The old fox's nose tasted the smoke in the air, the cry of the birds perked his ears. He felt a moment of shock as he saw the vixen woman change shape, seeming to flow into the lithe form of a normal vixen. There is another?, the old fox wondered as he turned to follow her.
His animal instinct told him to flee from the fire, there was nothing that a fox could do against flame except escape from it. But the allure of another who could alter shape was too important to ignore, to let vanish into heat smoke.
He caught another scent, horse flesh, leather...two-legs on their mounts, several from the melange of the odor. There was a hint of horse fear in the scent, the animals were unsettled by the flames that were surely ahead. These two-legs might be the instigators of the flame. No cloud, no lightning to strike and ignite the dry timber, it was the work of two-legs.
He had her scent, could find her again, unless she crossed running water, but sometimes he had been lucky and carried a scent across the stream. It was tricky, but the possibility of letting two-legs go unpunished was unbearable.
The old fox broke away from the vixen and her companion in the direction of the horse smell. Within a minute he had crossed a good deal of forest, darting through the deer trails and underbrush, a red and brown missle, hunter of the woods.
He felt the change as it momentarily liquified his flesh, the muscles rippled and swole as bones increased in mass, and size. He had rarely used the strange ability gifted to him by the moon, but now it would be useful.
There was a rumbling sound, then there was water...everywhere. The wave, an unimaginable thing in this area washed over him. His small body was lifted and carried like a rag doll on the surge of water. Instead of fighting the momentum he let it carry him until he spied a safe place to try and lodge himself. He held fast in the tangled web of a trees roots, suddenly exposed by the water.
His nose tasted the air again. So much was disrupted by the sudden surge, and the smell of wet wood, and mulch were strong. He could still smell the horses, and the two legs. Apparently the wave upset them like it had to to the old fox himself.
He regained his footing, finding the undulations in the land where the water was receding, stalking along the trunks of uprooted small trees, and hillocks that grew above the corpses of giant trees long fallen. He avoided the water, there was still some current to it, and it would not do to be swept away again.
Two of the two-legs were unseated from their animals, one of which still lay on the ground, trying to right itself. One, a large male, had regained it's footing and had drawn a large weapon, the other had escaped on his horse, and the last lay in the water. Perhaps the water had done him a favor and taken one already, but that was unlikely.
Were they still in a neat line, he would have attacked, tearing at horse legs, upseting the mounts, possibly throwing the riders, harming them. They were wary now, and much more dangerous. The old fox hung well back in the remaining brush, his mottled coat blending into the debris. They would not stay on guard forever, they would sleep eventually.