((Hello! This is open to anyone who happens to be interested. If I've made an obvious mistake or changing something would make your lives easier, please let me know. It's been a few years since I read the Redwall books. Imma get a few on my nook and rectify that.))
The winter had mostly relinquished its hold on the shadowy woods of Mossflower. It was still bitterly cold some mornings, but once the sun got itself sorted in the sky it quickly became a pleasantly warm day. The evergreens were looking greener and healthier than they had all season, and there were green buds and new leaves and blooming flowers to entice the birds and insects.
Another creature had stirred out of her winter sleep these last few weeks, too. Someone who took most of the morning to get going at all. Ribbonwhite was now slowly uncoiling from the top of the river stone where she'd spent a good few hours absorbing the warmth from the sunlight that splashed through the canopy overhanging the stream's banks. She didn't like the cold, for obvious reasons. Her mellow white scales had no warm fur covering, and her sluggish heart had no ability to provide adequate heat to her long and heavily muscled body. From nose to tail tip, she was several feet now; truly a monster compared to the sickly and starving little hatchling she should have been. Most of that length was hidden for the moment, piled on top of itself to conserve warmth, but lazily her tail droops out of a loop to assure herself that the bundle she'd painstakingly carried this far was still there, leaning against the base of the stone.
Both items were a bit worse for wear. Three broad leaves rubbed with wax to keep them supple were long dead and beginning to crumble, but they had their edges sewn together and were secured by a long loop of braided yarn, so yet kept the sun from her reddish-orange eyes when she wore it atop her head. The second item was a skinny but broad drum set with hammered tin discs in its frame that rattled musically with every strike. There was a hole in its well used head - Ribbonwhite regretted that deeply but she hadn't noticed her fangs rubbing against it until Pop! Edith - or Essith as Ribbon could only ever pronounce - would have chided her for her carelessness with such a lovely belonging. It's birch rim was still painted with a lovely swirl of blue river currents and colorful fish twining around the tin discs. Really, though, in her mouth was the only effective way the snake could think to carry the thing, and she certainly wasn't going to drop it now.
They could wait there for the moment, however. Breakfast was calling. She'd been watching the silvery flashes of fish in the shallows all morning while she waited to warm up, and the water murmured invitingly over its rock bed for the first swim of the year. Her head is the next thing to reveal itself from the seething coils. Broad and elegantly tapered, she lacked the wedge shape of her poisonous Moccasin cousin, but admired her reflection in the water at the base of the rock as she tested the waters with a flick of forked tongue. Cold. Her sides huffed in a short sigh. It couldn't be helped. She was hungry. Winter had been long and her hibernation made for a very empty belly.
With a silent grace, the snake slid fully off the rock and into the river. It met her scales like ice, but after bobbing for a moment she disappeared beneath the dark water, white color plainly visible until she entered the deeper shadows where the fish scattered. Soon, though, they'd be back.
And she'd be waiting.