And so our valiant but tattered hero trudged onward through the lonely wilderness, and made his way to... Happy Zebra?!
For about a month after Dolittle mysteriously turned up in North clan territory, he just vanished completely. The last time anyone had seen him, his head and neck looked like he'd been attacked by a rabid paper shredder, and he'd moved on from thin and was well into gaunt.
Fast forward to the morning of May 5th. I was moseying along through Happy Zebra territory when I suddenly came across a rather scruffy looking hyena sacked out in the middle of the road (for further clarification regarding this phenomenon, please refer to Kenna's treatise on the many forms of "sacking out"). This hyena had amazing ear damage, which I knew didn't match up with any of the HZ gang. Hmm... who could this be?
As the sun started to come up, I noticed that the hair on this hyena's neck was all patchy and the underlying skin was scabby and scarred. Eew. Something must have torn this hyena up but good.
Wait a sec...
It can't be.
But yes folks, it was. Dolittle, in all his scruffy glory, alive, almost completely healed and looking pretty well-fed to boot!
The Long Road Home
We were all ridiculously excited to see Dolittle again, and we wondered initially if he might try a secondary dispersal into Happy Zebra after his abrupt ejection from South clan. Then several weeks passed without us catching another glimpse of our little refugee, and we started to worry again.
On the morning of May 27th I headed off to the current South clan communal den. Most of the hyenas were easily recognizable, but one lazy lump was curled up in a tall patch of grass near the den and just wouldn't budge for me to get a good look. So I sat, and waited, and sat some more. Finally it decided to stretch its legs, and I nearly spit my tea. Dolittle! Same scruffy neck, same mangled ears, and all safe and sound at home again. He was in good company, too, lounging around with Clovis, the top female, and Spider, one of the higher ranking males.
Dolittle is most definitely back in South clan (we've been seeing him at almost every den session lately) but it looks like the male ranks in South clan have gone through a little bit of a reorganization. We started off with Dolittle > Spider > Bing > Rooster. After this whole Dolittle saga, Bing has somehow clawed his way to the top and we have Bing > Dolittle > Spider > Rooster. It makes me suspect that Bing might have been to one to thrash Dolittle and send him packing... Sadly we'll never know for sure.
Anyway, the important thing is that Dolittle is alive and well, and back home. I'd call that a happy ending, right?