Day and night the hastily built walls around the city were guarded.
All of the villagefurs who were unable to fight stayed inside one building with the children. While the Pink Spoon Warriors struggled with soldiers, the villagefurs struggled with children who wanted, more than anything, to go play outside.
While he was off duty Oates would sometimes (When he was not too tired) carry a few children on his back while he flew from the floor to the ceiling.
This evening Oates was too worn out to give the children rides. When he got off duty a few hours ago he decided to take a nap just outside the building hidden behind an old picket fence.
Oates woke up just minutes before sunset.
The Pink Spoon Warriors, as they still called themselves even though most of them had never been to the Pink Spoon Tavern, now numbered seventy. There had been more, but their numbers decreased ever since the village had been attacked.
Oates made his way to the makeshift battlements. The building that the villagefurs hid in was in the center of the village so Oates had to walk through the abandoned part of village. All the empty houses and shops gave him the creeps, though the big tough griffin warrior was not about to admit it.
Oates spotted the shadow of Virat and Big Bill on the battlements. Oates crawled over to them.
"How is it going?" Oates asked.
"Could be worse." Big Bill replied, "I think they are settling down for the night."
"I would wait a bit before going out there, Oates, it is not dark enough yet." Virat cautioned. Every night when it got dark enough Oates would fly over the enemy camp to spy and steal supplies. Oates never brought back good news but he managed to keep the village from starving.
Oates nodded and waited. It was a moonless night so he did not have long to wait. He rubbed his fur and feathers, especially the lighter areas, with ashes and dust so he would be even harder to see. He shook off the excess dust, bid Virat and Bill good night, then flew off.
The sooty griffin flew high above the camp. He counted campfires. There were so many of them and they were so spread out Oates could feel his heart sink. They just kept coming, more and more of them. Oates doubted that the Pink Spoon Warriors would be able to hold the village for much longer. It was already surrounded.
The messengers were sent over a month ago to warn the other villages, towns and cities in the area. Oates had hoped that there would be reinforcements from them but he had never even heard back from the messengers. Oates worried that they had never even reached their destinations.
Oates swooped low over the tent he knew stored the supplies. The entrance to the tent would be guarded so Oates softly landed on all fours behind the tent. A camp fire burned two yards away, Oates hoped that no one would look his way. He hurriedly lifted the back of the tent and crawled under the canvas.
He was pressed against the canvas side by some barrels stacked there. Oates did not waste much time wondering what could be in the barrels. He stood up and simply wrapped his arms around the top barrel and started to pull it off the pile.
"I should have known someone would sneak in through that way." A fur muttered.
Oates gasped, there was a guard inside the tent. Well, it was only a matter of time before they smartened up and guarded the supplies better. Oates threw the barrel at the guard who was calling the other guards. Oates didn't wait to see if the barrel hit him or not. He tore through the canvas with his claws, tucked another barrel under his arm, grabbed a sack of something else that was laying nearby and flew out of that tent as fast as he could.
The camp was becoming alert. Furs poured out of tents, wielding weapons, all running towards Oates' supply tent. Oates cursed and flew higher.
"It's a griffin, he's flying off, archers!"
Oates climbed the sky, trying to get out of arrow range. He knew once he got out of the light from the campfires he would make an almost invisible target. The adrenaline rush made the supplies he carried weightless. Arrows hissed and fell just short of him. Oates panted. He had to get back in the village before one of the archers got lucky.
Oates decided to fly over the forest first, it was closer than the village and would be safer than flying all the way over the camp. The tree branches and leaves should spoil the archers' aim. Oates took some confidence in the fact that he could fly faster than most furs could run.
Oates could hear them cursing as they entered the forest. Oates laughed a little, he could not laugh as much as he would like because he was in a bit of a hurry (understatement).
Oates flew over the forest for a mile or two, until he was sure he lost them, then flew back towards the village.
Oates landed between Virat and Big Bill who were still guarding the wall. Oates's own sweat made the soot run off his feathers.
"What happened to you?"
"What took you so long?" The ox asked.
"They almost caught me, they put a guard inside the supply tent. They must have noticed the missing food." Oates put down the barrel and sack, and leaned against the wall.
"Were you wounded?" Virat asked.
"No, but I deserve to be for being so stupid." Oates sighed, "Now it is going to be even more difficult, if not impossible, to steal supplies."
"Then we will have to give up then?" Bill asked, "This town is practically lost now."
"What would you know?" Oates asked, already stressed and now getting annoyed. Oates was thinking how Bill was beginning to act like a military expert lately. "You're just a bartender."
Big Bill frowned, "I know that the village is surrounded, has been for about a month. Furs have been killed. If we are not killed we will need food to eat, otherwise we starve. I know we do not have enough food to last us for very long. We look to be doomed unless there are some major changes."
"Bah." Oates growled, "As long as any of us are still alive there is a chance."
"Oh sure, you have the wings. You can just fly away when things get too bad. But what about the rest of us?"
"I am here to protect this village!" Oates roared, griffins can roar just as loud as lions if not louder, "I will not abandon it you fly ridden ox!"
"Like you defended the last village, my village-"
"Enough!" Virat snapped, separating the two.
Oates had stopped leaning against the wall and was looking threatening with his wings spread and claws stretched. Big Bill had lowered his head to point his broad horns at Oates.
"Fighting amongst ourselves will get us nowhere. Bill, Oates is doing the best he can, and yes we may lose this village in time. But for now you put this barrel and bag of supplies in storage. Oates will take over your watch."
Bill slung the sack over his shoulder and rolled the barrel away.
"You need to stop arguing like this." Virat said rebukingly once Bill was out of hearing range.
"He started it." Oates said mopingly, at the same time knowing he was the one responsible for the quarrel.
Virat rolled his glowing green eyes. "Did you see anything noteworthy?"
"Nope, only that there are just as many out there tonight as last night." Oates leaned back against the wall. "They are always more of them and less of us. We are going to lose this village."