"Oi! Quit messin' with the dog! We gotta get 'im harrnesed!" Leo flinched as his uncle's bellow reached his ears. Relunctantly, he released his grip on Axel's thick fur, watching as the pup exitedly tumbled towards his uncle. The boy grunted as he pushed himself off the ground, brushing the powdery snow from his worn pants. As he trudged through the mud and snow, Leo watched enviously as Uncle Felix hoisted the heavy leather with ease, buckling it on the evermoving Axel.
His own frame was lanky, having inherited it from his mother's side. Leo sometimes struggled to hold the dogs back when they saw a squirrel, and they were just beginning their first winter. "Get a move on! The sooner we finish gettin' the wood to Argen, the faster you can go back to your stick shapin'!" Felix shouted as he stood in the sled, waiting. "Sorry Uncle, I guess I'm just not used to this, that's all." Leo muttered. Felix scoffed "How can you not be? It's in your blood! I tell ya, when your pop and I were boys, we took ol' Betty out for a drive every other night, poor thing."
Leo watched his uncle's face as it turned into a bttersweet smile. "Ah, if your pa could only see us now, on your first trip!" the young boy shifted uncomfortably. Sometimes it felt as though he as just another Matt to Felix. Nodding his head slightly, Leo stepped onto the wooden panels of the sled, whincing as they creaked below him. Uncle let out a sharp whistle as he pushed off the runners. The dogs lunged forward, the older ones in the back pushing off easily while the younger ones strained against their harnessess.
Leo glanced up at his uncle, hoping he wouldn't recall the job that was unfortunetly assigned to him. The burly man gave him a toothy smile as he gestured to the struggling pups. Groaning, Leo walked up to the dogs. Seeing him, they wiggled and yipped, begging for attention. Muttering about how he could have been carving by now, Leo gripped the cold leather and pulled upwards, the dogs whimpering as they found themselves in the air. Grunting, the boy set them down and wrangled them into a somewhat organized line.
Grumbling, Leo stormed back to the sled. Uncle repeated the whistle, this time to dogs leapt ahead, tugging the sled until it was trailing smoothly behind them. Felix rested the rope reigns on the head of the wood, leaning against it. "So, whatcha been up to eh?" Leo glanced up from the wooddrift he was shaping, curls of brown falling like slow at his feet "Er, not much. Mother's been needing more help lately with the cooking and such. Can't do much of anything stuck in bed all day." The men sat in silence for a minute " Well, after we deliever the wood, betcha we can get enough to send your mom to Dawson." Leo nodded silently.
A large bump followed by a shift in temprature cuased Leo to jolt awake Leo from a fitful sleep. He blinked his eyes open only to see the back of the dogsled as it chugged away from him. It took a minute to resister before he was up on his feet racing after it , yelling for his uncle. After about a minute Leo ralized that there was no shadow of Felix standing at the helm. Panicking, he let out a spluttery whistle in a poor attempt at getting the dogs to stop, which did not work. Thinking quickly, he grasped a rock and threw it as hard as he could, watching as it flew in an arc before falling in the snow with a plop.