malnourished for most of his life. Either way, the boy seemed to be in fairly good health now. Though Wolf would have to teach him about a few things in order to keep it that way. Through cameras hidden in the enclosure, Wolf had seen how Fox had been very confused by the toothbrush that had been included in one of their parcels. If they were going to avoid Fox having to endure painful dental proceedures, Wolf was going to have to introduce Fox to dental hygiene soon.

The door out of the enclosure lead to a staff-only hallway. The walls and floors were concrete and bright lights left no shadows anywhere. Away from view of guests, this area did not have to be fancy or luxurious, just utilitarian. Here and there, the hallway was interrupted by steel doors, each numbered and some labeled. The door Fox had just come through had a plastic holder on the wall next to it. Inside the holder was a piece of paper with a chart, showing a timetable of when the inhabitants had last been fed and other such information. With the two guards following behind, Wolf guided Fox further down the hallway until they came to a door with a simiilar plastic holder and paper next to it. The top of the paper said "male mountain lion".

"He's just inside here," Wolf said as they stopped in front of the door. "Are you comfortable with this one like you are with Ember?"
 
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Kohane24

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Mar 7, 2019
Indeed, Wolf’s presence alone put Fox at ease especially with the casual touch to his shoulder. He then followed Wolf along down the hallway and out the door. He took in all his surroundings, taking his time walking along. He definitely seemed out of his comfort zone not being in the enclosure. Nonetheless he didn’t complain or fight with the other, simply being wary of the guards whom to his relief did not get any closer.

The redhead felt a sense of excitement at being able to see his old friend. He had missed the other animals dearly, but some also made him a little afraid. The mountain lion in particular had been a mistake at the beginning, but a happy mistake in the end. He chose not to dwell on the darker memories of the beautiful beast. They arrived at the door and Fox ran a hand down it, as if yearning to be on the other side already. He felt the small hairs on the back of his neck stand up, and he wondered if the beast sensed him already.

In answer to Wolf’s question he nodded, eyes not straying from the door.
 
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"Okay, here we go." Without removing his left hand from Fox's shoulder, Wolf used his right hand to interact with the keypad next to the metal door, right underneath the plastic paper holder. Wolf entered his ID number, using the correct sequence of both numbers and fingertips, of course, and the keypad blinked green and the heavy-duty lock audibly disengaged. Wolf turned the handle and slowly opened the door.

It was like stepping directly from a hallway deep underground into a mountain forest. The enclosure was, in many ways, similar to the one Fox had just left. However, the plantlife was different. Ember and Fox's enclosure was based on the forests of the Sierra Nevadas. Therefore, it had plants native to temperate coniferous forests: mostly pines, firs, junipers punctuated with a few aspens and oaks. This enclosure, however, was based on the temprate broadleaf biomes of the eastern United States. It was full of sycamore, maple, hawthrone, and other deciduous trees whose leaves would change color then be shed during fall and winter. However, since it was currently spring (and the enclosure's simulated weather was controlled to match), the trees were lush with bright green foliage.

Just like in Ember and Fox's enclosure, this one had a clear space around the door. Off to one side, the viewing window (curtained just like Ember and Fox's was), could be glimpsed through the thick foliage. The ground sloped up towards the back of the enclosure, though the incline was a bit steeper and the terrain rockier in Ember and Fox's home. At the moment, the enclosure seemed perfectly still and the mountain lion was nowhere in sight.

"The last time he was spotted," Wolf said to Fox as they slowly stepped in, "Your friend was heading off that way. There's a little rock cave in the middle, so he may have gone there to hide." Wolf pointed to a very thin and windy path that snaked its way through the dense undergrowth and boulders and up towards the middle of the enclosure. All four men had stepped into the enclosure now, with Fox and Wolf in the lead and the two guards behind them on either side. Since mountain lions were known to favor attacking from behind, the two guards were constantly checking their six. However, it was unlikely that a mountain lion in a weak condition would try to attack a group of people.

"Okay, if you want to lead, go ahead. I can hang back a little bit so we don't scare your friend."
 

Kohane24

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Mar 7, 2019
Fox was anxious as Wolf worked to open the door, he practically leapt inside when it was finally opened. His brown eyes widening as he took in the beautiful scenery. He could have cried, covering his mouth with his free hand. It was absolutely beautiful, it was all he had ever hoped. Fox probably would have thanked Wolf, but having not seen the mountain lion for awhile...it was safe to say he was eager to be near the creature once more.

He began walking inside as if it was already his home too. Brown eyes scanning the area, but so far he saw no sign of the wild cat. Every so often he checked with the guards, whether it was for their safety or the mountain lions it was hard to say. Fox kept moving forward, listening to Wolf’s direction he approached deeper and deeper.

Once granted permission he went ahead towards the path where the cave was supposed to be. This was when Fox began making what sounded like growling and purring sounds, as well as some unfamiliar chirps. However, he clearly knew what he was doing.
 
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