Squinting his eyes against the dark, Thicket Slatepaw wrapped both paws tight around the thick wooden shaft and set his weight against the pile of debris. With an enormous heave and a rumble of crumbling stone, the great hammer was ripped free from the rubble, the shifting stone allowing a small ray of midsummer sun to illuminate the cavern. Shading his eyes, Thicket grumbled as he set the hammer aside and began to carefully scale the heap. This had all seemed such a grand plan a few hours earlier, but the big mountain hare was beginning to rue his luck.
Having grown tired of the cold northlands, Thicket had elected to begin moving southwards. A chance meeting with a traveling caravan of moles had directed him to the quickest path to his destination:
The Northern Passage: A great, winding tunnel through the base of a mountain range, its exit would place Thicket right on the road to the sunny southlands. Tucking the the scrap of paper the kindly moles had offered into his belt, three days' hiking had brought him to a rough semicircle of stone, the cavernous mouth of The Northern Passage just ahead.
In retrospect, the mountain hare supposed that he should have probably taken the fallen support beams littering the entrance to heart, but as he peered through the narrow gap to the outside world, he admitted it was probably a tad too late for that.
Turning his head to the dim tunnel behind him, Thicket shrugged.
After all, it could always be worse.